The Navy beats out the Air Force as the fattest branch, somehow

Health & Fitness
Second Class Petty Officer Association (SCPOA) serve Ice cream and waffles aboard the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) (U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Roland John)

You'd expect a force commonly derided as a "Chair Force" to rank pretty high on a list of U.S. service branches by obesity, but apparently the Navy has snatched that king-size throne from the flyboys in the Air Force.

According to the 2018 Health of the DOD Force report published in the August edition of the Pentagon's Medical Surveillance Monthly Report, 22% of sailors are classified as obese by military standards, well above both the 18.1% of airmen and the average of 17.4% across the entire DoD that meet that definition.

"While injury, sleep disorders, and BH conditions remain important threats to Navy readiness, this report highlights obesity as a growing health concern among Sailors," the report says. "Obesity contributes to hypertension, diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke, cancer, all-cause mortality, and increased healthcare costs. It also contributes to failure of Sailors to meet physical fitness standards.

By contrast, the Army clocked in at thee Pentagon average of a 17.4% obesity rate while the Marine Corps came in at an 8.3% obesity rate, likely due, as notes, to the size and relative youth of its force.

This is part of worrying trend. According to the report, the obesity rate in the U.S. armed forces has gradually increased over the last five years (15.8% in 2014). While this far below the 39.8% obesity rate among the broader U.S. population, it's still worrying for services like the Army who continue to face mounting recruitment challenges.

"The high prevalence of obesity in the U.S. poses a serious challenge to recruiting and retaining healthy soldiers," according to the Army Public Health Center's own 2018 Health Of The Force report, noting that some 26% of enlistment-ready American adults between age 18 and 64 are classified as obese.

Indeed, obesity may prove among the Army's biggest enemies in the coming years. According to a 2018 report by Mission: Readiness, a bipartisan organization of 750 retired generals and admirals, an estimated 31% of all young Americans in prime enlistment age (17 to 24) do not qualify for military service due to obesity.

"Children as young as 2 are experiencing rising obesity rates, and these rates increase with age," Lt. Gen. Thomas Spoehr (Ret.) said at the time. "This demonstrates the need for obesity prevention beginning very early in life and continuing through high school and beyond."

Cheer, up sailors. At least there's ice cream!

(Air Force photo / Tech Sgt. Oneika Banks)

Kirtland Air Force Base isn't much different from the world beyond its gates when it comes to dealing with mental illnesses, a base clinical psychologist says.

Maj. Benjamin Carter told the Journal the most frequent diagnosis on the base is an anxiety disorder.

"It's not a surprise, but I anticipate about anytime in the population in America, about 20% of the population has some form of diagnosable anxiety disorder, and it's no different in the military," he said.

Leading the way among the anxiety disorders, he said, were post-traumatic stress disorder "or something like panic disorder or generalized anxiety disorder."

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(National Archives / Marine Corps Photo / WO Obie Newcomb, Jr., November 1943)

The DNA of a niece and nephew, who never met their uncle, has helped identify the remains of the Kansas Marine who died in WWII.

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency announced that 21-year-old U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Pfc. Raymond Warren was identified using DNA and circumstantial evidence. Warren had been buried in a cemetery in the Gilbert Islands, where he was killed when U.S. forces tried to take secure one of the islands from the Japanese.

The Battle of Tarawa lasted from Nov. 20 to Nov. 23, 1943, and claimed the lives of 1,021 U.S. marines and sailors, more than 3,000 Japanese soldiers and an estimated 1,000 Korean laborers before the U.S. troops seized control, the agency said.

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(U.S. Air Force photo by Staff. Sgt. Daniel Snider)

Arizona lawmakers are vowing to fight a plan by the Air Force to start retiring some of the nation's fleet of A-10 Thunderbolt II ground-attack jets — a major operation at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base — as part of a plan to drop some older, legacy weapon systems to help pay for new programs.

U.S. Sen. Martha McSally, R-Ariz., a former A-10 pilot, and U.S. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, D-Ariz., both vowed to fight the move to retire 44 of the oldest A-10s starting this year.

During a press briefing last week, Air Force officials unveiled plans to start mothballing several older platforms, including retiring some A-10s even as it refits others with new wings.

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MOSCOW/SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea, whose leader Kim Jong Un was filmed riding through the snow on a white stallion last year, has spent tens of thousands of dollars on 12 purebred horses from Russia, according to Russian customs data.

Accompanied by senior North Korean figures, Kim took two well-publicized rides on the snowy slopes of the sacred Paektu Mountain in October and December.

State media heralded the jaunts as important displays of strength in the face of international pressure and the photos of Kim astride a galloping white steed were seen around the world.

North Korea has a long history of buying pricey horses from Russia and customs data first reported by Seoul-based NK News suggests that North Korea may have bolstered its herd in October.

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Screenshot of a propaganda video featuring former Pakistani Taliban spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - A high-profile local Taliban figure who announced and justified the 2012 attack on teenage Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai has escaped detention, Pakistan's interior minister confirmed a few days after the militant announced his breakout on social media.

Former Pakistani Taliban spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan, who claimed responsibility on behalf of his group for scores of Taliban attacks, proclaimed his escape on Twitter and then in an audio message sent to Pakistani media earlier this month.

The Pakistani military, which had kept Ehsan in detention for three years, has declined to comment but, asked by reporters about the report, Interior Minister Ijaz Shah, said: "That is correct, that is correct."

Shah, a retired brigadier general, added that "you will hear good news" in response to questions about whether there had been progress in hunting down Ehsan.

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