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US Air Force Lowers Standards, Allows Obese Recruits

US Air Force Lowers Standards, Allows Obese Recruits

Of the plethora of problems the Biden administration brought with it, military recruitment has been one major concern that started making headlines last year. The government’s approach to this challenge—drop the standards.

For the U.S. Air Force, this means adding extra pounds as it is changing its weight restrictions to allow obese people sign up for military service.

Military news sources reported last week that the Air Force is raising its maximum body fat levels for recruits in an effort to beef up its strength in numbers of service members.

The maximum permissible body fat for recruits until now was 20% body fat for males and 28% body fat for females.

With the updated limits on weight, male recruits with up to 26% body fat and women recruits with up to 36% body fat will be eligible to join the Air Force.

While the weight limits for recruitment have been modified to allow more heavy-set people to join the Air Force, they will still need to meet the same fitness standards and height-to-weight ratio as all other serving members of the force.

Air Force Recruiting Service spokesperson Leslie Brown was cited by denying that raising weight limits meant the force was dropping its standards. In his words:

“I can’t stress enough: We are not lowering our standards, but rather we are aligning our standards with the overall DoD policy.”

News sources, however, have pointed out that changing the body fat criteria for recruits shows the military’s struggle to meet its recruitment goals and keep its obese service members. Per the CDC data, 19% of all military personnel in 2020 were obese.

In 2023, this proportion has gone up, and 25% of military members now have BMI levels that are considered obese.

While all military branches have seen a notable drop in recruitment over the past two years, the Air Force expects to miss its active-duty recruiting goal this year by 10 percent. Allowing more body fat appears to be out of concern that not enough fit people will be signing up to serve the force in 2023, hence loosening the standards.

Retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel Chuck DeVore has blamed “President Joe Biden’s disastrous anti-leadership” for the “total freefall” in military recruitment. Writing in The Federalist (June 2022), he slammed the Biden administration for making the U.S. Army lower its standards and allowing certain things that “will result in a less capable force with troublesome discipline issues.”

Last month, Adam Kredo of The Washington Free Beacon reported on a panel of military veterans who told Congress in a hearing that the Pentagon’s focus on woke priorities has led to a “once-in-a-generation military recruitment crisis.”

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  1. George

    Our military is in shambles. You don’t see overweight troops marching in N.Korea or China! Our military will have drag queens in the front line sticking daisies in gun barrels.Hitler and Stalin put people of this ilk” in stalags and work camps.BUT “OUR” military under Milley and Austen seek to destroy our Armed Forces. They are SO inept that they couldn’t even find the 21 yr. old computer pro right under their noses in Cape Cod. When The Times printed this, they HAD to act fast. Hence the daylight raid with about 20 vehicles instead of the FBI and a zillion Swat Teams breaking in the front door in the middle of the night.Every day it’ nothing but more bad news. No wonder America is on edge!

  2. Bill K

    Would you want to work for this current commander and chief! Between all of the experimental vaccines, woke politics, and lack of leadership I think a lot of young people have better things to do with their time.

  3. bubbelove

    Lowering standards for our military is a disgusting act. Overweight people in uniform, who are supposed to protect us (including our police forces), look slovenly and cannot act as quickly as those who are leaner and faster. What a bad appearance all around. We are failing as Americans and military. Have a race between a lean person and an overweight person and see who wins. Take a look at all the other military around the world and there is your answer.

  4. Tom

    If you look at a line graph of the rise of obesity in the USA and then look at a line graph of the rise of fast food industry in the USA, they are just about the same graph. The USA needs to stop all of the empty carb nutrient empty fast food which isn’t even fast anymore anyway! Children need to be outside running around, playing, exploring, not inside on computers and phones playing games. These are lifestyle changes that are needed by everyone!

    And by the way, the biggest recruiting problem the military services have is finding smart recruits without a criminal record. Within the next five years, the US Navy will be 40K high tech sailors short of what it needs to maintain today’s high tech ships and land systems. This is very high tech stuff that requires NIS security clearances to operate. The biggest problem is that many recruits cannot pass the security clearance investigations. So the services need to make a decision, do they want the lean fast kid that has a background of drugs, alcohol, and poor behavior with a few minor break-ins or do they want the pudgy freckled slower kid who can pass a security investigation and sits on a computer eating tater chips all day.

    One last thing, this BMI thing (height to weight ratio thing). I knew officers who jogged every day, fit as could be and could not pass that % body fat exam. Many of them were women officers. Some of those fine officers were let go, discharged, because of that BMI and percent of body fat thing. They need to come up with a better tool. Part of their recruiting problem is their tools. Many jobs in the military do not require combat ready lean and trim fit as a fiddle bodies to sit at a monitor or to work in a hospital etc. Perhaps the solution is to categorize job requirements by BMI and percent body fat.

  5. Tom

    And one last thing. The military needs to come up with LGBT brigades. There’s no reason why gays, faggots, and trannies should be denied the right to die for their country just like straight people! Everybody wants to play nice about these sexual perversions. Yet the more they spread and grow, the smaller the recruiting pool gets!!! This is how LGBT affects your freedom! See “”

    There is no reason we can’t have LGBT submarines, tank teams, artillery teams, platoons, etc. They should not get a free ride from defending freedom. Bring back the draft and form brigades of them.

    • Dale Casey

      They would be to busy fornicating in the tank to fight the enemy.

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