53 minutes ago
Thursday, December 30, 2010
Parrot in the mineshaft
While you have been seasonally greeting, I've remained vigilant, preparing you for the day ahead. Today we give thanks to the US Armed Forces, our canary (parrot) in the mineshaft.
Obviously, the military performs tasks that most of us neither want to know about or think about having to do ourselves. Think Jack Nicholson in A Few Good Men.
Our armed forces do what they are told with the resources given to them, and it's up to them to get the job done. Military commanders are only criticized for being in situations they shouldn't be in, by politicians who didn't protect them in the first place.
Two 2010 Army studies were published which up front, loud, in your face detailed the areas which will cripple it's future.
Draw a mental picture of a 2010 Army recruit. Patriots? Some. Kids looking to beat the sheriff? A few. Young people hoping to better themselves? Most certainly, it surely isn't the free work clothes which draws them in. In reality a pretty wide cross section shows up at a local recruiter.
In June the Army reported that 27% of recruit applicants are too fat to enlist. The spirit is willing, the body isn't able.
Last week, it was reported that 23% of recent high school graduate applicants failed the Armed Services Qualification Test,the entrance exam if you will. My suspicion is that this number is probably a constant, and reported every few years as news, but still it is unnerving.
If your curious, you may take the exam here without fear of a recruiter getting in touch. There are 4 parts. Arithmetic Reasoning, General Science, Math knowledge and Word knowledge.
So is there an answer? Certainly not one the Armed Forces can take on alone. They can't fight obesity, stupid and politicians at the same time. God bless 'em, for we know not what they do.