The United States Army is one of the most powerful military machines that has ever existed in the history of the world. Currently, the army is an all-volunteer army. This is in opposition to the concept of a conscription army, in which individuals are drafted into military service or are required to serve a period of time in the national military. World War II and the Vietnam War were well-known examples of a military draft. Currently, the State of Israel also requires military service for a specified length of time for all Israeli soldiers. However, despite fighting two wars in the years since 9/11, the U.S. army still is on an all-volunteer basis. This has led to significant burnout for the military members. However, it is important to recognize that one of the problems with forcing military members to do multiple tours of duty in a war zone is the requirements of the U.S. Army. Currently, the requirements for volunteering for the army are too stringent. If they were relaxed, more individuals may be able to join the army and serve the United States of America as soldiers.
The standards for joining the U.S. Army can be found on their website. These standards include standards to sign up for basic training and specific requirements that the individual must pass in order to graduate from basic training and become a soldier in the U.S. Army. It is important to recognize that there is both active duty and the army reserve. Reservists may be called to active duty when required by the military. Furthermore, in the active army, there are both enlisted members or soldiers and officers, who function as the management of the military. While an enlisted member cannot be recalled to active service once he or she is released, an officer is never completely released from service. An officer may be recalled to active service if the military requires his or her services. Furthermore, an officer does not need to be released by the military, despite fulfilling his or her contract (U.S. Army, n.d.).
However, a person cannot become either if he or she does not pass the standards required by the U.S. military. These standards include a weight limit relative to height, the ability to complete specific physical requirements, such as running or push-ups, within a certain time limit, and the background check on the individual. Currently, the U.S. has an obesity epidemic. Many individuals are overweight; this is often considered to be related to the chemicals in the foods we eat. However, many of these individuals would like to serve in the U.S. Army. Currently, though, they are being denied. It must be noted that individuals are put through significant physical rigors during basic training. This training will help the individual to gain a more athletic body and possibly lose additional weight. It may even be possible to extend basic training and offer an extended program for those with weight problems. This would allow the individuals to get into the shape needed to serve the military. Currently, the army standards indicate that 27% of all Americans between the ages of 17 and 24 are too obese to qualify for the military. These are the prime recruiting years for the military (Bernstein, 2010). If over one out of every four Americans do not qualify for the military, then the military needs to change its policies. By all means, it is important to be in shape when fighting an enemy. However, the best way for people to get into top military shape is for the military to do it! As mentioned, overweight recruits can be put through a special program that is longer; this will allow them time to get into shape. If one out of every four individuals would require this, there is more than enough reason to offer it. People can get into shape and the military can have additional recruits.
The current standards by the U.S. military are too high. They exclude twenty-seven percent, over one out of every four individuals, from joining the military. These individuals may have excellent qualities to offer the military. If the military lowered their standards, these individuals could serve their country and bring their unique talents and strengths to the military.
- Bernstein, L. (2010, June 17). Too fat to fight? Washington Post. Retrieved from: http://my.academicwritersonline.com/av_orders
- U.S. Army. (n.d.). About the army. Retrieved from: http://www.goarmy.com/about/service-options/active-duty.html