Last year, the Pentagon had to contend with some negative headlines. The most worrying recurring headline is that recruitment targets are not being met across the board.
Of course, one might think that we’re out of Afghanistan and technically not in active war with anyone, so it’s no big deal. That is, if you ignore the ‘secret wars’ in Syria and Iraq and our proxy war with Russia in Ukraine, but I digress. The news has rightly shocked lawmakers and Americans at large because of our heightened tensions with China, which are inevitably heading toward a future war.
However, you would think that the prospects of us finding ourselves in a hot war like Afghanistan or a conflict with China are slim to zero. The fact that most young Americans could not join the military if they wanted to is important to every American, as it directly reflects the type of society we currently foster.
Joe Rogan – Americans are too fat for the military via https://t.co/uGZPVufMvZ @YouTube
— Doug (@DougKE0DC) February 7, 2023
Related: Pentagon commission report recommends restricting service members’ gun rights to curb suicide rates
A fatty system
A recent study found that 77% of Americans between the ages of 17 and 24 are physically unfit to join the armed services, up 6% from 2017. To put it simply, three-quarters of Americans in prime military recruitment are too fat to raise their right arm to serve.
Look at those two figures I mentioned again. It may be worse now, but the same demographic was fat and unfit six years ago.
According to 2020 numbers, 42% of American adults are considered obese, with 19% on active duty falling into that category. That number is up from 16% obese on active duty in 2015.
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Ironically, some of the blame, according to experts, falls on the food insecurity program that many active duty and young Americans are forced to participate in. For example, the United States Department of Agriculture found in 2015 that 40% of participants in supplemental nutrition. Assistance Program (SNAP) Obesity.
An estimated 22,000 active duty and 250,000 National Guard families receive SNAP benefits. For those of us in the know, that means government cheese and other processed foods.
Bill Maher on the obesity crisis:
“We’ve gone from fat acceptance to fat celebration. To view yourself as a point of pride? The term body positivity used to mean ‘I’m perfect just the way I am.’ It’s Orwellian.” pic.twitter.com/SWWFX6sd9S
— Citizen Free Press (@CitizenFreePress) August 6, 2022
RELATED: Record-breaking defense budget does nothing to help soldiers who still can’t afford enough to eat
Anyone who has tried to eat healthy knows that it can be expensive and cumbersome. For example, research from Utah State University found that if a family of four went to the grocery store based on healthy eating guidelines, it would cost them about $14,400 annually.
My husband and I try very hard to eat and live a healthy life, and as a family of four I can tell you that we don’t spend much on groceries per year. The average middle-income family of four spends $6,224 a year, and low-income families spend $3,862 annually.
Senior UCLA clinical dietitian Dana Hunnes points out, “We need a system that lowers the cost of healthy, unprocessed foods and makes it easier for people to obtain and access them.” But, of course, the same is true for on-base options.
I have spent 20 years in the service and have been stationed in ten installations. Options at the base range from the obligatory Burger King to a nondescript pizza place or bowling alley food court.
Maintaining a healthy diet while working 10-12 hour days, sometimes changing jobs depending on your job, and countless mounting responsibilities surrounded by the Whopper and greasy pizza is nearly impossible. But Americans are not too fat to join; He is very dumb and stubborn.
Serving non-citizens when our brave can’t feed their children.https://t.co/5VJeq1d0nZ
— 🏾 Wayne Dupree (@WayneDupreeShow) February 24, 2023
RELATED: Studies Prove Gen Z Kids Are Wrong, and Something Must Be Done
Ideocracy, a documentary film
The recruitment dilemma facing the military, like most problems plaguing the armed forces, is multifaceted. Army Lt. Gen. Xavier Brunson explains, “Some of the challenges we have are obesity, we have pre-existing medical conditions, we have behavioral health issues, we have criminals, people with felonies and we have substance abuse.”
That’s a pretty damning but accurate picture of America’s youth. Additionally, many Americans need help passing on the standard of education required by the armed forces.
Jokingly referred to as a test where you get half credit if you can spell your name correctly, the Armed Forces Qualification Test (AFQT) is used to see if you’re smart enough to wear the uniform and what jobs you might have a natural aptitude for. According to security analyst Irina Zuckerman, “declining intelligence and education standards” have made the military less prepared for “asymmetric or conventional challenges.”
The Navy is tossing around the idea of lowering the minimum score for acceptance on the AFQT and raising the age limit from 35 to 41.
Reducing quality may increase the number of hires, but what about quality? The Army is choosing to keep its standards but stand to gain recruits whose scores are too low through what it calls the Future Soldiers Prep Course at Fort Jackson.
Glad someone is trying to educate America’s youth because the Department of Education sure doesn’t seem to care.
Ideocracy was a documentary pic.twitter.com/lLx8zp0nhn
— ©️ompounding Memes (@leet_juk) February 24, 2023
RELATED: With Military Recruitment in the Red, Will ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ Deliver the Same Bump as the 1986 Original?
Of course, none of this is new information. In 2018, analyst Mark Perry said of our armed forces that “the U.S. military represents the best in America. [as its most senior officials claim]It doesn’t really represent America.
What does Mr. Perry mean? “For that to be true, two-thirds of our military would have to be obese, under educated ex-drug users and convicted felons.”
Oh, talk about a damning portrait of America. Of course, it’s easy to blame this on politics. Yet, this fattening, dumbing down and civil bankruptcy of America has been going on for decades under both Republican and Democrat administrations.
The Centers for Disease Control classifies obesity as a security threat, with 1 in 5 children and 2 in 5 adults being obese. With American children graduating high school without knowing how to read or do simple math, I would argue that our public education system is a security threat.
Army Brigadier General Patrick Michaelis said, “Since the establishment of the all-volunteer force in 1973, it has been a tough recruiting command to meet recruiting goals.” If I were you, I’d take that as a warning; It won’t be long until we establish the draft again.
Lt. Gen. Brunson scathed critics of military recruiting efforts, saying, “It’s not an Army problem, so what we have to look at nationally is what’s going on with our young people.” Actually, what is going on?
We are failing the next generation of Americans by allowing ongoing academic failure and indoctrination in our public schools.
Chicago has to make a choice today. It doesn’t have to be this way. 👇 pic.twitter.com/oO5Fl48idV
— Moms for Liberty (@Moms4Liberty) February 28, 2023
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