Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Doesn't Sound Like A Good Idea

How do they fit in the body armor? Wouldn't they lose weight in the heat and carrying their packs?

'Semper Fit' on Home Front Only - Los Angeles Times
The rigors of being deployed in Iraq have made it difficult for Marines to comply with the fitness plan, known as the Body Composition Program, Marine Corps officials said.

Under an order issued before Christmas, commanders are allowed to exempt their troops in Iraq from what is usually a six-month program.

"In combat, the priority is combat and getting home safely and completing the mission," said Lt. Col. Kristi VanGorder, head of the training section at the Training and Education Command at the base in Quantico.

Once a Marine leaves Iraq, he or she is required to resume the fight against fat.

Failure to meet the Corps' standards for body fat percentage can lead to an administrative discharge.

Every Marine undergoes an official weigh-in at least twice a year. If an individual is heavier than a set standard for his height, then body fat is calculated.

For men, the calculation involves measuring the abdomen and neck; for women, the waist, hips and neck are measured.

The maximum body fat for men is 18%; for women, it is 26% — although the standard is looser if the Marine excels on an annual fitness test.

If his or her body fat is below a prescribed maximum, the Marine is considered to meet the standards regardless of weight and height.

"We don't want a bunch of skinny Marines," said VanGorder. "What we want is healthy Marines."

An overweight Marine who has been enrolled in the program before going to Iraq "should attempt to make progress," according to the order.

Although while in Iraq the Marine will be exempt from the weigh-ins and other aspects of the program, the individual will not be eligible for promotion until returning to the U.S. and meeting the body-fat standards. The only exception is a Marine who performs heroically in combat and receives a meritorious promotion.

You're fat, but you can still stop bullets for us just don't expect a reward unless you do something spectacular.

How low are we going to go?

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