Military Liposuction on the Rise to Pass Pentagon Fat Test

By Dr. Maurice Sherman, Del Mar Cosmetic Medical Center

According to an article in the AP, as the military downsizes because of budget cuts and the winding down of the war in Afghanistan, military members feel that they are under increased scrutiny and are afraid of losing their jobs. Failing the Pentagon’s body fat test (also known as the tape test) is one way that they can lose their jobs. So in this time of increased pressure, many soldiers are turning to crash diets—but there are also many who are turning to liposuction.

Defense officials claim the body fat test ensures the troops are prepared for combat, but many service members complain that the Defense Department’s “tape test” method isn’t fair. The test measures height, weight and waist circumference, and soldiers protest that the test doesn’t just eliminate flabby physiques but also bulkier, muscular bodies. Some fitness experts affirms the soldiers’ complaints by claiming that the Pentagon’s weight tables are outdated and do not reflect that changing body types of Americans, who may be bigger but not less healthy. Indeed, the insurance industry, as well as airlines and movie theaters realize that this generation and future generations are getting larger, taller, and more muscular, and more uncomfortable in conventional sized seats. Babies are larger at birth and grow faster due to better nutrition. It’s uncommon for grown offspring not to exceed their parents’ dimensions.

Ethnic variations also are not considered in military weight regulations, either. While serving in the Navy, I had to counsel many Hawaiians and Samoans about their apparent overweight condition. One gunny sergeant in the Marines told me he was about to be discharged short of his 20 years of service due to weight issues, although he passed all quarterly PT exams easily. “Have you ever seen a skinny Samoan, Doc” he moaned.

Although dismissal from the military is not guaranteed as a result from failing the test, there can be other serious consequences. Files indicate cases where Airmen who failed have fallen in rank. Furthermore, those who fail must spend months in an intense exercise and nutrition regime, which has been nicknamed by the Marines as the “pork chop platoon” and the “doughnut brigade.”

Consequently, some military members go on crash diets or workout to make their bodies more proportionate. However, some soldiers simply have the wrong genetics.  These are the ones that, according to my experience as well as many other cosmetic surgeons, “come in panicked about being kicked out or getting a demerit that will hurt their chances at a promotion,”

Military members, both men and women, have actually had commanders recommend surgery such as liposuction to personnel in their command.  They’ll probably deny that if you ask them, but they know some people are in really good shape and unfortunately are just built wrong, and the military will lose extensively trained and competent soldiers who sometimes can’t be replaced easily or inexpensively.

At our cosmetic surgery office, we support our troops, treat them with the respect they deserve, and offer special pricing for active duty as well as family members.  We also look forward to offering them in-depth education about these procedures, with individualized consultations to give them realistic expectations and help them discover what’s right for them.

Please visit our YouTube channel and our Facebook page. To ask questions or schedule an appointment, call us at 858-350-8400 or visit us online at

Related posts:

  1. New Generation of Non-Surgical Treatments in San Diego Promises Youthful Results, Reduced Downtime
  2. Breast Implants in San Diego: 10 Things You Need to Know Before Surgery
  3. Real Estate Inventory in San Diego: Working to Make the Sale
  4. Self-driving car technology approved for road use in California
  5. BMW recall: safety regulators find 16 crashes, five injuries in latest probe

Short URL:

Posted by Social Media Staff on Nov 30, 2013. Filed under Columns, Dr. Maurice Sherman, Sponsored Columns. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

Leave a Reply

La Jolla Community Calendar


Bottom Buttons 1

Bottom Buttons 2

Bottom Buttons 3

Bottom Buttons 4

Bottom Buttons 5

Bottom Buttons 6

RSS North Coastal News

  • Summer 2014 Carmel Valley Open Basketball League Champs: ‘Carmel Valley Spurs’ August 30, 2014
    On Aug. 18, the Carmel Valley Spurs defeated the Solana Beach Stray Cats, 67-41, in the 5th/6th grade championship game in the Master Sports Carmel Valley OPEN Basketball League. Over a 10-game season, the offense scored 659 points while giving up only 364 on defense. The average game score was 66-36. They had the best rebounders, best shooters, and best def […]
  • Hundreds turn out for Carmel Valley planning board meeting on One Paseo August 30, 2014
    Hearts and visions collided at the Aug. 28 Carmel Valley Community Planning Board meeting, where an overflow crowd turned out to debate the future of the last major slice of the community left to be developed. All 400 seats in Canyon Crest Academy’s theater were filled, and people spilled out into the aisles and crammed into standing-room only spots in the b […]
  • Del Mar Library book-to-movie club picks fall reads August 30, 2014
    Print Goes to the Movies, a book/movie discussion group held at the Del Mar Branch Library at 2 p.m. every second Friday, has announced its upcoming dates and movies. […]