US media, retired officers tout youth fitness as necessary to boost military recruitment
10 August 2018
A series of newspaper columns around the nation are proposing the creation of a pool of potential recruits and conscripts for the US military as an important physical educational goal.
A recent opinion piece in Nashville, Tennessee’s the Tennessean emphasized the need for additional physical training in all schools and grade levels not as a way to keep children fit and healthy but to prepare them for military service and war.
The Tennessean article, headlined “Law Requiring Physical Education Will Help Military,” was written by Joan Cronan, women’s athletic director emeritus at the University of Tennessee and a member of Champions for America’s Future, and Eden Murrie, a retired US Air Force brigadier general and a member of the Council for a Strong America’s Mission: Readiness program.
The pair praised the state legislature for recently passing a law requiring schools to provide two hours of physical exercise each week. They said this is vital to reduce the 71 percent nationwide rate of military-age young men and women unable to pass the armed forces’ physical requirements:
“Here in Tennessee, that figure rises to 73 percent,” they wrote. “That means that, for nearly three-fourths of young Tennessee adults of prime recruiting age, serving in the military is not an option. The leading medical disqualifier for military service is being overweight. The military can be an excellent career path for many Americans, but being overweight closes off that path. This problem also undermines the national security by shrinking the potential pool of service members.”
Derivatives of this article have appeared in newspapers around the…