LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- A Las Vegas Army recruiter said that less than 30 percent of today’s youth are eligible for military service.

Not meeting the military’s height and weight requirements are the number one disqualifier.

One year ago, Luis Pinto wouldn’t have been eligible. Today, he is.

"I went over the requirements and everything I'd need and the only thing holding me back was my weight, so I knew that something needed to be done," said Pinto.

Pinto was 317 lbs when he walked into the recruitment office for the first time. He walked out knowing he wanted to serve.

"And then first two weeks he came in, he was already down to like, 298 so you know he'd been working," said his recruiter.

"I'd always been a big kid,” said Pinto. “I played football in high school and was a lineman. I was always one of those big guys walking around campus and I guess I got used to that which probably isn't the best thing."

Pinto dedicated the next 7 months to losing more than 110 lbs. Now, his recruiter calls him Private Pinto because Luis did it – and now he says he’s ready.

"Knowing that you're about to leave your family and there are sacrifices but, to know what you're doing is for the better of you and for your future. That overtakes everything,” said Pinto. “You're doing something important for the world."

Copyright 2019 KVVU (KVVU Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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