Too Fat, Too Dumb, Too Tattooed to Fight

July/12/2014 7:19AM
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If John McCain had been elected president, the selective service would be back. John never saw a war he didn’t like. But, to fight all John’s wars we would need a military far bigger than our volunteer army today. Unfortunately, we don’t have the inventory. Too many young people in this country are too fat, too dumb, are criminals, or have tattoos above the neck. We would need to draw from the 29% who don’t have those issues. Many of them have no interest in joining the military. The sons and daughters of the Republicans who like to fight wars to prove our superiority but like to fight them with the sons and daughters of Democrats. Or, at least, those who vote for Democrats. Of course there are exceptions to this.

As the country grows more obese, less educated and more hip hop, we have to pick our fights more carefully. It’s not Pearl Harbor where everyone under 25 ran down and volunteered in days. Those kids were lean and mean and got their tattoos in the military, not before. On their arms, not their faces. No drugs, and many hadn’t finished high school but could pass the test.

The alternative is an army that is too fat to run, too drugged up to know where they are, too dumb to take orders, and look like the exercise yard at the prison.


This according to the Wall Street Journal:

The Pentagon stated that 71% of the millions of 17-to-24-year-olds in the U.S. would not qualify for military service.  “The quality of people willing to serve has been declining rapidly,” said Major General Allen Batschelet, U.S. Army Recruiting Command’s commanding general.

According to The Wall Street Journal, until recently, military services do not keep exact figures on how many people are turned away but estimates over two-thirds of today’s youth are ineligible.  Typical disqualifications include obesity, lack of a high school diploma or GED, felonies, those taking certain prescription drugs, and inappropriately placed tattoos.  However, these infractions can be waived

Only about 1% of youths are both “eligible and inclined to have a conversation with us” about military service, according to Batschelet.  Even with the U.S. removing troops from conflict zones, a challenge is presented to the Defense Department as how it will construct the next generation of soldiers.

 Time Magazine reported around 180,000 men and women volunteer for and enter active-duty forces each year, though U.S. military activity in recent years has led to less stringent standards for recruitment. In 2007, only 79% of those enlisted had a high school diploma.  In 2001 that figure was 90%. During the Iraq war, the military was also less strict about soldiers’ body fat.

“We have not adopted a zero-defect mentality,” said Defense Department spokesman Nathan Christensen, who noted that the military’s recruiting targets in recent years have been met. “We evaluate each applicant from a whole-person perspective.”

One-fourth of high school graduates cannot pass the Armed Forces Qualification Test.  The exam is designed to measure math and reading skills.  The Defense Department stated that these applicants aren’t educationally qualified to join the military in any capacity, not just the high-tech jobs.

The Wall Street Journal reported on David Monzon, a 23-year-old East Los Angeles man, who had long wanted to join the Army but wasn’t able to enlist after graduating.  At 5 feet 6 inches tall, he weighed 300 pounds.  Following a strict diet plan, Monzon eliminated pizza, cheese burgers, french fries and other fatty foods from his diet.  He also began riding his bike wherever he could.

In February, Monzon, who had lost 90 pounds, walked back into the Los Angeles recruiting center. U.S. Army First Sgt. James Sawyer told him he was impressed but that he still needed to lose a little bit more.

“I was pretty confident I would make it,” Monzon said. And he did. Now 190 pounds, Monzon will head to South Carolina in September for basic training.

So if you are a hawk with kids, you might want to re-think your position. Unless your kids are overweight, undereducated, or tattooed in the wrong places, they might find themselves in another selective service draft like my generation experienced.

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