Portugal’s Armed Forces preparing to revise height stipulations for new recruits

Recruits can be ‘even smaller’: 1.54m, with a tolerance of 3cm in all specialities and categories

In the vice-grip of a very serious crisis in recruitment, Portugal’s Armed Forces are preparing to lower the minimum height of recruits by 6 cms.

This is the opening paragraph of a story in Correio da Manhã today, which suggests Portugal’s military could end up being among the smallest in the world.

Right now, the minimum height for a man entering the Armed Forces is 1.60m (5 foot 2 inches), with 1.56m for women (5 foot 1 inch).

But according to CM, new minimums, for both sexes, will be passing to just 1.54m, translating into just 5 foot, “with a tolerance of three centimetres in all specialties and categories” – suggesting certain recruits will be taken on if they don’t quite reach 5 foot.

Military sources heard by the paper “have been critical” of this move, pointing out that the reasons behind the crisis in recruitment has nothing to do with people being excluded due to their lack of stature, but more with the paltry pay and conditions offered.

In services like the PSP and GNR police, for example, candidates have to be a lot taller: men are required to be at least 1.65m (5 foot 4 inches), and women must be at least 1.60m.

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Portugal Resident