Gang Way for the Military

“Too fat to fight?” That’s the big question, as of April 20, 2010. According to Richard Knox, writing on the National Public Radio website, “During World War II, at least 40 percent of potential military recruits were undernourished. So after the war, military leaders helped convince Congress to pass the National School Lunch Program to make subsidized meals part of kids’ nutritional curriculum.” Before, kids just didn’t have enough meat on them. But now, they have too much. Currently, according to Knox, military officials are seriously regretting what they did. They are blaming schools, specifically the “lunch menu,” for making children obese, when really, it is a number of factors—schools not being one of those factors. Kids and teens have become obese from the fatty junk food, which they choose to eat. Many people, in general, eat what they feel like eating—what tastes good to them—at any given time. Unfortunately, that turns out to be unhealthy “garbage.” Another contributing factor to the multitude of obese teens is their parents. Traditionally, parents do have a justifiable amount of control over their teenagers, and what they do, truly reflects upon what their kid does. Some teens and adults are unable to accept the fact that they are overweight and blame un-sensible things on their obesity, for example: lack of money, given up, “it’s genetic” or he/she is just incapable of losing weight. With so many young adultst gaining so much weight, the military will have to reset their standards for recruitments. Eventually, overweight teens will become eligible recruits for the army. If those standards are modified to fit the current generation’s overweight lifestyle and status, the U.S. forces will begin to grow weaker and weaker than they already are. Plus, the overweight teens that are chosen to fight in war will be at a much higher risk of getting shot, or being killed. It would be a completely new kind of exposure and vulnerability for the United States. Charles Phillips, a responder to NPR story, spoke of a certain “PCP”, also known as Physical Conditioning Platoon. According to Phillips, in 1975, the PCP took in recruits, prior to their boot camp, and worked them extremely hard. Eventually, the PCP shut down and just stopped taking the recruitments of those who were too overweight to meet the standards. If the military were to bring back this platoon, they may be more successful in strengthening their forces, as well as reducing the number of overweight teens. For now, the U.S. forces will have to cope with the subsidized meal program, the indecisive government and the ever-increasing, overweight population of teenage recruits.