Ministries of Defense and Interior determine weights of officers

Officers compete at gyms to lose weight

Nasiriya, November 2022: Physical fitness and health safety examination at a center for the Iraqi army. Ministry of Defense

By KirkukNow

Currently, the trending story among Iraqi officers is weight loss. No one is of his own free will anymore, all are attending sports halls in order to loose weight.

Sports halls in Kirkuk Northern Province are crowded with soldiers, army officers and security forces who have been forced to lose weight according to the decision of the Iraqi federal government in order to remain in the ranks of the army and security institutions.

The new Iraqi government, which took office in late October 2022, headed by Mohammed Shia Sudani, decided to reorganize the weight of officers and soldiers of the army and security forces under the Ministries of Defense and Interior age.

For example, for a height of 162 to 172 centimeters cm, the weight of an officer should range between 66 to 85 kilograms kg, depending on the age. If the person is the same height and is between 40 and 49 years old, he should weigh between 74 and 81 kg.

According to government standards, which are generalized to all military and security units and offices, the older the officer, the more weight is allowed.

"You see, we are overweight according to the standards and we need to lose weight," an Iraqi army officer with the rank of lieutenant anonymously said in one of the gyms in Kirkuk.

He is 37 years old and 178 cm tall. According to government standards, his maximum weight should be 83 kg but he is currently 102 kilograms, so he needs to lose 19 kg in three months.

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Kirkuk, December 2022: One of the gyms at the center of the city. KirkukNow

"I have to cut down on my food in addition to exercising. I eat salads most of the time in the evening. I cut down on bread, rice and some other foods,” he explained his plan.

"In this way, our expense for food are less, but we have added up another burden," he said with a smile in reference to monthly subscription in gyms.

A source in charge of security in the security forces of the Ministry of Defense in Daquq district, on the condition of anonymity, said the daily talk about weight loss.

“The Ministry of Defense is very insistent on implementing this decision and we all adhere to the criteria set.”

We all adhere to the criteria set

The decision is currently being implemented as a first step among officers. Initially, lieutenant officers in all military units have been weighed and given the appropriate weight to reach within three months.

This week, lieutenant officers have been weighed and in the next weeks, lieutenant colonels up to the ranks of unit commanders are scheduled to weigh.

"Once they are finished, the decision will be implemented among the soldiers as well," the source said.

But gyms in Kirkuk province are even full of overweight soldiers who have not yet been determined the right weight.

"I want to work on losing weight now before the decision reaches us," a soldier said in a gym.

According to the Iraqi government's criteria, the minimum weight in both the Ministry of Defense and Interior should be 57 kg, the maximum weight should be 110 kg, according to height and age.

The decision is that the weight, height and age of the people are first determined, but they are told the appropriate weight, after a month the same process is repeated with them again and this process continues for three months.


An Iraqi army force in a training unit. Iraqi Defense Ministry

"According to the decision, if we do not reach the appropriate weight after three months, we will be retired and leave the military and security forces," the senior army source added.

According to the applicable Iraqi laws and regulations, physical fitness and health safety requirements will be taken into account for the recruitment of anyone in the security and military services.

According to the decision, if we do not reach the appropriate weight after three months, we will be retired

According to Article 47 of the Military Service and Pension Law No. 3 of 2010, as amended, a person can be retired from the military if he is proved unfit for his profession, or if he does not comply with the protocol and procedures of military service.

According to Article 45 of the same law, sergeants to first lieutenants are retired at the age of 50 to 63, and soldiers at the age of 50.

"Our gym is crowded compared to a few months ago. Many of those who visit us are from the army and security forces, and most of them come to lose weight," said Mazen Mohammed, owner of a gym in Kirkuk province.

“People generally come to exercise, but members of the army and security forces have the first goal of losing weight.”

For a height of 174 to 190 cm, an officer should weigh between 74 and 102 kg so if an officer aged 25 to 29 years-old, should weigh between 77 to 90 kg, if he or she is 174 to 190 cm tall.

"I work out in this gym four days a week. If I have time, I come every day," said an army officer, unauthorized to speak to media, at one of the gyms,

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