The Army is Having Trouble Getting Recruits Because Kids Are Too Fat

The military requires their volunteers to be in peak physical condition. As might be expected, there are certain minimum requirements that applicants must adhere to to be accepted. But many of today’s youth can’t meet these requirements, according to a recent survey. For the first time in years, the Army is having a recruitment issue all due to a fitness crisis.

The Heritage foundation concluded in their study that 70 percent of today’s youth from the ages of 17 to 24 are ineligible to join the Army because they can’t meet the weight requirements.

“Put another way: Over 24 million of the 34 million people of that age group cannot join the armed forces — even if they wanted to,” said retired Lt. Gen. Thomas Spoehr in the article “The Looming National Security Crisis: Young Americans Unable to Serve in the Military.”

To combat this ever-growing trend of obesity, the Army is looking to “fundamentally change the culture of fitness in the military,” Military.com reported. Many who do make it through basic training, typically find themselves injured after overexerting themselves.

In fact, over 100,000 active military members are unable to deploy because of the injuries they sustained in training exercises.

Two former Army Rangers spoke to Men’s Health about their take on this phenomenon that has plagued the United States in recent years. Adrian Bonenberger and Randy Collins think the Army is using an outdated method to specify what is acceptable to become a member of the military.

“The most important part of ‘Army fitness’ is actually mental endurance,” Bonenberger said. “Much of the training that goes into shaping young soldiers and officers is conditioning them to push through pain and stress.

The Army seems to agree with the two ranger’s assertions as there have been reports that they are now looking at changing the test a soldier must complete before graduation from basic training.

In a possible new test, applications would be asked to flip tires of various weights and to be able to carry a human-sized dummy a certain distance, Men’s Health reported. The test would be more focused on the actual physical activities that a cadet might expect on the job.