75% of America's youth unwanted by Uncle Sam

Joseph Finlay
Since the end of the draft in 1973, the all-volunteer US military has been without peer in deploying superior fighting men and women able to meet the physical and mental demands of modern combat and its ever-advancing technological and asymmetrical component.   The quality of the Soldier, Airman, Sailor, or Marine is doubtless the dominant factor in securing victory or defeat in any military action -- leaving out the variable or political leadership.

With America stretched on two fronts in Iraq and Afghanistan, troubling and perhaps culturally-indicting news comes from a recent Army study indicating that 75% of America's youth are unfit to join the armed services due to physical, educational, or moral deficiencies. Andrea Stone writes in Sphere:

Are America's youth too fat, dumb or dishonest to defend the nation against its enemies?

The latest Army statistics show a stunning 75 percent of military-age youth are ineligible to join the military because they are overweight, can't pass entrance exams, have dropped out of high school or had run-ins with the law.

So many young people between the prime recruiting ages of 17 and 24 cannot meet minimum standards that a group of retired military leaders is calling for more investment in early childhood education to combat the insidious effects of junk food and inadequate education.

"We've never had this problem of young people being obese like we have today," said Gen. John Shalikashvili, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

He calls the rising number of youth unfit for duty a matter of national security. "We should be concerned about how this will impact this overstretched Army and its ability to recruit."

A society is only as viable and healthy as its next generation will make it. Certainly cultural relativism and the failure of America's public schools account for much of this descent into physical, mental, and moral obesity among the millenials. However, the old adage "it starts at home" may be the most glaring conclusion to make. America would not be the first civilization to decline due to physical and moral flabbiness as the barbarians assemble at the gate.

Update from David Paulin:
  The report is not an "Army study" as is claimed. It's from a private non-profit group: "Mission Readiness."  I'm not sure if the group is using Army statistics; it seems that they are. Of course, you can get statistics to say whatever you want.
Since the end of the draft in 1973, the all-volunteer US military has been without peer in deploying superior fighting men and women able to meet the physical and mental demands of modern combat and its ever-advancing technological and asymmetrical component.   The quality of the Soldier, Airman, Sailor, or Marine is doubtless the dominant factor in securing victory or defeat in any military action -- leaving out the variable or political leadership.

With America stretched on two fronts in Iraq and Afghanistan, troubling and perhaps culturally-indicting news comes from a recent Army study indicating that 75% of America's youth are unfit to join the armed services due to physical, educational, or moral deficiencies. Andrea Stone writes in Sphere:

Are America's youth too fat, dumb or dishonest to defend the nation against its enemies?

The latest Army statistics show a stunning 75 percent of military-age youth are ineligible to join the military because they are overweight, can't pass entrance exams, have dropped out of high school or had run-ins with the law.

So many young people between the prime recruiting ages of 17 and 24 cannot meet minimum standards that a group of retired military leaders is calling for more investment in early childhood education to combat the insidious effects of junk food and inadequate education.

"We've never had this problem of young people being obese like we have today," said Gen. John Shalikashvili, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

He calls the rising number of youth unfit for duty a matter of national security. "We should be concerned about how this will impact this overstretched Army and its ability to recruit."

A society is only as viable and healthy as its next generation will make it. Certainly cultural relativism and the failure of America's public schools account for much of this descent into physical, mental, and moral obesity among the millenials. However, the old adage "it starts at home" may be the most glaring conclusion to make. America would not be the first civilization to decline due to physical and moral flabbiness as the barbarians assemble at the gate.

Update from David Paulin:
  The report is not an "Army study" as is claimed. It's from a private non-profit group: "Mission Readiness."  I'm not sure if the group is using Army statistics; it seems that they are. Of course, you can get statistics to say whatever you want.