Del Spurlock: Army Recruits Arrive Knowing Less

Delbert J. Spurlock Jr.

Delbert J. Spurlock Jr.

Susanne M. Schafer of Associated Press offers a useful perspective on how Army recruits are changing and how the Army is changing to accommodate lower levels of knowledge about what used to be “basic.”

Fewer orders, more coaching: Army rookies learn to fire guns

As gun ownership drops among young Americans and the Army trains a generation more accustomed to blasting out emojis on cellphones than taking aim at targets, drill sergeants are confronting a new challenge: More than half of raw recruits have never held, let alone fired, a weapon.

Phi Beta Iota: Apart from only 1% of youth being eligible for the Army because the other 99% suffer from a broad range of disqualifying conditions including obesity, now we are realizing that new Army recruits simply don’t know what past generations knew. A fresh look is needed at the relationship between the Army, education, and society. There may be roles for the Boy Scouts of America and the National Rifle Association — we have lost our foundation for a strong Army.

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Sep 16

Del Spurlock: Fat Army, Fat Public, Weak Nation

Delbert J. Spurlock Jr.

Delbert J. Spurlock Jr.

Obesity in the Army

About a third of American adults are considered obese, having a Body Mass Index greater than 30 (BMI is calculated using height and weight), and 18% of American teenagers are considered obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In 2010, a group of retired military leaders warned that 27% of young adults (a total of nine million), ages 17 to 24, are unfit for service because they are too fat. “This is a national security issue,” a spokesman for the group said. “We are having difficulty recruiting from the civilian population.”

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Sep 15

YouTube (12:53) Citizen Soldiers: Let Them Serve

Citizen Soldiers: Let Them Serve examines the plight of service members who served in the Middle East who are struggling to find meaningful jobs and what they can offer our small cities, towns and villages.

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Sep 14