US Navy Relaxes Long-Held Discrimination
The US Navy took a broad step toward progress in January when it reconsidered a long held discriminatory policy, according to the Associated Press [emphasis added]:
The service branch loosened its body fat restrictions in January and is allowing those who failed their exams three or more times to get one more opportunity to be tested this spring under the more lenient guidelines.
This discrimination had reportedly begun to affect national security:
The Navy said it has been losing too many talented sailors. Some were resorting to liposuction, diet pills and other measures to save their careers.
According to the AP, the change was also targeted to a specific career field:
The changes are [an attempt] to recruit and retain talented people as it builds up its cyber-warfare strategy…
but it was not limited to the Navy:
There’s been talk in the Army of easing up on strict body fat requirements for its cyber-warriors, for example.
Apparently, cyberwarriors (and “drone operators”) were unfairly targeted with the current body fat restrictions. This was resulting in otherwise combat-experienced, self-sacrificing and all-around good-guy Sailors to be discharged, and given the state of global war in which the US finds itself, this discriminatory practice was potentially affecting national security.
It is admirable that the Navy now recognizes, at least in part, that one does not need to eat straight to be a good Sailor (presumably, they just need to swim straight). Further, no American should be denied the ability to serve their country — or be forced to live a lie through liposuction — merely because of how many calories they love.