Dec 29 2010
As it turns out, army recruits have gotten weaker as time wears on. It’s not a slight, but just a fact that as a rule, boys who enlist just aren’t as strong as they used to be, and the once-grueling fitness regimens they face are getting toned down for this new era.
A decade ago, the Army started to notice that new recruits were, in general, getting weaker — their endurance was down, so they were more prone to injury.
“America’s Army is very proud of the fact that we reflect our society,” says Maj. Gen. Richard Stone, the Army’s deputy surgeon general. ”But since we reflect our society, we also absorb society’s problems.”
The Army’s problem, Stone and others say, is that most current enlistees grew up on the couch, playing video games, rather than horsing around outside. And public schools have cut gym classes.
“You’d be surprised, the soldiers that we get today,” says Frank Palkoska, who directs the Army’s fitness school. “They can’t do simple motor function movements, like a shoulder roll, the ability to skip — so we’ve got to lay a base of foundational fitness, without injuring them.”
The details of the new fitness regimen are here if you’d like further review. Far more yoga than you’d expect, but I’m sure our soldiers can still kick anyone’s ass when they need to.
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