Toulmin Essay Obesity In The Military

Submitted By Christopher-Lumpiesz
Words: 1675
Pages: 7

Christopher B. Lumpiesz
ENGL102 I010 Fall 14
American Military University
Alyse Lehrke
Obesity in the Military
The military must be able to deploy on a moment’s notice wherever called upon, even in the most extremely harsh and demanding conditions. Physical fitness, therefore, is important in military occupations. Health issues such as obesity can pose certain problems to the military. This is because excess weight, for instance, can lead to stress and more injuries like sprains and fractures in training or in the field. Obesity does not just jeopardize job performance, but it has a major effect on recruitment as well of having an increasing rise in health care cost. Unfortunately, there is an alarming rate of obesity in the military, which ultimately causes struggle within the ranks. In fact, TRICARE, the military health insurance program, spends $1.1 billion annually treating obesity-related illness (Dall, et al.). In all of these, the prevalence of obesity in the military is a key indicator of the military’s health and its potential performance in the field. Obesity in the military may be addressed by requiring soldiers to undergo regular weight checks and training designed to keep their body mass index in check so that, ultimately, they can perform at their best. To be sure, not everyone can join the ranks of the military. Upon entry into the Armed Forces of the United States, soldiers accept the standards that must be met. These standards include a minimum score on the APFT and standards on height and weight, among others (Maxwell). With the increase in the rate of obesity, the military is now forcing commanders to get rid of those who cannot uphold the military standards of weight control. Not only is the military losing those with weight issues but is also now cutting into recruiting numbers. In other words, recruits that do not pass the weight standards will most likely be removed from active service. The problem is that obese soldiers can cause problems during training and once they are already deployed in the field. Since excessive weight slows down the movements of soldiers, those deployed in the field can face the risk of injury and even death by enemy fire. Even those who are merely undergoing training can suffer from injuries as a result of their limited mobility. Ultimately, the problems associated with obesity in the military can affect the overall capability and performance of the Armed Forces. The main solution is to require soldiers to undergo regular weight checks and training designed to keep their body mass index in check. The weight checks can be conducted at least twice a year or once every six months. If possible, the military can conduct monthly weight checks on its ranks so that it can keep a closer track of the weight of its members. The point is to ascertain that the soldiers who are starting to gain weight will have ample time to address their situation by undergoing training meant to cut down their weight. Thus, those who are identified as needing intervention will have to place themselves under routine training specifically designed for weight loss as well as routine medical checkups. The military can enlist the assistance of trainers in the private sector specializing in weight loss (Glassman, et al.). If not, the military can enlist some of its own personnel to lead the weight training of its affected soldiers. In addition, their nutrition should also be kept in check by serving them with healthy food (Hill, Fallowfield, Price and Wilson). Apparently, discharging soldiers who are obese can reduce the number of personnel in the military. This may have a dire consequence on the military’s performance, especially since the military is in a state of constant deployment within the country as well as overseas. With fewer numbers, the military will have to find a way to fill in the inadequacy of soldiers in the battlefield. Otherwise, the military deployed in the field may be outnumbered and