Indian Air Force to rebuff fat airmen
New Delhi: In serious combat mode against the battle of the bulge, the Indian Air Force is mulling a policy that will rule out its obese airmen promotions and career enhancement programmes, being considered for ceremonial events. They will also be excluded from coveted foreign postings like in the UN peacekeeping missions, as defence attaches and air attaches in diplomatic missions abroad besides many training opportunities and other courses.
The obesity aspect and the overall fitness issue of IAF personnel figured prominently during the IAF commanders’ conference held in New Delhi from April 19 to 21.
IAF following in Army’s footsteps
“The IAF is strongly emphasizing on obesity management. On finalization, obese IAF personnel cannot be commanding units, cannot be put on ceremonial duties or go on overseas assignments and be considered for promotions,” sources familiar with the development told this newspaper.
On being contacted, the IAF spokesperson declined to offer any comment on the issue. Defined as accumulation of excess body fat, the obesity factor would be considered in the periodic medical check-ups that the IAF men have to undergo. Anyone found to be having a body mass index (BMI) count of more than 30 is considered obese while a count of 25-30 is considered overweight.
Besides looking sloppy, excess weight leads to a lot of health ailments and is in variance with the dictum of the forces to be combat-ready at all times. The IAF is following the footsteps of the Indian Army which issued a special order in March detailing similar steps against its obese personnel.