It seems that sitting around all day staring at screens and playing video games could mean the end of the world’s greatest military power.
According to the Military Times, Congress is considering fitness waivers for new recruits because so many can’t pass the rigid physical requirements. As it turns out, soldiers need to have developed muscles somewhere besides their thumbs.
House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry (R-TX) recently pondered if the physical requirements could be eased for incoming recruits needed for high-demand areas like computers.
“If there is some sort of requirement that has been there since the 1950s simply because it has been there since the 1950s, should we look and see if that continues to be applicable today? Of course,” Thornberry said. “At the same time, I think it would be a mistake just so we can get more people in the front door. That’s not a good answer for the country.”
Heritage Foundation research found that over 70% of 17- to 24-year-olds can’t join the military with the majority factors being health issues and physical fitness:
Heritage states a three-fold problem:
- 71 percent of young Americans between 17 and 24 are ineligible to serve in the military—that is 24 million of the 34 million people of that age group.
- The military depends on a constant flow of volunteers each year; as the number of eligible Americans declines, it is increasingly difficult to meet military needs.
- A manpower shortage in the United States Armed Forces directly compromises national security.
This revelation comes just two weeks after the Army announced it is redesigning basic training because new recruits are “sloppy,” “undisciplined,” and haven’t learned to throw a ball, thus making it difficult to toss a grenade the proper distance.
Maj. Gen. Malcolm Frost said: “We are finding that there are a large number of trainees that come in that quite frankly just physically don't have the capacity to throw a hand grenade 20 to 25 to 30 meters. In 10 weeks, we are on a 48-hour period; you are just not going to be able to teach someone how to throw if they haven't thrown growing up."
It’s not really a popular idea with most people to go easy on new recruits:
This is what happens when the U.S. military becomes a social experiment.