The Navy has previously said they had been losing too many talented sailors due to the fitness rules and some were even resorting to liposuction and diet pills to save their careers.
The changes are the latest by the military looking to improve its ability to recruit and retain talented people as it builds up its cyber-warfare strategy and faces competition from a rebounding economy.
A 2014 Pentagon study found that roughly two-thirds of Americans would not qualify to enlist in the armed services as a result of health problems, obesity and the failure to complete a high school education.
Navy Secretary Ray Mabus said the service is not lowering standards but rather adjusting to reality.
I understand the rationale, but it still reminds me of an alcoholic who vows never to drink before 5:00 pm, and then finds himself drinking upon awakening: he’s not lowering his standards, he’s “adjusting to reality”.