The U.S. Armed Forces has been struggling lately to enlist enough new recruits to keep Halliburton’s pockets adequately stuffed with your tax money. Some blame the paucity of new recruits on the fact that our enemies in Iraq and Afghanistan have the annoying tendency to blow our guys up, but the top Army recruiter highlights another problem:
Maj. Gen. Thomas Bostick, head of the Army Recruiting Command, said he wants to see a formal diet and fitness regimen running alongside a new school at Fort Jackson that helps aspiring troops earn their GEDs.
Bostick told The Associated Press that obesity looms as “a bigger challenge for us in the years ahead” than any other problem that keeps young people from entering the military, including lack of a GED or high school diploma, misconduct or criminal behavior and other health issues such as eye or ear problems.
The problem is so bad that 47,447 potential recruits flunked last year because they were too overweight. At our current pace, that’s 10 years of fodder for Iraqi insurgents!
To combat the problem, the Army (or as Buster Bluth would call it, “Army”) wants to start kind of a Biggest Loser campus in South Carolina, so the chubbsters can get whipped into shape before being hastily trained and sent halfway around the world to spread democracy by dodging IEDs.
The prep school is housed in several one- and two-story buildings on a small part of this sprawling training installation. The classrooms and living quarters are Spartan. GED candidates wear Army uniforms, exercise before breakfast and study under the guidance of enlisted officers. They do not mix or conduct weapons training with soldiers participating in the nine weeks of basic training maneuvers elsewhere on the fort.
If you’re like me, you see through this ruse of a pre-basic training fat camp. I think the Army is secretly developing an Army of shrapnel-absorbing supersoldiers who will wade through the streets of Baghdad with their butt cracks hanging out, deflecting explosions away from lighter infantry.
Top Army recruiter weighs fat camp for recruits [Boston.com]