With a number of officers and men looking out of shape in their uniforms and failing in physical tests, the Indian Army has waged a war against obesity in the force warning that such personnel would miss out on promotion, foreign postings and career enhancement courses in the force.
As per the new policy issued by Army last week on reducing obesity in the force, there would no place to hide for obese officers and men as senior officers have been granted powers to carry out random checks during their visits and medically downgrade such people after a thorough check up.
Indian Army New Rules To Fight Obesity
“We don’t want people to look shabby due to obesity and that is why, this policy aimed at cutting down waist and fat bellies has been issued after taking inputs from all the command headquarters,” a senior Army officer told Mail Today here.
“We don’t want our men to suffer from life style diseases caused due to obesity and anyways, such men would also impact operational effectiveness of men in field areas also,” they said. The policy letter, accessed by Mail Today, mentions that the increased weight beyond the acceptable limits would also be mentioned in the annual confidential records of the officers as their front and side-on pictures would be attached with the service documents by the senior officers.
Moreover, Commanding officers have now been given powers to refer officers to military hospitals, if they feel that any officer or jawan is looking obese or over-weight
“Personnel, who are otherwise in shape 1 (medically fit) but are found to be overweight at the time of interview (for appointment at important posts) are liable to be graded as rejected at the discretion of the screening committee and appropriate ban can be imposed on them till they regain their shape,” Army officers said. As per the policy, all directorates involved in deployment of officers for foreign postings have to make sure that no overweight officer is sent there.
“The commanding officer would be responsible for all personnel under his command in ensuring that no individual, who is obese, is permitted to go abroad unless he is in a specifically-exempted category, battle casualties or war wounded,” the policy states.
The force is coming down heavily on obese officers who are getting re-employed in Army after retirement. Such officers are given not many important tasks but many persons holding such offices don’t care about maintaining fitness, sources said.
“Officers who are obese will not be granted re-employment in the Army. Applications for re-employment will be accompanied by a certificate from the officer concerned that the individual is not 10 per cent over his weight and in absence of such a certificate, the application would be rejected,” the policy states.
The Army is also working to keep such over-weight persons away from award ceremonies. “Personnel who are obese will be debarred from receiving unit citation or escorting recipients who have to receive awards. In case of such officers or JCOs, the next senior fit person would receive those awards,” the policy said. However, the weight restriction would not be applicable on persons receiving gallantry awards. For awarding distinguished service awards, Army headquarters has clearly stated that recommendations for such officers would not be initiated unless they are in the exempt category.
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