Obese Soldiers Are “Public Embarrassment”, May Lose Postings

However, this is not the first time the subject has gained public light.

2 min read
Obese Armymen will lose out on foreign postings, deputations, and career courses. (Photo: Hardeep Singh/<b>The Quint</b>)

An internal note circulated by the Indian Army has cracked down on the problem of obesity in the defence force. Calling obese soldiers a “public embarrassment”, the note reads as follows, according to The Economic Times:

“This issue has serious ramifications not only affecting combat readiness but also leading to avoidable ailments resulting in reduced life span in addition to public embarrassment due to slovenly appearance in uniform.”

The note was sent to all four commandants of the Indian Army. The Army directive is a part of a strategy personally initiated by Army chief Dalbir Singh, the report claims citing sources.

Indian Army servicemen during a ceremony. (Photo: IANS)
Indian Army servicemen during a ceremony. (Photo: IANS)

Annual Obesity Test

The Army has decided to hold annual obesity evaluation examination which will include photographs of the cases that come under the scanner.

The Army headquarter has directed the supervising officer to refer cases of Armymen who have a Body Mass Index (BMI) that defers by 10 percent or more from the ideal BMI, reports The New Indian Express.

The cases pointed out by him will be a part of the confidential annual report and will be sent to medical authorities for examination.


Consequence and Responsibility for Obesity

While obese soldiers will have to deal with consequences, the soldiers’ immediate superior will also face flak if and when he fails to report it.

Besides losing postings in “A class” cities, the obese soldiers will be prohibited form receiving unit citation or acting as escorts for award ceremonies and other deputation.

The obese soldiers may also lose out on career courses and foreign postings, according to the note.


However, this is not the first time the subject has gained public light. A survey carried out in 2011 had claimed obesity among 30 percent of Indian Armymen were obese.

The survey was carried out by the defence ministry and Indian Council of Medical Research with a sample of 767 personnel.

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