The number of overweight active duty service members is on the rise.
It comes at a time when a shrinking defense budget is forcing commanders to keep only the best soldiers.
Now soldiers and recruiters are doing what they can to keep our Army fit and to hang onto their jobs.
The number of obese or overweight service members more than tripled over the past decade.
That's according to the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center.
And the Washington Post reports the Army has kicked out more than 1,500 troops for being out of shape this year.
That's 15 times the amount from five years ago.
"Obesity is definitely on the rise, and due to the cutbacks that are on the way for the military, that's one of the first places they're going to look at," says CW2 Eric Mitchell, as he spent his lunch break lifting weights at the Gold's Gym just outside of Fort Hood.
SPC Carlos Abirasniette hits the gym in the middle of the day too, keeping in mind, his job depends on physical fitness.
"Not only me, my wife kind of worries about that kind of stuff, so we try to eat healthy, workout, pretty much trying to keep my job," said Carlos.
Carlos and Eric seem to have the right idea.
Even local recruiters are stepping things up when it comes to physical fitness.
"We actually just upped our standard. We were allowing 26 percent body fat, and we just reduced that down to 24 percent body fat for 18 to 21-year olds," said local Army Recruiter SSG Scott Rosignol.
The U.S. Army Recruiting Command says health-related issues are the number one reason it turns away applicants.
Army Recruiter SFC Cedric Goree said, "Staying physically fit, mentally fit, mentally sharp, that's one of the main keys if you want to be a soldier in the United States Army."
"A healthy and fit force is essential to national security," said CMDR Leslie Hull-Ryde, a Pentagon spokeswoman. "Our service members must be physically prepared to deploy on a moment's notice anywhere on the globe to extremely austere and demanding conditions."
Eric says he'll push as hard as he needs to to remain a part of that Army.
"I don't want anyone else to carry my slack for me. If I can't carry my own weight, then I need to find another job." he said.
It's important to note that there are a lot of different opinions about the Army's physical fitness standards.
KCEN HD started a dialogue on our Facebook page, and you can join in and see what others have to say.
Reporter/Photographer: Sophia Stamas email@example.com