American fitness has national security implications. It’s time to take it more seriously

Fiscal year 2023 is projected to be the most difficult year for military recruiting since the inception of the all-volunteer force in 1973. Every branch of the military is reporting extreme challenges in recruiting enough volunteers to fill their ranks. Not only are fewer people volunteering, but there are fewer eligible Americans to recruit as the prevalence of obesity grows and disqualifies an ever-increasing number from military service.

The Army is having the worst time of it. By the end of the 2022 fiscal year on September 30, the Army reported a 25% shortfall in their desired numbers—about 15,000 soldiers short . While the other services just barely met their recruitment goals, they are facing similar troubles that have set them behind for the coming year.

Where usually the Marine Corps would have as much as 50% of its recruiting goal already satisfied, officials say they have only a little over 30%. The Air Force has roughly 10% where it would normally see 25%, and the Navy sits at an equally meager 10%.

afghanistan by The U.S. Army is licensed under flickr Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)