“Military Members Resorting to Liposuction” by Dr. Broder
by Austin Cosmetic Surgeon Lawrence Broder
In most practices the extent of someone’s physical condition is determined using the body mass index, which considers factors like height and weight. When measuring body fat, the best known method is through a hydrostatic body fat test. The United States military employs neither of these methods and instead relies on a piece of yellow tape to determine body fat composition in what is known as the tape test. This test can be quite stressful and has turned many military personnel towards a fast and easy solution-liposuction.
Failing the Tape Test
This test is considered unfair among many men and women in all branches of the military due to its lack of consideration for genetic body shapes, stubborn fat, and/or an over-abundance of muscle. The tape test is performed by the Department of Defense (DOD) during admission/succession or potentially anytime thereafter. The test is administered by measuring the circumference of the neck and waist areas. Failure may result in freezing promotions or expulsion from the military if failed three times. With budget cuts and downsizing, many military personnel are terrified that this test may permanently halt their military service.
Body composition data from the military branches is as follows:
- Army: In 2008, 168 soldiers were dismissed for being overweight whereas 1815 were dismissed in 2013.
- Marine Corps: In 2010, 102 troops were dismissed, in 2011, 186 were dismissed, and in 2012 132 were dismissed
- Navy: In comparison to the physical readiness test (PRT) and body fat test for every 100 sailors that failed the PRT in 2004, 105 failed the body fat test. In 2013, for every 100 PRT failures there were 149 body composition failures.
- Air Force: In 2012, 1.9% of personnel failed the body composition test while 2.3% failed it in 2013.
Clearly there is an upward trend in our service members being rejected due to body fat requirements. Currently there is movement to change the testing procedures to account for those who may have a bulky build but are indeed in good physical shape. For now, many military members are relying on liposuction procedures to help pass military requirements.
Turning to Liposuction
In the 21st century liposuction has evolved into a procedure that involves low pain, little downtime, and fast results. It is the ultimate way to contour the body and remove unwanted fat that does not go away with diet and exercise.
For military personnel who exercise regularly but still have pockets of fat deposited in crucial areas measured during the tape test, liposuction has proven to be the perfect solution. As the military continues to shrink and the requirements become stricter and stricter, liposuction among those in the military is only expected to keep growing.