Contributor Perspectives

Not Fit to Fight? Rethinking Military Recruitment Standards

Thomas M. Hunt
Board of Contributors
May 4, 2018 | 10:15 GMT
Declining fitness levels not only affect military recruiting, but they also contribute to injuries among service personnel during training.

Declining fitness levels not only affect military recruiting, but they also contribute to injuries among service personnel during training.

(PAULA BRONSTEIN/Getty Images)

Indicators show overall fitness to be substantially below the levels measured during the Eisenhower and Kennedy eras. More than 70 percent of Americans aged 17 to 24 are ineligible for military service, the Pentagon found in 2017. The interconnected issues of health and inadequate physical fitness constitute the two largest reasons for that. The deprioritization of school-based physical education programs have played a role in the current fitness crisis, which stands to have long-term effects on military preparedness....

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