Comments: Fat Soldiers?

They use the horrible BMI charts.

I enlisted at 230, and dropped down to 218 running six miles a day.

My weight target, to avoid "taping", was somewhere around 196. 196? I was 185 at the age of 17 running 60-70 miles a week.

Taping is the measuring of the the waist and the hip to "calculate" body weight. It's wildly inaccurate.

Now, the Regular Army likes skinny people, and the constant running does that to you, but for Reserve and Guard units, it's a real problem.

At 29, I was in better physical shape than the 17 year old recruits - but the weight was deemed something I had to work on, which amounted to Atkins and the diuretic pills the night before.

It didn't stop me from any physical duties - I could still run 2 miles in 12 minutes, do 44 push-ups and 63 sit-ups in two minutes, but every weekend the taping sergeant looked at me and told me to lay off the pasta.

No one seemed to complain at Jefferson Barracks when we had to move artillery pieces.

Posted by James Durbin at July 8, 2005 11:29 AM
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