Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Somewhere in a bunker underneath Beijing, the PLA General Staff are laughing their asses off at this.

I know why the guy in the middle is laughing, but what about the other two Americans?|htmlws-main-n|dl1|link3|

Andrea Stone

75 Percent of Young Americans Are Unfit for Military Duty

Posted: 11/3/09

WASHINGTON (Nov. 3) -- 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."

Shalikashvili is among dozens of retired generals, admirals and civilian Pentagon officials who have banded together as Mission Readiness: Military Leaders for Kids. The group, which includes former NATO commander and presidential candidate Wesley Clark, will appear with Secretary of Education Arne Duncan at the National Press Club on Thursday to urge immediate action to reduce dropout rates and improve the physical and moral fitness of the nation's youth.

They will cite research that shows quality early childhood education raises graduation rates by up to 44 percent and reduces the odds of being arrested for a violent crime by age 18.

Douglas Smith of the U.S. Army Recruiting Command said 2008 data shows about three in 10 youths have an initial barrier to enlistment.

Most aren't insurmountable. "If you're overweight, we tell you to come back when you've lost the weight. If you don't score well on the armed forces aptitude test, we suggest you study and take it again," he said.

Between 2004 and 2008, the Army more than doubled the number of "conduct" waivers it granted to would-be soldiers with criminal or misdemeanor records. The loosened standards proved necessary in a time of war and amid a booming economy that forced military recruiters to work overtime to fill the ranks.

The new warnings about a generation of couch potatoes comes just weeks after the Pentagon announced its best recruiting year since the all-volunteer force began in 1974. The economic meltdown and rising unemployment, combined with bigger military bonuses and benefits, enticed hundreds of thousands to enlist despite the inevitability most would be sent to war.

The plethora of would-be recruits allowed the military services to be choosier after years of taking in more high school dropouts and those needing extra physical training to meet weight requirements.

Recruiting may have gotten easier, but "the good times don't stay forever," warned David Segal, a University of Maryland military sociologist. When the economy recovers and young people are able to get jobs or can afford to go to college, the military will be faced with the same out-of-shape, ill-prepared pool of recruits as before.

"Recruiting will get tough again," he said. "The trend line is clear: The youth population is getting less healthy."


^Hawk^ said...

Let's also not forget how many kids can't get in because they were diagnosed with ADD/ADHD.

My son is disqualified from joining the Navy because he takes Adderal for mild ADD. He was getting B's and C's in Advanced Placement and College Prep classes in High School. Last year we had him tested and it was suggested to put him on Adderal. He is now getting straight A's. He'll have to be off his meds for 1 year before he can try to enlist. It's a damn shame too, he runs cross country and is on the swim team, and the Navy Recruiter's first question was if he interested in Special Warfare.

I have ADD too, and while I can't focus for long periods on paperwork. I excel at troubleshooting, thinking out of the box and problem solving.

Anonymous said...

And yet there are supposed allies of ours who think this is splendid. I remember when a similiar article appeared a few months ago and the folks over at were lauding it as a wonderful development and went on to say that it was terrific that 75-80 percent of young Americans couldn't serve and that the more people who were ineligible the better. Sheer ignorance and stupidity. These kids aren't being turned down for being faithful to the Constitution and understanding our Republic, they're being turned down for an extreme lack of physical fitness, being criminals or not having the discipline to finish high school. Oh, yes, the PLA General Staff is laughing and many of our so-called friends are laughing right along with them not seeing the dagger aimed at their own back.

Anonymous said...

Eventually, this would be a self-correcting problem.

When our American society hits its inevitable collapse, these are the people who will not survive.

The reasons will be many: too out-of-shape, no skills, unable to learn, more then liable to join a "gang" & get killed during their first robbery attempt of an armed citizen.

You get the picture.
B Woodman

Tvarisch said...

They have more men than we have people, and ours are mostly fat, lazy, stupid, and apathetic. Oh well, if our children and grandchildren are lucky, maybe they'll be taken in as servants for some nice Chinese officers.

Anonymous said...

ADD is BS. Quit the drugs.

USMC VET said...

It's the me generation...

First place trophies for all...

Don't keep score; someones feelings may get hurt...

And on, and on, and on...

We are surprised by this?


M. N. Smith said...

You know, if there weren't so many BS laws and overzealous DA's in this country a lot of those kids wouldn't NEED conduct waivers.
Hell, Johnny Law brought me to my parents front door a couple of times growing up, and left me to the mercy of my old man. When I signed up Uncle Sam took me without blinking an eye.

Diesel said...

That Admiral on the left is Admiral Keating, who is PACOM.
I served under him when he was the Kitty Hawk battlegroup commander. I was on deck when he got his last Hornet trap, just after pinning on his third star.

Anonymous said...

In response to USMC VET.. this is not surprising. IMHO, the degeneration, emasculation, lowest common denominator PC bullshit, litigiousness and non-responsibility, have all been facets of a destructive policy promulgated by the plutocrats for decades, and have had a devastating effect on those who grew up in this contrived and toxic environment.

They have bred a nation of effete paper-pusher serfs in the mainstream, brainwashed, preyed upon by state-sanctioned and ghetto-dwelling gangsters alike.

Anonymous said...

I worked for Tim Keating as well aboard Kitty Hawk with VFA-195. I reported 02 March, 1999, the day before the unplanned "emergency" deployment to the big sea snake-filed bath tub.
Personally, I respect the man. A real warfighter's warfighter.

BTW, my work verification was "progov". Maybe NOT!


Sean said...

During the period 1971-1975, I trained(basic) approx. 4,000 men and women in the Army. In 1982-83 approx. 1,000 more. The problems, weight, criminal, academic, mental, maturity, etc. were comparable to now. There are probably a few more fatties, but diet and exercise can overcome these. During WW2, especially 1943, and later, draftees were being waived in boatloads for physical and such, because there were about 400,000 deserters, 500,000 wounded, and who knows how many malingerers causing a shortfall in manpower. This is not something new, just a symptom of, and reflection of, what is wrong with American society in general. I trained entire companies of convicts out of the slammer(deserters mostly) whose last chance at making good, was to finish training and move on with the rest of the herd. They did just fine. The regular infantryman, from the time of Ceaser, til now, has been not the fair haired boy from Connecticutt with a degree, but the kid from the farm in Kansas, or Detroit, or New York, or Georgia. Has a little home town jam. Not exactly great grades. Doesn't exactly know why he joined! They do their part, and they move on. Just regular joes. If I had a nickel for all the ones who I trained and did well who had ADD, I'd be rich. A little extra time spent with these guys is all they need. Somebody cut me some slack, when I was a recruit, and I never forgot it. Send me your castoffs, and I will make steel, because it's inside a man's head and heart that I work.

Dutchman6 said...

OK, guys, based on your character recommendations I deleted "wankers" from the picture caption. But I wonder what these command grade naval officers are going to think when Obama goes to China and gives them Taiwan and the western Pacific with a wink and a nod in exchange for no pressure on our debt? Their fathers and grandfathers bought that American lake with their blood and toil -- and many did not survive. What will they think when the man-child gives it all away?


Anonymous said...

Enough, I'm 58, just sign me up, I'll take care of it and be back for St Patrick's Day beers.