India

Army's crackdown on obesity menace

03 Sep 2016 | By Supriya Kaur
The Indian Army's plummeting levels of fitness

According to an internal note circulated by the Army headquarters on August 8, overweight personnel will no longer be considered for foreign postings and career courses.

Officers battling weight issues will lose out on career advancement opportunities and reemployment applications won't be entertained.

Postings in 'A Class' cities will also be off the table for army personnel whose fitness concerns have been flagged.

In context: The Indian Army's plummeting levels of fitness

BackgroundArmy red-faced with rising obesity levels

Last year, adverse observations were made by the top echelons of the government regarding the Indian Army's 'expanding waistlines'.

These observations left the Army flustered; poor fitness of Army personnel could impact combat readiness and increase avoidable ailments.

Overweight Army personnel were also termed as a "public embarrassment"; thorough procedure will now be introduced to check and counter the 'obesity menace'.

03 Sep 2016Army's crackdown on obesity menace

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How will evaluations change?

HowHow will evaluations change?

Supervising officers will be responsible for referring cases of overweight juniors i.e. more than 10% variation from the Ideal Body Weight.

Soldiers and officers will be subject to annual evaluations if they even just 'appear to be overweight' and photographs of full-frontal and side profiles will be attached to evaluation files.

For effective implementation, senior officers will be held responsible for lapses in reporting.

WhyArmy General Dalbir Singh's initiative

Army Chief, General Dalbir Singh is known to be committed to his fitness regimen and runs 10 kms on a daily basis.

At a recent meeting, he pointed that commanding officers and brigade commanders were also falling behind on fitness and it was preventing them from visiting difficult posts on the border.

The crackdown on fitness levels is believed to be his personal initiative.

Rewards for fitness!

The senior most fit officer will now be awarded at ceremonies to set an example of the seriousness of the Army's commitment toward physical fitness; whereas those with poor fitness levels will be excluded out of even recommendations for distinguished service awards.