According to a Rockville plastic surgeon, Adam Tattelbaum, alarmingly large numbers of troops contact him to request liposuction. Many in the military are turning to this otherwise last ditch resort in order to remove excess fat from around their waist and neck areas.
The troops do this in a desperate attempt to avoid demotion and, in some cases, to get a promotion. The rigorous tests on body fat by the Pentagon on the neck and waist can determine that soldiers’ future prospects in the military.
Tattelbaum spoke about the troops panic when they request liposuction from him: “They come in panicked about being kicked out or getting a demerit that will hurt their chances at a promotion.”
Troops have complained that the strict Pentagon tests penalize not just fatter people but also those with more muscular builds, due to the way it estimates body fat on the whole.
Many fitness experts agree that the Pentagon‘s weight calculations are antiquated and need a revamp. This is mainly because Americans on the whole are bigger in build than they were when the weight tables were produced.
The military claims that the its tests are correct and ensure troops are the optimum size and build for battle. Even though liposuction is not banned officially, the army does not like the idea of troops getting liposuction to pass their tests.
Bill Moore, director of the Navy’s Readiness Program, said: “We want everybody to succeed. This isn’t an organization that trains them and says, ‘Hey, get the heck out.’”
The number of overweight soldiers in the army has grown steadily over the last five years from 168 in 2008 to a massive 1,815. In the Marines the figure nearly doubled for the same period.
Dr. Michael Pasquale of Aloha Plastic Surgery said about the troops requests for liposuction: “I’ve actually had commanders recommend it to their troops. They’ll deny that if you ask them. But they know some people are in really good shape and unfortunately are just built wrong.”
It is not clear what is the exact number of troops who get liposuction in order to promote their careers in the military, or for those who do it just to keep their jobs.