To reel in more recruits, the US Army is relaxing weight restrictions on would-be soldiers. A waiver program gives outsize volunteers a year after signing up to get in shape, measured by body-mass index, or be booted, the Christian Science Monitor reports. With the youthful population consuming more and exercising less, and the military planning to expand, something had to give.
In its trial run, the program added some 1,500 soldiers to its ranks in fiscal 2007, and showed failure rates no higher than in the main recruiting pool. Waiver applicants have to pass a minimal fitness test designed to weed out hopeless cases. "The point is to get the football-player kinda kids, not the couch-potato kids," says a recruiting expert.