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View Full Version : Army revamping exercise and menu for new recruits



HetHert
December 28th, 2010, 05:02 PM
http://www.npr.org/2010/12/28/132407022/army-ditches-boot-camp-in-favor-of-new-age-fitness


During the past decade, the U.S. Army has faced what it regards as a serious internal threat: young recruits entering in terrible shape.
In a radical shift, the Army is overhauling the way it trains, cares for and feeds new soldiers.
So, as fad workouts increasingly borrow Army terms like "boot camp," actual basic training is starting to look a bit like a new-age fitness camp but with harsh words, severe haircuts and firearms.

Eyeris
December 28th, 2010, 08:30 PM
This is very interesting.

Note, that I read the article but did not listen to the full program.


I just spoke with a girl who was in the middle of her bootcamp...

She reports, that she had prepared for her bootcamp, doing push ups, sit ups, working out, and she had before been an active girl. However, many in her unit were waaay out of shape, and unprepared for the physical and mental intensity of boot camp. She was home for the Christmas break, and told me "those are the girls who are not going to come back... and get in big trouble for going AWOL." Many regret joining, and tried to fake sick or injury to get out (which, ironically, keeps them there longer.)

She says that many joined the army in order to lose weight, or just to go to school... This I think has serious implications on how young Americans view the military (movies and media influences?) and also what the recruiters are telling people! I have spoken to recruiters (everyone at my school got a call circa junior year of high school). The guy would tell me anything to make it sound appealing to me, rather than finding out if I was a soldierly-type (which I am certainly not).

And the Food, she was so grossed out by what they were giving her. Everyone in camp was constipated. ("don't eat the eggs, dude." how do you mess up hard boiled eggs?!). She said the food was so bad, everyone used peanut butter and jelly packets to make sandwiches for every meal. When the cooks figured out they were doing that... no more peanut butter and jelly packets... It's one thing to give soldiers plain food, its another to give them gross and nutritious food that was described to me by this girl. She also thinks that is how they cook in the field? (Correct me, experienced soldiers, if we are wrong.)

This was my conclusion of our discussion. Being a soldier is serious business, young people coming into boot camp need to be well informed and prepared for the physical, mental, and emotional demands. And the food situation needs to change.


I don't think boot camp should lower it's standards, perhaps there needs to be a physical fitness qualification if this is a training impediment?

Sequoia
December 28th, 2010, 08:56 PM
I liked what the article had to say about workout routines that were less injury-prone for the body, and better nutrition. Just because you alter the routines doesn't mean you're "wussifying" the military. I mean, they've gotta work with what they get, and if the raw materials for new soldiers are pretty pathetic, you've got to work them up into something useful.

I've always heard military food was pretty horrible. My mother used to sing a song her brothers taught her... they were all military... "Oh, the biscuits in the army they say are mighty fine, one rolled off the table, and killed a friend of mine! OH, I don't want no more of army life!" is just one line of the memorable little ditty.

But you'd think that highly nutrient-packed food would be a vital part of building up a strong, functional soldier... wouldn't you?

Eyeris
December 28th, 2010, 09:21 PM
I liked what the article had to say about workout routines that were less injury-prone for the body, and better nutrition. Just because you alter the routines doesn't mean you're "wussifying" the military. I mean, they've gotta work with what they get, and if the raw materials for new soldiers are pretty pathetic, you've got to work them up into something useful.

I've always heard military food was pretty horrible. My mother used to sing a song her brothers taught her... they were all military... "Oh, the biscuits in the army they say are mighty fine, one rolled off the table, and killed a friend of mine! OH, I don't want no more of army life!" is just one line of the memorable little ditty.

But you'd think that highly nutrient-packed food would be a vital part of building up a strong, functional soldier... wouldn't you?

LOL (love the song) yeah!

memnoch
December 28th, 2010, 09:21 PM
This is very interesting.

Note, that I read the article but did not listen to the full program.


I just spoke with a girl who was in the middle of her bootcamp...

She reports, that she had prepared for her bootcamp, doing push ups, sit ups, working out, and she had before been an active girl. However, many in her unit were waaay out of shape, and unprepared for the physical and mental intensity of boot camp. She was home for the Christmas break, and told me "those are the girls who are not going to come back... and get in big trouble for going AWOL." Many regret joining, and tried to fake sick or injury to get out (which, ironically, keeps them there longer.)

She says that many joined the army in order to lose weight, or just to go to school... This I think has serious implications on how young Americans view the military (movies and media influences?) and also what the recruiters are telling people! I have spoken to recruiters (everyone at my school got a call circa junior year of high school). The guy would tell me anything to make it sound appealing to me, rather than finding out if I was a soldierly-type (which I am certainly not).

And the Food, she was so grossed out by what they were giving her. Everyone in camp was constipated. ("don't eat the eggs, dude." how do you mess up hard boiled eggs?!). She said the food was so bad, everyone used peanut butter and jelly packets to make sandwiches for every meal. When the cooks figured out they were doing that... no more peanut butter and jelly packets... It's one thing to give soldiers plain food, its another to give them gross and nutritious food that was described to me by this girl. She also thinks that is how they cook in the field? (Correct me, experienced soldiers, if we are wrong.)

This was my conclusion of our discussion. Being a soldier is serious business, young people coming into boot camp need to be well informed and prepared for the physical, mental, and emotional demands. And the food situation needs to change.


I don't think boot camp should lower it's standards, perhaps there needs to be a physical fitness qualification if this is a training impediment?

Okay, a few things...I will start with the comment about recruiters. It is a recruiters job to get people to sign up. They fit their pitch to their targets, just like any salesman does.

As for those who can't handle basic training, don't go. Blaming the recruiters, the toughness, ect. is nothing more than an excuse...admit that the flaw is in you, whether it is the fact you couldn't handle it, or you made a poor choice.

On to the food. The food sucks, compared to your mom's home cooked meals, or they suck for those who cram their faces with big macs and whoppers. When I was in 10 years ago it was fine...not saying it was great, but it wasn't the worst food ever...kind of reminded me of school lunches. As for the constipation and the rumors about eggs...for the most part they are untrue...for guys we all heard about the saltpeter...untrue as well. The reality is a stressful environment, low level dehydration (most people don't know how to properly stay hydrated, especially in such an intense situation), and a variety of other things. Although the irony is they went to the peanut butter, which does help cause constipation.

Maybe those who have been in for several years can tell me if the food has become drastically worse...I know it improved from my grandfathers generation to my fathers, and from my fathers to mine, I imagine this trend didn't suddenly reverse.

RoseKitten
December 28th, 2010, 10:19 PM
Maybe those who have been in for several years can tell me if the food has become drastically worse...I know it improved from my grandfathers generation to my fathers, and from my fathers to mine, I imagine this trend didn't suddenly reverse.

Eh, the only part I can really comment on is NTC which my husband attended a few months back. The eggs were basically powder that was... rubbery and unpleasant. He describes the food at basic as "camp food" like freeze dried food, prepackaged stuff, etc. He has certainly gained weight since getting married, but the food they serve isn't inedible or anything else, unless you go in expecting full meals like you get at home (as you already mentioned).

memnoch
December 30th, 2010, 02:41 PM
Eh, the only part I can really comment on is NTC which my husband attended a few months back. The eggs were basically powder that was... rubbery and unpleasant. He describes the food at basic as "camp food" like freeze dried food, prepackaged stuff, etc. He has certainly gained weight since getting married, but the food they serve isn't inedible or anything else, unless you go in expecting full meals like you get at home (as you already mentioned).

All of this is true...although, while the scrambled eggs are horrible, the omelettes aren't too hateful. But the breakfasts are always made better if you poor sausage gravy over the whole thing (ham and cheese omellete, sausage, bacon, biscuits, and hash browns), add 2 cups of oj, 2 of coffee, and a milk and your day is off to a good start.

)O( ~ Khara~ )O(
December 30th, 2010, 03:09 PM
20+ years ago if you were overweight they told you up front you're too fat. With that said, there is enough information out there whether bastardized by Hollywood or just in people's blogs and stuff that anyone entering the military should have a few basic understandings as a given

#1 - YOU WILL SWEAT YOUR ASS OFF IN BASIC WHETHER IN DECENT SHAPE OR NOT. Only serious atheletes seems to breeze thru basic and even some of them have "issues".

#2 - In general, MILTARY FOOD SUCKS ASS! It isn't however any worse than any other large scale meal preperation operation.

There are exceptions everywhere. My dad once said that said the biggest and best shrimp he ever ate was in Vietnam. Made reference to some amazing steaks they grilled there as well but he did say they weren't sure exactly what animal it came from, just assumed water buffalo.

Growing up I've eaten on bases all over and never once had anything truly terrible. I may not have liked it, but it was edible. I just wasn't always sure what it was.

memnoch
December 30th, 2010, 03:11 PM
20+ years ago if you were overweight they told you up front you're too fat. With that said, there is enough information out there whether bastardized by Hollywood or just in people's blogs and stuff that anyone entering the military should have a few basic understandings as a given

#1 - YOU WILL SWEAT YOUR ASS OFF IN BASIC WHETHER IN DECENT SHAPE OR NOT. Only serious atheletes seems to breeze thru basic and even some of them have "issues".

#2 - In general, MILTARY FOOD SUCKS ASS! It isn't however any worse than any other large scale meal preperation operation.

There are exceptions everywhere. My dad once said that said the biggest and best shrimp he ever ate was in Vietnam. Made reference to some amazing steaks they grilled there as well but he did say they weren't sure exactly what animal it came from, just assumed water buffalo.

Growing up I've eaten on bases all over and never once had anything truly terrible. I may not have liked it, but it was edible. I just wasn't always sure what it was.

Exactly...although they would still tell you you were fat 10 years ago. The drill sergeant would randomly make me drop and do 50 sit ups, just because I needed them.

Charley Brown
December 30th, 2010, 03:50 PM
Personally, I think lowering PT requirements is a dangerous thing. If you can't cut it, wash out. If I am going into combat with an 80 pound pack and you to cover my ass then you better damn well be there. I just don't want to hear about how damn tough it is.

This is no place for PC behavior or lowering standards.

)O( ~ Khara~ )O(
December 30th, 2010, 03:54 PM
Personally, I think lowering PT requirements is a dangerous thing. If you can't cut it, wash out. If I am going into combat with an 80 pound pack and you to cover my ass then you better damn well be there. I just don't want to hear about how damn tough it is.

This is no place for PC behavior or lowering standards.

This is true. I do not want some huffing puffing fat ass a mile behind to be the one who is supposed to have my back. Nor do I want to be the huffing puffin fat ass.

Standards should not be lowered, in fact many should be raised.

memnoch
December 30th, 2010, 04:09 PM
Personally, I think lowering PT requirements is a dangerous thing. If you can't cut it, wash out. If I am going into combat with an 80 pound pack and you to cover my ass then you better damn well be there. I just don't want to hear about how damn tough it is.

This is no place for PC behavior or lowering standards.

I completely agree with this

Charley Brown
December 30th, 2010, 04:13 PM
I completely agree with this


Oh shit. :hairred:

WitchJezebel
December 30th, 2010, 04:33 PM
Personally, I think lowering PT requirements is a dangerous thing. If you can't cut it, wash out. If I am going into combat with an 80 pound pack and you to cover my ass then you better damn well be there. I just don't want to hear about how damn tough it is.

This is no place for PC behavior or lowering standards.

Quoted for truth.

Terra Mater
December 30th, 2010, 06:57 PM
Personally, I think lowering PT requirements is a dangerous thing. If you can't cut it, wash out. If I am going into combat with an 80 pound pack and you to cover my ass then you better damn well be there. I just don't want to hear about how damn tough it is.

This is no place for PC behavior or lowering standards.

Shit twice cause I agree with this as well.:thumbsup:

memnoch
December 30th, 2010, 07:36 PM
I would like to add I believe the military should get rid of weight requirements as long as the physical requirements can be met. I had no problem with pushups, rocked out on sit ups (over the max), and passed (barely) the two miles, but was always being watched because I never met weight requirements and barely passed the body fat requirement. I was as physically fit as anyone else in the army, but I had a large body mass...even when I was in shape I had a slight spare tire and had a larger muscle mass than most (I was a powerlifter in high school)

Charley Brown
December 30th, 2010, 07:39 PM
Shit twice cause I agree with this as well.:thumbsup:
lol

hypno_cossak
January 16th, 2011, 07:49 PM
I would like to add I believe the military should get rid of weight requirements as long as the physical requirements can be met. I had no problem with pushups, rocked out on sit ups (over the max), and passed (barely) the two miles, but was always being watched because I never met weight requirements and barely passed the body fat requirement. I was as physically fit as anyone else in the army, but I had a large body mass...even when I was in shape I had a slight spare tire and had a larger muscle mass than most (I was a powerlifter in high school)


I think sometimes, standards should be reworked or changed, per medical findings, but changing things just because someone feels they were 'pushed" too hard, or something was not easy... dude its the ARMY!! My bro was drill sgt, in the army... and he made grown men cry. He said, sometimes people need to be pushed, and the army has the responsibility to see all men and women are trained, and given the skills to survive in combat.

monsnoleedra
January 16th, 2011, 08:04 PM
I would like to add I believe the military should get rid of weight requirements as long as the physical requirements can be met. I had no problem with pushups, rocked out on sit ups (over the max), and passed (barely) the two miles, but was always being watched because I never met weight requirements and barely passed the body fat requirement. I was as physically fit as anyone else in the army, but I had a large body mass...even when I was in shape I had a slight spare tire and had a larger muscle mass than most (I was a powerlifter in high school)

I worked with a Petty Officer in Scotland that was always being hit on body fat index. Using the tape measure he was always over weight and negatively marked for it. They eventually wanted to process him for discharge but his lawyer demanded he be given an imerssion weighting and his body weight came out to be single digit.

He too was a body builder and had bulk and mass because of it.

Saw others that were skinny as rails but came up over body mass index because of the measurements. I honeslty think many times it's not about being able to perform ones duties but the ability to look like a poster child in uniform. Can't do their job but by god they look good at it.

Aedh
January 22nd, 2011, 01:53 PM
I honeslty think many times it's not about being able to perform ones duties but the ability to look like a poster child in uniform. Can't do their job but by god they look good at it.
YES. That is why. The military is not like the civilian sector. We have look like we mean business, or wait that is universal. Given a choice between two people, both with equal skill and ability, the one who looks good will be picked. And the Army doesn't just willy nilly kick out the fatties. Chaptering overweight Soldiers and PT failures, among other things, is at their commander's discretion. Which means PVT Fatty McFatpants can still stay in even though he is so fat his XXL ACUs are skin tight as long as his chain of command likes and/or thinks he does a good job.
Heck by Army standards I am overweight, but I pass my tape, am in the 80th or higher percent for the 3 events on the APFT AND I do my job AND the jobs of my superiors for them. The Army, and the rest of the military, wants healthy, physically, mentally and spiritual fit, competent personnel that look like badasses in their duty uniforms, combat gear and dress uniforms.
There is more to being in the Service than getting a paycheck from the Federal Government. If you aren't willing to live up to the ideals and execute your job and tasks in a MILITARY manner, then please to be getting out of the Army.

KarmaKanik
January 24th, 2011, 07:07 PM
"I'm not fat, I'm just big-boned, god damnit"! (Eric Cartman)

)O( ~ Khara~ )O(
January 25th, 2011, 11:12 AM
"I'm not fat, I'm just big-boned, god damnit"! (Eric Cartman)


Or the ever popular....

"I'm not overweight, I'm undertall." (no clue who said it first :bigredgri )