The world’s third largest Army, the Indian Army has announced new measures to ensure that the men in the force stay in tip-top shape and do not become overweight. If officers become overweight, they will not be eligible for promotions, cannot attend ceremonial functions and also face the risk of transfers.
The new measures form a part of the Army’s zero-tolerance policy towards obesity after a recent survey found that one-third of all the surveyed soldiers were overweight. An unfit army raises questions on how fit the soldiers are for combat.
Effective from May, all officers will be required to undergo an annual ‘obesity evaluation examination’ and their annual confidential reports (ACRs) will now have full-size pictures instead of passport size so that any bulges around the waist are instantly visible. Any army-man weighing 10% above the ‘ideal body weight’ will ineligible for promotions.
If the promotion order is issued before the ACR report comes out, the concerned officer will not be able to wear the titles of the next rank until the commanding officer certifies that he has lost weight and is now at the ideal weight.
According to reports, the idea came from previous Army Chief General Dalbir Singh Suhag who was ‘appalled’ by the obesity of the men under his command.