CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — According to the Heritage Foundation, of the 34 million young Americans who could serve in the military, more than 24 million are ineligible.
This could compromise national security.
Among the many factors that can keep those from enlisting include obesity. Those looking to join must pass a physical exam and meet weight limits.
“If you can't do or uphold the part you’re doing, it could cost him or her or somebody else their life in combat,” Randall Lasobrook says.
Marine Corps veteran Lasobrook says the Marine Corps offered assistance to help those considering enlisting meet their target weight.
“They went through a certain thing to get the weight off of him," says Lasobrook. "If he couldn’t get the weight off they were basically released.”
Coast Guard Lt. Commander Grant Johnson says each service has different fitness standards.
“Law enforcement it might be a mile and a half run , push-ups and sit-ups," he says. "You have to meet requirements based on your age and your gender, for rescue swimmer it would be different and for more tactical teams even more stringent.
“I don’t think that the younger generation has stopped wanting to help people, so I don’t think the Coast Guard attractiveness has changed in that regard."
For those looking to enlist in the Coast Guard, a recruiter can answer questions as well as prepare recruits for the next phase.
“If you need to lose 10 pounds to be eligible for basic training those recruitment specialist, they’ll meet you after work or after school and will work out with you for two months,” Johnson said.
Some of the minimum physical fitness requirements for the Coast Guard include doing a number of push-ups in 1 minute, along with sit-ups, completing a 1.5 mile run, and completing a swim circuit.
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