Friday, September 9, 2011

Is the Army physically fit for warfare?

Unfit Army? Survey finds 30% overweight
Durgesh Nandan Jha, TNN Sep 5, 2011, 01.07am IST

NEW DELHI: A study on the health of Indian Army personnel has thrown up worrying results. Four out of five personnel surveyed, including officers, were found suffering from pre-hypertension, about a third were overweight and two-thirds had low levels of good cholesterol (HDL), caused by lack of exercise.
The sample survey was conducted by the defence ministry and Indian Council of Medical Research on 767 'healthy' personnel including 130 officers. Their ages ranged from 18 to 50 years.
The study also found a majority of the personnel had bad eating habits. Most of them added salt or pickle to their food and used ghee/butter regularly.
Unfit Army

Letter to Times of India by Brig Lakshman Singh (Retd)
UNFIT ARMY –screamed the headline from the front page of the Monday Times of India.
The second or the third larges standing Army in the World discredited based on a sample survey of 767. How many of the sample were from Arms and how many from Services, how many of the surveyed were deployed in field and how many in peace stations how many married and staying with the family, was the ethnic background also taken into consideration.
I retired long back from the army, there used to tests for physical fitness like BPET and PPT, annual medical examinations both for officers and the men. The nature of job, as such, created stress and to relieve it that were regular games and sports, music on radio and magazines newspapers, books and also Sanik Sammelans, where the Commanding Officer addressed the unit personnel once a month.
Has everything changed in the present day army, I do wonder: not possible to my mind.
If Army is unfit, the reason has to be found some where else. In September of 1962 we, of Seven Brigade ocated at Tawang, ill-equipped and ill clothed for winter, with no snow clothing available, in woollen jersey and angora shirt, for fighting at the heights of 16000 feet plus, for personal arms the troops had the, World War Two, 303 Le-Enfield rifle with 50 rounds of ammunition and the units without digging tools, barbed -wire, mines and no Artillery support, were told to take on the Chinese.
Possibly equipment wise with modernising lagging behind for one reason or other, things are no batter even now. If Army is unfit one has to seek the reason somewhere else.
I would also suggest your copywriter to be slightly more discreet ‘Eye Catching’ head lines look good but can be damaging to the institutions in the eyes of the Nation,

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