For the first time in 16 years, the FBI is requiring that its agents pass a fitness test.
The agents, FBI director James B. Comey said in October in an internal memo to agents that was obtained by The New York Times, are symbols to Americans of what is “right and good” about the country. “I want you to look like the squared-away object of that reverence. I want the American people to be able to take one glance at you and think, ‘THERE is a special agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.’ ”
The tests, which started at the end of last year, are a return to a tradition begun by the bureau’s first director, J. Edgar Hoover, who obsessed about his agents’ weight, as well his own, the Times wrote. More significantly, the tests are a response to concerns throughout the bureau about how its transformation after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, has put more stress on the agents and given them less time for fitness.