British soldiers run out of a Chinook helicopter, during a military facility in Copehill Down Urban Training Village in southern England, Friday Jan. 27, 2006. (Associated Press/Matt Dunham)
English soldiers are fighting the Battle of the Bulge.
Obesity was on the menu at the House of Lords Monday where British leaders bemoaned the fact they may have to alter war machines to accommodate their growing military.
"By far and away the most serious eating disorder is the obesity epidemic which is now impinging upon the armed forces," Lord McColl of Dulwith reportedly told his colleagues.
"Ejector seats in fighter planes are having to be modified because of obesity," he added, according to MSN.
According to McColl, England's obesity issues could even impact the Royal Navy.
"We may have to enlarge the escape hatches of submarines to allow (overweight sailors)," he added.
Nearly 18,000 members of the British armed forces are clinically obese, according to an October report on Forces.net. That same data showed 30,000 troops in the UK are overweight and many troops have treated their weight issues with diet pills or liposuction.
Extreme portliness was most common among Army soldiers, where the obesity rate was nearly that of Royal Navy and Royal Air Force members combined. The Guardian reported in November that the Brits may lengthen its training period for recruits because "two-thirds of teenagers (are) too fat to be soldiers."
British Health Minister Nicola Blackwood of North Oxford agreed with McColl's larger point, but didn't want to blame the military for overdoing the fish and chips.
"While I don't feel able to comment on ejector seats or submarine hatches… I do believe that obesity is a serious issue," Blackwood said.
Fitness among military personnel is an issue in the United States, too, where a 2018 Rand report showed nearly two-thirds of U.S. troops to be overweight or obese. The Army was also the most obese branch of the U.S. armed forces.
In February, the commander of the U.S. Naval Air Forces proclaimed that the Navy's F-35C Joint Strike Fighter was "ready for operations, ready for combat and ready to win" — even though the Navy's own testing data says otherwise.
President Donald Trump has ramped up airstrikes against al-Shabab in Somalia. (Associated Press/Farah Abdi Warsameh)
The U.S. military could be guilty of war crimes in Somalia, according to a new report that challenges what the government says about civilian casualties from its bombing campaign against al-Shabab, an al-Qaida affiliate, in the African nation.
The investigation, conducted by Amnesty International, found that US airstrikes from both drones and manned aircraft killed at least 14 civilians and injured seven more people in just five of more than 100 strikes in the past two years.
"The attacks appear to have violated international humanitarian law, and some may amount to war crimes," the Amnesty report said.
A new bill would give troops with infertility related to their military service greater access to advanced reproductive treatments, including up to three completed cycles of in vitro fertilization, or IVF, and cryopreservation of eggs and sperm for those heading to a combat zone.
U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Joseph L. Osterman, the commanding general of I Marine Expeditionary Force, speaks to Marines with the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) during a visit aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD 4). Marines and Sailors with the 11th MEU are conducting routine operations as part of the Boxer Amphibious Ready Group in the eastern Pacific Ocean. (U.S. Marine Corps Photo by Lance Cpl. Dalton S. Swanbeck)
The Marine Corps' top general on the west coast is readying his Marines for the next big war against a near peer competitor, and one of his main concerns is figuring out how to alter the mindset of troops that have been fighting insurgencies since 9/11.
"If anything my problem is getting people out of the mindset of [counterterrorism] and making sure they're thinking about near peer adversaries in their training programs," Lt. Gen. Joseph Osterman, commanding general of I Marine Expeditionary Force at Camp Pendleton, California, told Task & Purpose in an interview on Friday.