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DearAbby Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-04-09 03:15 PM
Original message
75 Percent of Young Americans Are Unfit for Military Duty
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."

Snip
more at link
http://www.sphere.com/2009/11/03/70-percent-of-young-am... |htmlws-main-w|dl1|link3|http%3A%2F%2Fwww.sphere.com%2F2009%2F11%2F03%2F70-percent-of-young-americans-are-unfit-for-military-duty%2F

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FiveGoodMen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-04-09 03:19 PM
Response to Original message
1. And the military duties that the US has been assigning lately are unfit for 100% of Americans
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Newsjock Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-04-09 03:20 PM
Response to Original message
2. ... or because they're gay
n/t
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HereSince1628 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-04-09 03:20 PM
Response to Original message
3. I think I remember this same issue in the Kennegy administration
It didn't stop them from drafting hundreds of thousands for Vietnam and the Cold War.

Too often we forget that this nation's leading industry is war.
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imdjh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-04-09 03:22 PM
Response to Original message
4. That just let's you know it's not a defensive war. When the South went to war against the North...
... the qualifications were that you wanted to defend your country against an aggressor. The ability to keep up physically was helpful, but didn't disqualify you from working in logistical support. Before the War was over, old men and young boys were in combat.

Yes, America's youth could stand to be whipped into shape, in many ways, but that has little to do with the war.
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unc70 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-04-09 05:11 PM
Response to Reply #4
24. In NC, almost all free men (black, white, Indian) were in military
Edited on Wed Nov-04-09 05:14 PM by unc70
Almost every free male served in the military somehow, including a sizeable number of People of Color. Between 1860 and 1865, roughly one third of them died from combat or disease, another third were severely wounded (often losing an arm or leg).

Many of those in the Union Army were mercenaries recruited from the poor of Europe, particularly Ireland and Germany. This was such a scandal that the Pope issued warnings to be read from the pulpits.
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maxrandb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-04-09 03:47 PM
Response to Original message
5. Actually, it would take a great deal of political courage
but re-instituting the Draft could be a positive thing. As someone whose Navy career is winding down after 25 years, let me explain why I say this.

1. This is a great, if flawed, country. For the sake of preserving it, and enabling it to become better, some form of "shared sacrifice" should be required. If you can't give 2 years of service to a country that has given so much opportunity to you, then something is seriously wrong.

2. Requiring service with the only deferment being for physical disability, would ensure that those "teabaggers", "chickenhawks" and especially, those 535 people in DC who commit our military to missions to defend America, will know and understand what it is like for little Timmy or Tammy to get their asses shot at as they eat dirt and crawl on their belly under barb-wire for 12-18 hours a day. I think we would have had a much more spirited and thoughtful debate before the Iraq War, if "Senator Wingnuts" son our daughter had a chance of getting half of their face blown off.

3. It could have a significant and positive impact on economic growth. Believe it our not, Navy, Air Force, Army and even Marine Corps schools are pretty damn good. Young people who have no marketable skills could develop them. I'll give you an example. The Navy Nuclear Power School is one of the most, if not the most, intense Engineering, Physics, Mathematics and Electronics programs in the world. Some folks would come out of the military after two years with a trade that could last them a lifetime, while others would go on to college.

4. Discipline, Discipline, Discipline. I'm not talking about "go sit in the corner", or "drop and give me 20", but the everday discipline it takes to make it in the world. The discipline to be on time. The discipline to groom yourself. The discipline to take care of yourself. The discipline to mesh and interact with a diverse group of people of every race, religion, ethnicity, socio-economic status, intelligence level, culture, gender, political philosophy, or sexual orientation (yes, in my military, Don't Ask, Don't Tell would die a quick death. Trust me, there is nothing more diverse than a military bootcamp

5. Giving us a pool of people with military experience would mean that in time of really true crisis, we could quickly expand the ranks, so that the same 2% of Americans that serve are not simply recycling though a fricking meat grinder.

Believe it or not...this country is worth fighting for...why are so few asked to do all of it?
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Lilith Velkor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-04-09 04:19 PM
Response to Reply #5
11. It's not a country anymore. It's an empire.
Nobody has fought to preserve this country since the Civil War.





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proteus_lives Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-04-09 06:09 PM
Response to Reply #11
28. You forgot WWII.
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Lilith Velkor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-04-09 07:06 PM
Response to Reply #28
29. Which was not fought to preserve the USA, but greatly expanded the American Empire
Or did you forget that Hawaii was not yet a state in 1941?
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proteus_lives Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-04-09 07:57 PM
Response to Reply #29
31. Wow, really?
You don't think that Nazi Germany and the Japanese Empire weren't threats to the US?

Come on, think about it.
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Lilith Velkor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-05-09 12:17 AM
Response to Reply #31
33. Not existential threats, no.
How do you suppose they would have invaded the US and still had enough manpower to hold off the Soviets and the Chinese?

I'm not saying the US shouldn't have gone in, if that's what you're getting at. What I am saying is that the existence of the US was not at stake, but rather that of its allies.
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TicketyBoo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-05-09 11:32 AM
Response to Reply #33
35. Have you watched Ken Burns' "The War"?
A German POW who worked in maps and logistics described to his guard the guard's obscure hometown in the eastern USA, and the river that ran next to it. He described the German's plans for that town when the occupation was complete.

The guard reflected, years later, how that conversation sent shivers down his spine. The plan was definitely to come here.
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FBaggins Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-04-09 04:22 PM
Response to Reply #5
15. You left one out
Think of the health benefits of so many of those 75% going through basic/plebe summer/whatever.

I lost over 40 pounds in six or seven weeks. Had to be good for my heart, right?
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maxrandb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-05-09 11:13 AM
Response to Reply #15
34. Not only that
but the entire time they are on active duty, and if they retire to become disabled, they receive GOVERNMENT RUN HEALTH CARE!

I've seen some truly ironic and mystifying things in my lifetime, but I think the most ironic and mystifying was about a month ago, sitting with about 40 other people in a military clinic, at the government run pharmacy, waiting for our government paid for and providing medications...while "Fox and Friends" was playing on the pharmacy TV.

It was almost surreal.
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dixiegrrrrl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-04-09 03:52 PM
Response to Original message
6. Looks like we will have to hire more of those foreign mercenaries, then, doesn't it?
Not good.
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Echo In Light Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-04-09 03:53 PM
Response to Original message
7. What do would-be corporate mercenaries have to do w/National $ecurity?
"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.""

Plus, more young people, having unprecedented access to data out and away from the agenda setting M$M, realize that enlisting doesn't actually have anything to do w/"protecting" us... (from what/who? our own govt?!) or "defending democracy," since that's merely the 'safe' propagandistic term applied to the biggest bully on the block ensuring it's vested corporate interests get whatever they want at the expense of any who happen to be in the way.
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FiveGoodMen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-04-09 04:09 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Conglomerate!
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Echo In Light Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-04-09 04:22 PM
Response to Reply #9
16. !

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FiveGoodMen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-04-09 04:26 PM
Response to Reply #16
17. Yeah, that pic is creepy, isn't it?
Shows how close we all are to the edge.
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Echo In Light Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-04-09 04:33 PM
Response to Reply #17
18. And, without having a truthful, checks/balances national platform to identify things accurately
... it also shows how, as human beings beholden to deeply entrenched social systems, how grimly susceptible we are to mindlessly adopting the whims, aims and posturing of the powerful interests that basically own and control the society.
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rockymountaindem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-04-09 09:35 PM
Response to Reply #17
32. Except that doesn't have anything to do with Nazism
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bellamy_salute

"The Bellamy salute is the hand gesture described by Francis Bellamy (1855-1931) to accompany the American Pledge of Allegiance, which he had authored. During the period when it was used with the Pledge of Allegiance, it was sometimes known as the "flag salute". It was first demonstrated on October 12, 1892 according to Bellamy's published instructions for the "National School Celebration of Columbus Day":



"In the 1920s, Italian fascists adopted the Roman salute to symbolise their claim to have revitalised Italy on the model of ancient Rome. This was quickly copied by the German Nazis, creating the Nazi salute. The similarity to the Bellamy salute led to confusion, especially during World War II. From 1939 until the attack on Pearl Harbor, detractors of Americans who argued against intervention in World War II produced propaganda using the salute to lessen those Americans' reputations. Among the anti-interventionist Americans was aviation pioneer Charles Lindbergh. Supporters of Lindbergh's views would claim that Lindbergh did not support Adolf Hitler, and that pictures of him appearing to do the Nazi salute were actually pictures of him using the Bellamy salute. In his Pulitzer prize winning biography Lindbergh, author A. Scott Berg explains that interventionist propagandists would photograph Lindbergh and other isolationists using this salute from an angle that left out the American flag, so it would be indistinguishable from the Hitler salute to observers.

In order to prevent further confusion or controversy, President Franklin D. Roosevelt instituted the hand-over-the-heart gesture as the salute to be rendered by civilians during the Pledge of Allegiance and the national anthem in the United States, instead of the Bellamy salute. This was done when Congress officially adopted the Flag Code on 22 June 1942. <2> There was initially some resistance to dropping the Bellamy salute, for example from the Daughters of the American Revolution,<3> but this opposition died down quickly."
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Tierra_y_Libertad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-04-09 04:03 PM
Response to Original message
8. Tsk. Tsk. Guess we'll just have to call off the wars. Tsk. Tsk.
Maybe they could find the youth something useful to do instead of killing people.
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Javaman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-04-09 04:19 PM
Response to Original message
10. "A jelly donut?"
"you are a disgusting fat body, private pyle!"
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FBaggins Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-04-09 04:20 PM
Response to Original message
12. And that's after they eased the requirements isn't it? n/t
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treestar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-04-09 04:20 PM
Response to Original message
13. Good
They don't get to have these young people killed in their useless wars then.
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Thrill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-04-09 04:21 PM
Response to Original message
14. Ban the damn fast food commercials. Every time you turn around there is a big ass
Chesseburger on the TV
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MagnaChucka Donating Member (23 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-04-09 04:43 PM
Response to Reply #14
19. Worked for me.
I was way overweight at that age (still am now) and I remember my family being worried about me being drafted at the beginnings of the war and I used to point at my gut and call it my "draft protection plan."
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madville Donating Member (743 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-04-09 04:59 PM
Response to Original message
20. THey are meeting recruiting goals and turning many qualified people away right now
This doesn't seem like a big issue. All the services have waiting lists for qualified candidates to join right now. There are also record retention rates for existing members that are reenlisting when the time comes. Of course that is due to the economy which will never improve with the path we are currently on, let's just hope it doesn't get worse.
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Mist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-04-09 05:00 PM
Response to Original message
21. They're fat and dumb because that's the way corporate America and the gov't want them. The same
gov't and corporations that the armed forces fight for. Irony, irony...
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superkia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-04-09 05:00 PM
Response to Original message
22. With the organized collapse of the economy, they will continue...
Edited on Wed Nov-04-09 05:00 PM by superkia
to get more people in the military because of their financial situations. The terrorists... I mean gooberment will have plenty of people to send off to either die or just be trapped prisoners of war over fighting wars for global positioning so they can continue to take over countries and install bases and puppets to run those countries.

My brother told me before going into Iraq that it was not for war but for positioning so they could then go after Iran and then any other countries not going along with the global enslavement of the war. The elite have a great plan and so far as a country we have done nothing to counteract it. My brother was ex military and actually convinced me not to go because of what he had been told and saw and so far he was right on.

Sad situation
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krawhitham Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-04-09 05:04 PM
Response to Original message
23. draft protection
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arcadian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-04-09 05:14 PM
Response to Original message
25. I guess it's a good thing we have those 4,075 nuclear warheads.
:sarcasm: <- if needed

You know? The ones with built in obsolescence? What a fucking racket.
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Jim__ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-04-09 05:15 PM
Response to Original message
26. I agree that we need more investment for early childhood education.
But I disagree that this is so we can fill our quota of soldiers.
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hvn_nbr_2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-04-09 06:01 PM
Response to Original message
27. They've finally found the solution to childhood obesity.
War! War! War! War! War! War! War! War! War! War! War! War! War! War!

Hey, how can we dominate the world when kids are too fat to go to war?

I can already see the PSAs coming up. "Kids! Get fighting fit!" "This is your army on fat cells."

And of course, all the pro-any-war-except-when-Clenis-is-president wingnut preachers will extol the virtues of being thin and fit enough to serve. "You can't kill a commie for Christ if you're too fat and weak to lift a gun."

The freepers in the Cheney Admiration Society for Having Other Priorities (CASHOP) will eat a few more jelly donuts in their mothers' basements.
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Obamanaut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-04-09 07:54 PM
Response to Original message
30. k & r. nt
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JVS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-05-09 11:32 AM
Response to Original message
36. Woo hoo! Draft that, motherfuckers!
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TwilightGardener Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-05-09 11:40 AM
Response to Original message
37. For anyone who thinks this would actually keep kids out of a draft--
Edited on Thu Nov-05-09 11:41 AM by TwilightGardener
they'll take 'em into Basic and run those fat asses right off, don't you worry about it. LOL.
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