A new study highlights a growing problem for the US military; recruits are not in shape.
The Citadel teamed up with the US Army and American Heart Association and found the real issues are coming from recruits from ten southern US states, including North and South Carolina. And those researchers say, that low fitness level, poses a threat to military readiness and national security.
It's a serious concern because a lack of physical fitness and young adults who are overweight mean that some recruits can't even qualify to serve, or can't pass the entry level fitness test.
Sgt. Cedrick Powell is retired from the Air Force and is now a JROTC Instructor at Southside High School. he says maintaining your physical fitness is part of what it means to be in JROTC. And while those who take part are not required to join the military after graduation, the program does follow military principles.
Sgt. Powell said, "We pay a good deal of attention to physical fitness. We do physical fitness every Friday. We try to make it fun, we try to get the kids to work out with out them realizing it."
One of the results of the study showed that 27 percent of Americans 17-24 years old are too overweight to qualify for the military. And 47 percent of males and 50 percent of females failed the Army's entry level physical fitness test. Sgt. Powell is concerned, but not surprised.
"I think it has become an issue. I remember my last few years in the military I'd be out on the track doing my PT test and I would be outrunning these 19 and 20 year olds. It's really a generational issue. They have these, I call them distractions; Play Stations, Xboxes, whatever the case may be."
Sgt. Powell said programs like JROTC can help plant the seed when it comes to improved physical activity.
"This program I think is a stepping stone to actually getting individuals better physically fit."
Copyright 2018 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.