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    Too Heavy to Fight? How the Army Is Combating the Obesity Crisis to Find Recruits

    Too Heavy to Fight? How the Army Is Combating the Obesity Crisis to Find Recruits

    JACKSON, South Carolina — Pvt. David Dean weighed 320 lbs. when he went to visit a National Guard recruiter. A West Virginia plumber by trade, he wanted to prove to himself that he could serve, and he'd always wanted to put on the uniform.

    “I could never get in because I was overweight,” Dean said.

    He visited the recruiter to see just how much he needed to shave off to be eligible to serve and the kind of workouts the Army demands.

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    To his surprise, the recruiter was able to get him into the ranks, but with a catch. Dean would have to go to the Army's new Future Soldier Preparatory Course at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. There, new recruits have 90 days to lose enough weight to meet the Army standard and be shipped off to basic training. If not, they are separated from the service and sent home.

    Pvt. David Dean graduated basic training as the top soldier in his class. (Steve Beynon/.com)

    Dean lost enough weight at the program to progress into basic training, where he lost the rest over the course of 10 weeks. On Wednesday, Dean graduated from basic training and was honored as the top soldier of his class.

    He now weighs 250 lbs. and scored a 570 on the Army Combat Fitness Test, or , out of 600. That score is far above the average and demonstrates that Dean can deadlift heavy…

    Continue Reading This Article At Military.com

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