U.S. Military Fitness Crisis To Cost Government Millions Of Dollars

A report published in Advances in Cardiovascular Diseases examined the correlation between a lack of fitness and increased accidents among new Army recruits.

Military Times reports that the study analyzed data from the 2017 fiscal year’s initial training rosters for the Army.

A complete analysis of the facts has shown that the Army is losing millions of dollars due to the poor physical condition of its recruits.

Out of a total of 99,335 trainees, the researchers found that 33,509, or little under 35%, suffered from at least one musculoskeletal disorder. Injuries to the skeleton, joints, muscles, and connective tissues disproportionately impact women.

The study found that these ailments affected around 62% of the 19,262 female trainees. For male trainees, just 32% said their injuries had any kind of effect.

An article in Military Times reported that over $14.8 million was spent on medical treatment to treat musculoskeletal injuries experienced by trainees.

The study also broke down injury rates according to the individuals’ home towns and states.

Rhode Island, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, New York, Florida, North Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, and South Carolina were shown to have the highest injury rates in a Military Times survey. The southern regions accounted for eight of these states.

The source claims that over $7.2 million in medical costs were expended to treat the trainees, with the southern states footing almost half the bill.

The study’s authors concluded that recruits from the South are not sufficiently physically fit and prone to develop musculoskeletal injuries during initial military training.

The study authors told Military Times that their findings further illustrate that enhancing physical activity and physical fitness among young Americans living in Southern states, especially the country generally, is of “crucial relevance for national security.” 

A country’s military is only as sound as the physical fitness of its men and women.