Less Fitness in the U.S. Military

Robert Nickelsberg/Getty, for The New York Times A U.S. Marine does pull ups while wearing nearly 50 pounds of gear and ammunition in Khan Neshin, Afghanistan.
Over on the “At War” blog, Tim Hsia writes about concerns that an ever-fatter American population has resulted in less-fit recruits to the military.
Today’s military has spiced up physical fitness in numerous ways such as incorporating crossfit, which has a large military following. It also encourages soldiers to move beyond calisthenics by utilizing the weight room in gyms. Additionally, combatives (grappling) competitions or playing soccer while wearing body armor are some ways in which leaders have creatively incorporated physical fitness into their military training.
Despite the military’s stress on physical fitness, many senior officers and noncommissioned officers I have spoken to are adamant in their beliefs that today’s soldiers are physically softer then the soldiers of yesteryear….Will the downward trend in society in terms of obesity and general health inevitably lead to a softer, less capable military?
To learn more, read the full post, “Is the Military Getting Soft?” And then please join the discussion.