Hit by the alarming problem of obesity within its ranks, the Indian Army has introduced a fresh set of stringent rules to fight the problem. The new regime, which aims to address the expanding waistlines of Army personnel, will bar overweight personnel from career advancements and foreign postings, among other measures.
The new set of rules, prescribed by the Army Headquarters, terms overweight personnel as a “public embarrassment due to slovenly appearance in uniform”, an ET report said.
“The issue has serious ramifications, not only affecting combat readiness but also leading to avoidable ailments resulting in reduced life span in addition to public embarrassment due to slovenly appearance in uniform,” Economic Times quoted the set of instructions sent to all commands on August 8.
The new rules will also have a significant impact on the postings and promotions of officers. As per the report, the Army wants to bar overweight personnel from receiving unit citations or act as escorts at award ceremonies. Awards will also be received by the senior most fit officers of the unit, besides losing the opportunity to apply for reemployment.
Significantly, the Army also proposes not to recommend overweight personnel for distinguished service awards.
The proposed measures, which have been sent for comments to all Army Commands, further state that personnel ‘appearing’ to be overweight will be evaluated by Army doctors and a 10 per cent obesity above ideal levels will be recorded in their annual reports. ACRs will also include front and side profiles of all personnel, the instructions read.
The move comes on the back of the Army chief telling officers at a meeting that even some commanding officers and brigade commanders were not fit. Moreover, the Army chief believes that this has kept some of them from visiting difficult posts, the report said.
The concentrated effort is a personal initiative of Army chief Dalbir Singh, who is known for his outstanding fitness and runs 10 km daily.