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"American Military Recruits Are Getting Too Fat To Fight" Topic

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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP In the TMP Dawghouse13 Mar 2018 9:10 p.m. PST

"When thinking about the United States military, we conjure up images of Rambo and GI Jane, or Maverick and Iceman from Top Gun. The images are of lean, mean fighting machines who are ripped, fit and ready to take on America's enemies. Movies are one thing but reality paints a different picture.

A recent report from The Heritage Foundation describes trouble ahead for the U.S. military. Based on 2017 Pentagon data, three quarters of young Americans may be too unfit, unhealthy or otherwise unqualified to serve in the military.

Specifically, "71 percent of young Americans between 17 and 24 are ineligible to serve in the United States military." In other words, "24 million of the 34 million people of that age group cannot join the armed forces even if they wanted to."…."
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Oberlindes Sol LIC Supporting Member of TMP13 Mar 2018 9:32 p.m. PST

They were saying things like this in the 1970s, when I was getting out of high school.

I think we're just more forward looking than most. In the future, wars will be fought by guys sitting in bunkers in the Nevada desert, driving to work flying drones, and driving home to see their families. Being fat won't hinder their job performance.

Personal logo COL Scott ret Supporting Member of TMP14 Mar 2018 1:36 a.m. PST

While you may destroy your enemy with firepower alone, you have not won until you control the ground and that has to be done the same way it has been done for centuries…

…boots on the ground. However there is room for some grey area between Rambo and the Pillsbury doughboy.

KhivaJoe Inactive Member14 Mar 2018 2:47 a.m. PST

..and boots are another issue. In Britain the army learnt the hard way (and not through sociological studies) that many if not most recruits had never worn shoes in the lives – only trainers, nor used a toothbrush.
Still did a fair to middling job in Afghan, even if those social skills were taught by hairy arsed drill instructors and NCO's rather than families or the educational system…

Pan Marek Supporting Member of TMP14 Mar 2018 6:54 a.m. PST

The Heritage Foundation should remember this study when they advocate for more cuts to public education.

When faced with cuts, public school first get rid of physical education programs.

And 3/4? Please. Most of those in a proper exercise environment will get into shape. Don't we have boot camp anymore?

hocklermp514 Mar 2018 8:24 a.m. PST

in early 1966 at USMC Recruit Depot San Diego I flew out there with 85 guys, 82 were Draftees, 3 were Volunteers. The guys that were fat were put on a starvation diet and lost weight fast with that and all the PT. Guys that failed the PT Test were sent to the Physical Conditioning Platoon, myself included. They were swamped. Set up for about 80 Recruits there were close to 300 of us. PTd our A-double-SSs off, lifted weights and ran 3 miles every day. Lots of whining about how unfit the youth of America were but they dealt with it. Two weeks of that and back to a Recruit Platoon a different person. Diet and exercise work wonders.

Augustus14 Mar 2018 6:11 p.m. PST

Diet and exercise work.

Now all they need to do is work on the payrate.

Captain Avatar Inactive Member14 Mar 2018 7:33 p.m. PST

It is the Army's job (with a big A) to turn every male from ages 18-26 (and females who volunteer) from civilians into soldiers. That's why we have drill sergeants.

Legion 415 Mar 2018 6:58 a.m. PST

Even with no draft the US ARMY has to still be a little "picky" with civilians they are trying to make Soldiers. However, since your average individual who volunteers to join the military is in some part a reflection of the society it comes from.

As we see in this thread, and in the media, etc., in the USA many that are of Military/i.e. Draft age, the Pentagon, etc., reports about 71% of those would not make/pass the requirements to get into the military.

Of course I'm always a Big advocate of PT … followed by more PT … repeat …

And I am not an advocate of any type of draft, today. This is not our Fathers' or Grandfathers' society. It's an entire new paradigm. And based on my experiences in the US ARMY Infantry, '79-'90. I'd rather lead troops that volunteered to be there than being drafted. Again, today's the youth of the USA it not that of WWI, WWII, Korea or even Vietnam. Obviously …

Plus another consideration that our elected leaders don't want to broach. Is since all jobs in the military generally are opened to females if they can make the standards. The Pentagon has mentioned to Congress, etc., that all 18 year olds regardless of sex should have to sign up for the draft. Like many/most of us here did …

I think we all know why the elected leadership who many pushed for opening up all military jobs/MOSs to females. E.g. Combat Arms i.e. Infantry, Tanks, FA, etc. That many don't want their "little girl" to go into the military for a variety of reasons. Similar to Vietnam in that only the poor got drafted … Reality vs. idealism, pragmatism vs. PC(?) … me thinks … evil grin

zoneofcontrol Inactive Member23 Mar 2018 3:32 p.m. PST

Now a days that training of unfit recruits actually gets started with the recruiter before the subject leaves for basic. Up until a year ago I had a neighbor who was a fitness buff and professional personal trainer. He was contracted by the military to work with the local recruiting stations to help the incoming recruits that were out of shape.

He used to be out in rain or snow, heat or cold running around our housing development wearing high tech training gear including an Altitude Mask. I used to tease him about being Darth Vader. Really nice guy who loved his work.

Funny side note… he moved away and a guy on active duty bought the place. He lasted almost a whole year before getting transferred to a base out of state. The guy who purchased it from him is retired military. I'm afraid to get too friendly with him for fear of jinxing him too.

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