Day by Day

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Hell, I could have told you that

75% of all potential recruits are too fat, too sickly, or too dumb for military service.

The armed services are willing to grant waivers for some of those conditions – asthma, or a little bit of weed. But the military’s biggest concern is how big and how weak its potential recruits have become.

Unfortunately, from my viewpoint it looks like about half of those who are too fat to serve still get to enlist, and they go into the Army Reserves, where they get to walk around the PX in their uniform looking like a giant overstuffed bag of smashed assholes.


kateykakes said...

Why do they pass them through if they can't even pass the psychical? If they're grossly overweight, there is no way they can complete the PT phase. They need to be let go or make them drop ALL the weight that's required. What the hell good to anyone would they be if they can't even walk a few feet.

Geez, do we always have to coddle everyone and try to give them high self-esteem, when in reality that BS could end up getting someone else hurt.

Sorry, just rambling on...

Ragin' Dave said...

Trust me, I about lose my mind when I see some E-5 or E-6 waddling around with their gut about to pop the zipper on their ACU top. Makes me want to puke. How the hell can you enforce a standard when you don't even follow a standard yourself?

Goober said...

As one American who was denied the ability to serve based upon not only health problems, but also my size, I’d like to be the first to come to the defense of those who you are lamenting. I wasn’t, am still am not, fat. I was just too damned big. At High School graduation, I was 6’-4” tall and weighed about 270 pounds, if memory serves. I could bench press just shy of 400 pounds at the time (now, maybe not quite so much lol!). Add in the wonderful genetic immune problems I received from my old man, and you got a 4-f on your hands.

My recruiter told me, no shit, that I was unfit for military service because I was just too damned big. I was trying for the Navy, wanted to fly stuff. There isn’t room in the cockpit for a guy my size. The Air Force said the same thing. He said I shouldn’t even bother with the Army or Marines – who would be able to drag me to safety if I got nicked? Besides, a guy my size can’t run fast enough to qualify (or so I assumed at the time, I might’ve been wrong, but I am not very fast, by design).

Add in the fact that periodically, my skin erupts into a giant, swollen, painful rash over 90% of my body, which actually becomes life threatening because I can’t regulate my body temperature during an outbreak, and they told me thanks, but no thanks. (as an aside, Chester Nimitz became famous at Midway because Bull Halsey was hospitalized with the same condition I’ve got at the time. Standards must’ve changed over the last 60 years).

So, at least some of the 75% you speak of are coming to that point on purely circumstantial reasons, not because we are lazy or fat.

Ragin' Dave said...

Look, there's a difference between being too big and being fat. We had a guy kicked out of basic because he couldn't fit into a humvee. He was just an inch or two shy of seven feet tall; the guy was a monster. But if you can't fit into military vehicles, you're not going to do us much good. That's one thing - being five-foot-eight with a forty-eight inch waist is another. Having three or four chins? That's not genetics, that's overeating. I have dealt with Soldiers who were no taller than me, but outweighed me by a hundred pounds, and they called themselves Sergeants? No.

I have met approximately one person in the Army who was overweight due to a thyroid problem. I've met a few others who were overweight because injuries prevented them from doing ANYTHING at all. But the vast majority of the overweight Soldiers I have seen are overweight because of two things - eating too much (or too much crap) and exercising too little.