A new Department of Defense reports that almost 80 percent of American men between the ages of 17 and 24 are unfit for military service.
When I saw that, I did a double-take.
Eighty percent of American men are not fit for military service. Is that even possible?
And then I thought about what has been happening in America in the past few decades and I realized that nobody should be surprised by that disturbing fact.
About 40 percent of adult Americans are considered obese—that’s two out of every five, and obesity is one of the three or four reasons American men are not fit for our military.
However, we live in an era where the woke mob has declared it “fat shaming” for doctors to tell patients they are obese. Notwithstanding the obvious health risks, obesity is a word thou shall not speak. For that reason, only 55 percent of people suffering from obesity receive a formal medical diagnosis, according to the It’s Bigger than Me” anti-obesity movement.
Beyond the obvious health risks associated with obesity is the ongoing feminization or “sissifying” of boys that begins in elementary and middle school and continues into high school and even college.
Our nation used to honor masculinity; today, it castigates it. Even worse, nearly half of American children lack a manly role model in their lives.
And that seems to be fine with school teachers, many of whom seem keen to emasculate boys.
Things like “roughhousing” on the playground or being intensely competitive in sports are often discouraged in today’s schools. So are activities like playing cops and robbers or war games in which boys mimic gunfire, sword fights, explosions, etc. Activities like these have, for millennia, been seen as a boy’s instinctive development and progression toward manhood. Today, they are considered destructive and belligerent behavior–otherwise known as “toxic masculinity.”
We live in an era where mediocrity rather than excellence and achievement are emphasized in school. Merit-based honors programs are being dismantled in favor of “equity,” in which no one student or collection of students is singled out for academic performance and achievement.
I recently went to an awards program hosted by my grandson’s middle school. During the ceremonies, students were honored for academic achievement. I figured in a school of about 600, maybe 40 or 50 would receive awards.
I was wrong.
In this era where everybody gets a trophy, it seemed as if 400 of the school’s students received academic awards. By the end of the program, you couldn’t tell which students really earned their awards based on genuine achievement from those students who got awards just for showing up.
Not long ago, the American Psychological Association (APA) issued its first-ever guidelines for teaching men and boys. Its message was simple and clear: It declared that “traditional masculinity”—attributes such as endurance, competitiveness, dominance, and aggression—is “on the whole, harmful.”
Interestingly, those are the very qualities that were pounded home to me when I went through basic training in the 1960s at the U.S. Army Training Center at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. There was no coddling, no “time outs” when a drill sergeant bellowed at you, and no dumbing down of the physical activities we were “invited” to partake in. It was eight weeks of concentrated training. Then, depending on your MOS (military occupation specialty), you went on to advanced training somewhere else.
By then, you were what NCO’s called a “STRAC” troop ( “Skilled, Tough, Ready, Around the Clock.”) You were a well-organized, well-turned-out soldier (pressed uniform, polished brass, and shined boots).” A proud, competent trooper who can be depended on for good performance in any circumstance.
And that brings me back to the DOD study and the alarming findings about American men and their unsuitability for military service.
During a Congressional hearing, military leaders stated that all military branches are struggling to find people who are fit for service. Maintaining health and wellness among its existing members has also become a challenge.
The aforementioned DOD report given to Congress said 77 percent of Americans between the ages of 17 and 24 are unqualified physically to enter the armed forces. That’s a 6 percent increase from 2017 and has added to the struggle to find new recruits in every branch of the military.
During the hearings, a U.S. Army general bluntly said that young Americans are either too obese, too sick, or too criminal to serve in the military.
“Some of the challenges we have are obesity, pre-existing medical conditions, behavioral health problems, and criminality. We have people with felonies, and we have drug use,” Lt. Gen. Xavier Brunson said.
The general’s statement came as a response to problems the U.S. military had reaching their target goals for recruits in 2022. This struggle, prevalent in the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force, has prompted security analysts and some U.S. institutions and think tanks to declare obesity a threat to national security.
“Each year, more than $60 million goes toward replacing the 1,200-plus first-term enlistees discharged for excess weight,” says Irina Tsukerman, a security analyst and the owner of Scarab Rising Security and Defense Consulting.
She adds that high obesity rates have narrowed the recruiting pool considerably, coupled with “falling intelligence and education standards.” She also notes that, along with reduced resiliency and flexibility, the military is less prepared to meet “asymmetrical or conventional challenges.”
The military’s response has been to lower its standards. It is adjusting its fitness requirements for some jobs, especially those that aren’t physically demanding, such as technology-based positions.
But lowering the bar within the U.S. military sets a dangerous precedent. While technical developments such as the use of UAV [unmanned aerial vehicles] and AI [artificial intelligence] have displaced some human participation in the field, combat still relies on conventional human execution.
Bots and AI may not need able-bodied soldiers, sailors, or airmen, but America’s security still depends on combat-ready human beings who are astute, situationally aware, and agile.
If only 23 percent of Americans are capable of meeting the dumbed-down physical and mental requirements of today’s military, that doesn’t inspire much confidence when you consider the Chinese are in the process of actually breeding biologically enhanced “super-soldiers,” according to former US Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe.
The idea that China will soon have platoons, divisions, or even regiments of “Captain Chinas” is not far-fetched when you consider China’s Academy of Military Medical Sciences has been engaged in developing brain-computer interfaces that can be paired with artificial intelligence technology — presumably to give Chinese soldiers a battlefield edge. Chinese scientists have also made recent breakthroughs in a gene editing technique called CRISPR-Cas.
“While the potential leveraging of CRISPR to increase human capabilities on the future battlefield currently remains only a hypothetical possibility, there are indications that Chinese military researchers are starting to explore its potential,” said a 2019 report by the Center for a New American Security.
Is this simply pie-in-the-sky science fiction?
It appears not.
A Chinese scientist named He Jiankui at the Southern University of Science and Technology in Shenzhen used CRISPR technology to genetically edit embryos in late 2018, thereby creating the world’s first genetically modified humans — twin girls, Lulu and Nana.
He’s genetic experiments, which ignited worldwide ethical backlash, were ostensibly aimed at creating gene-edited babies that would be born with immunity to HIV, smallpox, and cholera. However, according to the MIT Technology Review, the same genes that He manipulated to render the babies immune to those diseases may have also enhanced their intelligence.
Is the creation of physically powerful and intelligent “super-soldiers” the next step?
Meanwhile, thanks to the “woke” mob, America’s military finds itself compelled to cherry-pick from an ever-dwindling pool of “ordinary” humans.
“The People’s Republic of China poses the greatest threat to America today, and the greatest threat to democracy and freedom worldwide since World War II,” Ratcliffe recently wrote.
Woe is us.
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