Weight Loss For Marines

701 words | 3 page(s)

It is a well-known fact that, to join the Marines, a person should meet specific height and weight standards and to be physically fit. All Marine officers go through regular examinations during which it is checked whether they meet the weight and body requirements. In the recent years, these norms have got a tougher edge, and the careers of many Marines are under the threat of destruction. In the article “Weight Loss at Any Cost,” James Sanborn aims at attracting the attention of the Marines’ leaders and community to the dangerous weight-loss methods officers take being afraid to lose their jobs. In particular, he emphasizes that such high standards should be reconsidered since they put psychological pressure on people and force them to put their health at risk instead of promoting a healthy lifestyle. To convey his message, the author applies a great variety of evidence presented through three main oratorical techniques such as ethos, logos, and pathos.

One of the most effective strategies used to support the main idea of the article is the appeal to logic that presupposes the use of facts, figures, and statistics. In the following article, logos is presented by various historical notes, statistical data, and the analysis of the consequences of the height and weight standards enhancement. For instance, it is mentioned that before 2007, when a new measurement method was adopted, the number of cases when the Marines were discharged for weight-related issues was lower. In particular, in 2013, 72 officers had to leave the Marine Corps because their body proportions did not fit into the general standard. Moreover, the article also uses the results of a survey organized in Officer Candidate School. The relevance of the following strategy for the effectiveness of the article lies in the fact that it provides the readers with objective information about the problem on the basis of which they can develop their own attitudes towards it.

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Another effective strategy realized in the article mentioned above is the use of ethos that is an appeal to someone’s experiences and qualification. In fact, first, the author does not present his personal concerns about this problem and focuses the audience’s attention on the ideas expressed by the experts in the following area. In particular, he constructs the main argument on the facts and ideas received from the interviews with such personalities as Capt. Paula Taibi, a co-author of the aforementioned survey, and a fitness expert Tony Horton. By presenting the problem from different perspectives and including the opinion of the experts in its discussion, the author demonstrates objectivity and open-mindedness in the approach to the issue.

Finally, the article is also characterized by the numerous appeals to the emotions of the audience. For example, when they mention that some officers “wore sweat suits, didn’t eat for a week, took pills, and used enemas (Sanborn)” and made liposuction surgeries being afraid to lose their job, the purpose of this information is to shock the readers and to attract their attention to the problem. Moreover, the story of Daniel Ruf, who collapsed at the gym while wearing a sweat suit, aims at demonstrating people terrible consequences the problem may have for many Mariners if the community and the government do not solve it in the nearest time.

All the things considered, to convey the main message of the article “Weight Loss at Any Cost,” James Sanborn presents much evidence to show the supporting arguments and applies three main oratorical strategies to attract the readers’ attention, namely logos, ethos, and pathos. The first one is realized through the presentation of some statistics and results of the related researches, the second one – through the presentation of the experts’ opinions about the problem, and pathos is presented by means of tragic stories the officers who experienced severe health problems because of their attempts to lose weight. In my opinion, all these strategies are affective since they contribute to objectivity and persuasiveness of the article and help the author to gain its main aim – to bring the problem of extreme methods of weight loss among the Marines into the public eye.

  • Sanborn, James. “Weight Loss at Any Cost.” Military Times, 22 Mar. 2013, www.militarytimes.com/2013/03/22/weight-loss-at-any-cost-study-one-third-of-marines-use-extreme-measures-to-meet-corps-standards/.

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