It has been a concern for a while now that rising obesity levels in the US has meant that a requisite number of applicants who are fit enough to apply for positions in the military are not available. And now this problem of unfit and overweight recruits is being addressed by the army, with the help of their new physical training program.
The old regimental style exercises such as sit ups, long runs are not as much in evidence. Rather there is an emphasis now put on other styles of exercise such as Pilates and Yoga.
The aim of this new program is twofold – one it seeks to reduce injury and prepare soldiers better for actual combat in rough terrain. Secondly, it seeks to address the big problem facing the army; that of poor fitness and overweight recruits.
As it is with the general populace, so it is with army recruits; according to Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling, today’s soldiers are “not in as good shape as they used to be.” The problem of having to reject applicants for being overweight has been a problem for quite a while, but it has now worsened, with more of the youth becoming overweight.
It is the junk food and the long hours of TV viewing that have produced a generation of privates who have less strength and endurance than was the case before.