So what would happen if we had a military draft today with so many fat people around?

FWIIW I have topoint out your mistake. Navy is only the easiest basic if you consider that the Air Force doesn’t have a basic but instead a big sleep over in their dormitories. Army 80-85. :smiley:

In the past, a lot of prospective military draftees (and some who were accepted) had shaky health because of poor nutrition, bad teeth and various chronic disorders (like TB). I’ve heard that British troops in WWII did not match up well with their German counterparts as far as health and fitness.

“Weight-for-height standards were relevant when a sizable proportion of draftees and volunteers were malnourished, tuberculous, or had parasitic diseases; underweight was a good marker of such individuals who were clearly unsuited to the physical demands of the military. The need for height-weight standards has diminished as the importance of these diseases has diminished. In addition to advances in health care, improved nutrition over the past century has produced increases in the mean height, weight, and fat-free mass of soldiers (Table 3-1) (Karpinos, 1961). However, improved nutrition has also increased the importance of health risks at the other extreme of body size, with excessive fatness due to overnutrition. Although tuberculosis was a leading cause of death in the early 1900s, the leading cause of death in 1987 was heart disease (Surgeon General’s Report on Nutrition and Health, 1988). Prompted by these health trends and the current national obsession with body fat and fitness, the principal target of physical standards in the Army has shifted from underweight to overfat soldiers. The use of these standards has also changed from simple entry selection criteria to standards that must be maintained throughout an Army career by appropriate nutrition and exercise.”

I suspect that if the draft needed to be reinstituted, it’d be a lot easier to find draftees in good physical condition other than excess weight, which could be dropped during training, in contrast to less remediable conditions confronting military authorities in past wars.

Oh, I had always heard that even the Air Force’s boot camp was tougher than the Navy. Also easy compared to Army and especially Marines but tougher than the Navy. Lets face it, I probably had to do more walking than the average Navy guy as I was on a carrier as an Electrician Mate. On a busy day of doing preventive maintenance I might manage to walk 2-3 miles as the Carrier is about 1000’ long. Flight Bases are far larger and hangars are often bigger than most ships.

The toughest physical challenge for Navy Boot Camp back in 1985 was to run a mile in under 15 minutes IRC. Well that and for the southerners to survive the Great Lakes winter.

A mile in 15 minutes? That can’t be right, can it? That’s pretty much walking speed.

Current requirement is 1.5 miles in 13 minutes.

That’s nothing, the last time I went to a British casino, I lost 200 pounds in less than an hour! :wink:

You hear this a lot. But why. Is it because bombers at high altitudes can’t see the individual enemy soldiers on the ground, much less distinguish them from civilians?

Ok, well what about smaller vehicles, quadcopter size or walking ground robots. It seems like it ought to be possible to occupy territory without exposing your forces to getting shot.

And of course there’s the kill em all strategy. While immoral, you can in fact occupy a radioactive wasteland by patrolling above it with aircraft.

My father got out of Vietnam because they weren’t drafting anyone taller than 6’6" at the time. I think he aged out of the draft mid-war- I’m not sure that policy lasted throughout. Of course, the percentage of men that tall was lower then than it is today.

ISTM I see more obese poor people, than I do obese wealthy people. I wonder if a draft would mean that the normal-weight wealthy people would be taken in first.

Stability operations, especially counter-insurgencies, are a big part of the need. Things that you can’t do as effectively with a drone.

  • Sit and drink chai with a local leader to try and influence them. Sure you could have a little VTC screen but why would they care as much what someone not willing to face the same risks they are facing daily said.
  • Build a demonstration garden showing the benefits of things like row planting and drip irrigation. Conduct seminars with farmers and local governmental agriculture officials while walking through that garden while answering their questions. (This is something done by Agri-business Development Teams in Afghanistan.)
  • Meet face to face with what are doctrinally called unified action partners that aren’t in the military, like the on ground staff of NGOs.
  • Develop an in person understanding of local cultural norms and how they influence the population.
  • Figure out that the largely ignored but long standing dispute over who owns an area between villages can suddenly become relevant again to the population of both villages. (Okay that was from a real world fuck up from a NG Engineer that deployed to Africa. They missed it until after they drilled the brand new well that sudenly revived the issue. :smack: )
  • Train host nation security personnel. It’s just easier to coach, teach, and mentor if you are laying in the mud next to them during training. We don’t yet have a drone that can reach over and demonstrate doing it right. We are even further from one that can clap them on the shoulder with a genuine smile to celebrate when they get it right.
  • Provide leadership in an advise and assist role to those security forces going out to do the dangerous things. It’s one thing to tell them from a distance. It’s another thing to go WITH them and share the hardships. Leadership is not yet drone deliverable.
  • Direct action raids and site exploitation after the raid. We’re not at the point where you can as effectively capture, process, and interview suspected insurgents remotely.
  • Provide fires (especially rotary wing and artillery which need to be based relatively nearby due to range limitation vs fixed wing) and trained observers on the ground for those fires. Those tend to be harder capabilities with longer lead times to build in host nation forces. There’s a reason why we have American artillery in both Syria and Iraq right now. Both nations involve American advisors at the sharp, pointy end calling for the fires with other American advisors to plan, clear, and process fires.

Warfare, but especially stability operations, is a very human endeavor. We have highly developed communication methods that involve body language to influence other members of our social species. We have social expectations of and emotional reactions to other people. Technology still is not at the level of being able to fully convey all of that subtext. Our built in operating systems haven’t changed and the evolutionary upgrade cycle for that software is extremely long. There’s a reason why the Army, along with pursuing tech solutions like greater use of drones, also recently announced the creation of dedicated Advise and Assist Brigades. When influencing people is part of producing victory, humans are still one of the best developed systems.

I pretty sure that was all that was required back then. I said it was easy. For what it is walk, it is a fast walk, walking speed on average is closer to 20 minutes for a mile.

Really for the Navy? That is a significantly higher rate of speed.

Bone spurs are more common among the wealthy, though.

What are they considering “draft age”? I have no doubt that many American men are overweight (I certainly am) but I suspect men in the prime drafting ages (let’s say 18 to 22) are less likely to be overweight than the average man.



Where did you find the 13 minute part? I found a specific counter example on Navy Physical Readiness Test (PRT) Overview |

My bolding/italics above

Others have tackled the rest of your post. Ref the above:

Yes, economics goes out the window. But they still have a production quota. If it takes 4x as long to get troops to the field it requires 4x as much facilities and your first trickle comes out of the pipeline 15 weeks late. Plus the additional delays to build those facilities. Plus the additional manpower required to staff a 4x larger training process.

etc., etc. etc.

Overall I agree there are damn few potential scenarios that involve the US drafting a hefty fraction of the populace in a hurry. But arm-waving away the practical obstacles to doing so in an era of widespread obesity isn’t valid thinking.

Well, men of age 18 to 25 are required to register for selective service, so I think that’s a good starting point. During WWII men as old as 42 were drafted, though that was lowered to 37 mid-war. Men as old as 64 were required to register for the draft at the time, though they weren’t actually drafted at that age.

Currently, “The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in section 313 of title 32, under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States and of female citizens of the United States who are members of the National Guard.” Presumably, at least all of those are eligible for the draft, except perhaps the 17-year-olds.

I think you mean 2 miles?
Also the swimming is not exactly easy?

Some Call Me… Tim writes:

> My father got out of Vietnam because they weren’t drafting anyone taller than 6’6" at
> the time.

And I got out of being drafted during the Vietnam War because they weren’t drafting anyone under 5’ (and because my draft number was too high).

I would say, in this day an age, if we are enacting the draft, shit has hit the fan and it’s a case of we need every man who can at least manage to run across a street without keeling over.
I am assuming of course that we would never again piss away young men in a useless draft like we did in Vietnam

If that is the case, unless you are a candidate for “My 600 pound life” or something, your tubby butt is going to become untubby.
You will be doing relentless PT and someone will tell you when to eat, what to eat, and how much to eat, and you wont be enjoying life much for say 16 to 20 weeks?
Thats 16 to 20 weeks longer than your non tubby draftmates.
On the bright side, you wont die just because you couldn’t get up and move your ass in an expedient manner.

That is a much better situation for tubby than the alternative of lowering the standards.
That would be an absolute disservice to Mr tubby because you are pretty much guaranteeing him a spot in Arlington as soon as the ramps drop.

You put a million white crosses in the ground, you damned well better have a better reason than “We lowered the standards, so we didnt train them better

There is a difference of course between obese but fixable/workable and obese and hopeless
(from a soldier standpoint i mean)
The hopeless category you dont even waste time on, you cant.