US Military Officials Worried: Are Young Americans Too Fat?
On July 4, America's Independence Day, U.S. President Donald Trump asked more Americans to join the military.
"To young Americans across our country, now is your chance to join our military and make a truly great statement in life, and you should do it," Trump said in his speech at the Lincoln Memorial.
The next day, Trump spoke to reporters outside the White House. He said he believed his statement would increase the number of young people joining the military.
"Based on that, we're going to have a lot of people joining our military," he said.
However, a 2016 Department of Defense report found that nearly 75 percent of young Americans are unable to serve in the military, mostly because they weigh too much. Military recruitment is decreasing.
The Department of Defense says the Navy, Marines and Air Force met their recruiting goals in 2018; but the Army did not. The Army fell more than 6,500 recruits short of its target of 76,500.
In 2018, the group Mission: Readiness said in a report that 71 percent of Americans between the ages of 17 and 24 cannot meet all the basic requirements for military service. Mission: Readiness is a group of 750 retired military members that makes policy recommendations to the government.
The biggest problem is obesity. About 31 percent of young American would be rejected because they are overweight. Other problems are lack of education, criminal history and drug use.
Retired Army Major General Allen Youngman from Mission: Readiness said almost 25 percent of high school graduates are unable to pass the basic military entrance tests.
Not only is the number of eligible recruits decreasing, but the number of young Americans interested in military careers is decreasing, the report found. This is partly the result of a strong national economy. There are many job opportunities for young people and that makes military careers seem less desirable, Youngman said.
As the number of people serving in the military decreases, the problem is likely to get worse.
That's because there are fewer members of the military "to encourage a young person to consider military service," said Youngman. The U.S. Army Recruiting Command reports that 79 percent of recruits have a relative who also served in the military.
Youngman said, lowering education or criminal history rules in order to enlarge the recruiting numbers is not a good choice. Rules are rules, he added.
"We've just got to work harder to find young people who can meet them."
However, the numbers are not encouraging.
By age two, 14 percent of American children are already obese. That percentage increases as children get older, the Mission:Readiness report said. In the 16-19 age group, 42 percent of Americans are overweight. Nearly 70 percent of overweight teens become overweight or obese adults.
The problem is very serious in southern states, like Georgia and Alabama. These states provide a large number of military recruits, but also have some of the highest levels of obesity in the country.
I'm Susan Shand.
1.criminal history 犯罪史
When people explain the motives of crime, they always date back to the criminal history of childhood.
2.job opportunities 就业机会
Education now offers the lower classes access to job opportunities.
3.entrance tests 入学考试
Students are even permitted to use them when they take college entrance tests.
4.lack of 缺乏
Stress and lack of sleep can aggravate the situation
5.Youngman said, lowering education or criminal history rules in order to enlarge the recruiting numbers is not a good choice.
in order to 为了
In order to ensure success we must have a complete and thorough plan.
Doctors examine their patients thoroughly in order to make a correct diagnosis.
6."We've just got to work harder to find young people who can meet them."
work harder to 努力做某事
Some hearing-impaired children may work harder to overcome their handicap.
We need to work harder to unlock the talent and creativity of our people.
次日，特朗普在白宫外对记者发表了讲话 。他说，他相信这一声明将增加年轻人参军的人数 。
然而，2016年美国国防部的一份报告发现，近75%的美国年轻人无法参军，主要是因为他们体重过重 。征兵人数正在减少 。
美国国防部表示，海军、海军陆战队和空军在2018年实现了招募目标；但是陆军没有达到征兵目标 。陆军出现6500多名新兵空额，未能达到76500人的征兵目标 。
2018年，“使命：备战”组织在一份报告中称，17岁至24岁的美国人中，71%的人无法满足服兵役的所有基本要求 。该组织由750名退役军人组成，他们向政府建言献策 。
最大的问题是肥胖 。大约31%的美国年轻人因超重而被拒收 。其他问题包括还缺乏教育、犯罪前科和吸毒 。
退役陆军少将艾伦·扬曼（Allen Youngman）表示，将近25%的高中毕业生无法通过基本的入伍考试 。
报告发现，不仅合格的新兵数量在减少，对军旅生涯感兴趣的美国年轻人的数量也在减少 。扬曼指出，这某种程度上是因为国民经济形势大好 。年轻人有很多就业机会，因此军旅生涯的吸引力相对降低了 。
他说，这是因为“鼓励年轻人考虑服兵役”的军人较少 。美国陆军征兵司令部报告说，79%的新兵有曾在军队服役的亲戚 。
扬曼表示，降低教育水平或放宽犯罪前科限制来扩大兵源不是好的选择 。他补充说，标准就是标准 。
14%的美国两岁儿童已经出现肥胖 。该报告指出，随着孩子年龄的增长，这一比例还会攀升 。在16到19岁的人群中，42%的美国人超重 。近70%的超重青少年成为超重或肥胖的成年人 。
这个问题在南部各州异常严重，如乔治亚州和阿拉巴马州 。这些州需要征收大量新兵，但同时也是美国肥胖率最高的几个州之一 。