Mission: Readiness is a group of senior retired military leaders that calls childhood obesity a national security issue because it compromises military recruiting. A report by the group says that one in four young Americans is too overweight to serve in the military. Military recruiters told 34-year-old Kevin Ammerman that he was one of them, so he lost 160 pounds in order to enlist in the US Army. He joins John Berman on “Early Start” this morning to talk about his mission accomplished.
Ammerman, whose younger brother is serving in the military, says he’s always talked about enlisting and grew up in a family with a lot of respect for the military. "That was one of the major reasons for me,” he says. A big key for losing weight for Ammerman was to have to want to do it, “and you have to do want to do it enough that you’ll write down what you’re eating.” Steps like this led him to his ultimate achievement, and the new recruit is now heading to boot camp.
Ammerman responds to the statistic from Mission: Readiness regarding 25% of young Americans are just too overweight to serve. “That’s a problem,” he says. “I’m actually able to outperform guys who are in their 20s...the battery of tests you have to take to determine what job you’re in, a lot of younger people are not scoring very high at all. And it’s kind of troubling."
Ammerman’s biggest personal fear heading into boot camp is that people may expect more from him because he is older than most recruits. “I’m worried I’ll let somebody down or something like that.”