Airmen assigned to the 1st Air and Space Communications Operations Squadron perform pushups during a physical training session on Ramstein Air Base, Germany, March 14, 2017. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Timothy Moore)

The topic of this week's opus is physical fitness, and that is laughably ironic considering this reporter could never meet any of the military services' height and weight standards. (Your humble narrator once considered opening a restaurant called "Pvt. Pyle's Forbidden Fruit," which would only sell jelly donuts.)

As you beloved readers likely already know, at least 31 percent of Americans between the ages of 17 and 24 are too overweight to serve in the military. For those young men and women who are physically fit enough to enlist or get commissioned, the rigors of initial training are only the first hurdle.

Once in the military, service members must regularly pass physical fitness tests, and as the Defense Department prepares to fight big wars again, some of the services have made their physical standards more demanding.

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Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein has ordered all units to take a day before Sept. 15 to focus on preventing airmen from taking their own lives.

"Suicide is an adversary that is killing more of our airmen than any enemy on the planet," Goldfein write in a July 31 memo to commanders, which Task & Purpose obtained. "You and I have sworn to 'defend against all enemies, foreign and domestic.' Suicide attacks sometimes with and without warning. Make this tactical pause matter. Make it yours and make it personal."

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AP Photo/John Locher

Editor's Note: This article by James Barber originally appeared on Military.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

Our list of essential gear for Area 51 raiders inspired a lot of discussion and commentary from Military.com readers and we've picked out a few of the best ideas and compiled them here.

A Facebook group called Storm Area 51, They Can't Stop All of Us has announced a plan to confront the Air Force on Friday, Sept. 20 and reveal just what the military is hiding in those secret labs out in the Nevada desert.

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(Northrop Grumman photo0
The Air Force's new B-21 Raider is set to fly sometime in December 2021, Air Force Magazine reported Wednesday, citing Air Force Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Stephen "Seve" Wilson.
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(DoD photo/Michael Romeo)

A military officer is reportedly willing to testify before lawmakers that Air Force Gen. John Hyten, who has been nominated to become the next vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, sexually assaulted her.

The Washington Post reported on Thursday that the unnamed officer stated she could agree to testify under oath to the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing, which is considering Hyten's nomination, that the Air Force general made unwanted sexual contact with her multiple times, including allegedly sexually assaulting her in December 2017.

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