Concerns about altering the height and weight requirements have been raised frequently to Sgt. Major. from the Army Michael Grinston as he’s visited various military locations over the past few weeks, Grinston said last week at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Standards haven’t been reviewed for over 30 years and Grinston acknowledged that while initially, he thought that soldiers were seeking to “get larger,” he found that the real question was “Do you have proper height and weight tables?”
“The reason is that it was time to examine it,” Grinston said. “What technologies are we using today that weren’t available thirty years ago? There’s an abundance of technology that’s new however, are we able to afford it? What is the difference between it and older technology? We do not know. This is the main reason for the research.”
The Army’s study, that is conducted in collaboration with the U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine as well as the Army Center for Initial Military Training It was first announced during July and started in Fort Bragg on Oct. 18. Officials announced in the last week that they anticipate that it will take about six-to-9 months to complete before the changes will be suggested to the top Army officials.
At present, Army Regulation 600-9 offers soldiers an information table which explains the weight they can carry depending on your height, gender and age. A male soldier aged 22 who is six feet tall for instance, can weigh up to 200 pounds. A female soldier of 19 who stands five feet may carry up to 128 pounds.
However, soldiers have claimed that that the current standards are out of date and do not take into account changes in body shapes, particularly because they are based on the body mass index, a scale developed around 200 years ago and, according to experts, is not accurate.
The study conducted by volunteers in Fort Bragg is designed to examine if there’s something in this critique, and if the old measurement should be altered. Active duty soldiers and members of the Army Reserve, and National Guard are able to request their body composition evaluated using various methods within the study. The methods used include a full body DXA scan which is regarded as to be the “gold benchmark in the world of fitness and health” as per Matt Bartlett, the project coordinator for the study. The DXA scan is a way to measure things such as the mass of muscles, fat mass as well as the density of bone minerals.
“Another reason we believe it to be to be the best choice is that it’s extremely precise at different levels and is prone to little human error” Bartlett said. “For many other measurement methods, particularly tapping, they can be prone to human error and all that sort of thing. It has been in use for a long time and has held up to the tests of time.”