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The Navy beats out the Air Force as the fattest branch, somehow
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 Military.com 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!
The command chief of the 20th Fighter Wing at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, was removed from his position last month after his chain of command received evidence he disrespected his subordinates.
Editor's Note: The following is an op-ed. The opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Task & Purpose.
The "suck it up and drive on" mentality permeated our years in the U.S. military and often led us to delay getting both physical and mental health care. As veterans, we now understand that engaging in effective care enables us not just to survive but to thrive. Crucially, the path to mental wellness, like any serious journey, isn't accomplished in a day — and just because you need additional or recurring mental health care doesn't mean your initial treatment failed.
Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Radio Free Europe/Radio Free Liberty.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has called on the security alliance's allies to maintain and strengthen their "unity," saying the organization is "the only guarantor of European and transatlantic security."
Stoltenberg told reporters on November 19 that NATO "has only grown stronger over the last 70 years" despite "differences" among the allies on issues such as trade, climate, the Iran nuclear deal, and the situation in northeastern Syria.
He was speaking at the alliance's headquarters in Brussels on the eve of a NATO foreign ministers meeting aimed at finalizing preparations for next month's summit in London.
WASHINGTON — More than $35 million of the roughly $400 million in aid to Ukraine that President Donald Trump delayed, sparking the impeachment inquiry, has not been released to the country, according to a Pentagon spending document obtained by the Los Angeles Times.
Instead, the defense funding for Ukraine remains in U.S. accounts, according to the document. It's not clear why the money hasn't been released, and members of Congress are demanding answers.
The admiral in charge of Navy special operators will decide whether to revoke the tridents for Eddie Gallagher and other SEALs involved in the Navy's failed attempt to prosecute Gallagher for murder, a defense official said Tuesday.
The New York Times' David Philipps first reported on Tuesday that the Navy could revoke the SEAL tridents for Gallagher as well as his former platoon commander Lt. Jacob Portier and two other SEALs: Lt. Cmdr. Robert Breisch and Lt. Thomas MacNeil.
The four SEALs will soon receive a letter that they have to appear before a board that will consider whether their tridents should be revoked, a defense official told Task & Purpose on condition of anonymity.