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Goggles Pizano
05-14-2006, 13:40
Two days ago I was assisting our Academy staff with PT evals for incoming candidates. I have never been so disgusted by the lack of SA toward the Academy staff, fitness in general, and the testing process as a whole by today's youth (twenty somethings)! Some examples if I may:

1) Fat, fat, fat. Christ almighty how the hell can you look at yourself in the mirror and see a beer gut....at age 21????!!!!! Then, seeing that gut, make a conscious decision; "oh yeah man, I want to join the Police Department/Military!"?

2) I lost count of the many applicants who stated prior to performing pushups or situps this gem..."how many do I have to do?". Our response: "the best you can.". Their retort: "yeah but, how many to pass?". :rolleyes:

3) Another beaut and I swear to God this happened more times than I care to recall: Instructor; "your not breaking the plane! Go down further or I will not count them." Candidate response; "I'm doing them right man! They count!". Instructor response; "Stop, you have failed." Candidate complains to Academy staff that he/she should be allowed to retake the test because...His grader was unfair! I wish I was making this up folks.

The common denominator I found (in my not so scientific poll during the process) was people who have spent time in the military, or were above the age of thirty were more in tune with what is required of them than their civilian/twenty year old counterparts.

My partner has dubbed these oxygen thieves the "just get by" generation. Sad but true.
Note: 28 percent of the persons tested failed. Average age of failed candidates-26.

Question: Is this a real problem with youth today or did we strike a bad batch of folks? Also, if this is identified as a problem what would be the best approach to increasing fitness awareness without invoking the "nanny state" of government intrusion?

longrange1947
05-14-2006, 13:47
Remember, this is the generation of school kids NEVER allowed to fail, given whatever they wanted, and catered to so as not to hurt their itty bitty feelings. :rolleyes:

They have yet to have, well until now, any REAL life experiences. Their background has been the same as those wimpering academics that have never had any real life experiences as well.

Yes, I have noted the same attitudes even within the military ranks. :eek:

rubberneck
05-14-2006, 13:53
Question: Is this a real problem with youth today or did we strike a bad batch of folks? Also, if this is identified as a problem what would be the best approach to increasing fitness awareness without invoking the "nanny state" of government intrusion?

I can't speak in a military or LEO sense but from a business standpoint I see it as well. When I graduated from college in 1991 my first job paid me $19,900 a year and while I wanted more I never felt that it was due me. Not any more. Todays kids have a raging sense of self entitlement and an attitude to match. I guess that comes from never being told no or being told that if you want something work for it. Quite frankly it makes me sick.

CPTAUSRET
05-14-2006, 13:58
SAD!


Goggles, where in De.?

PM me if you like.

Terry

DanUCSB
05-14-2006, 15:25
It has been my experience (as a young man of 26) that today's generation of young folks have a fundamental problem (caused by our culture and/or how they were raised): they expect to have all of the comforts of successful, middle-aged life... in their twenties. Before they've actually done anything.

That is, nowadays, people in their young twenties seem to think that it's their 'right' to have a new, sporty car; a nice apartment; a plasma-screen TV; vacations and steak dinners and a wallet full of credit cards that never run dry. Of course, reality often smacks them upside the head with a car payment they can't afford, an apartment they're strung out to pay for, and heaps of credit card debt. But y'know, they deserve it, right? :eek:

Smokin Joe
05-14-2006, 15:27
Goggles,

I just graduated my second academy. It was a multijurisdicational academy, all I can say is that I really truely hope that FTO will be more difficult because I walked away from this academy feeling unchallenged and still asking a lot of questions. Upon my exit interview I asked. Why was the academy so easy and not more demanding? The response I got was that the high standards have been widdled down due to the low quality of recurits that Law Enforcement is attracting now days.

It is a nation wide problem that is effecting every state.

beedlesw
05-14-2006, 16:22
the just get by attitude is quite prevalent in military ranks, and has been growing in the last 3 years, again mostly due to the fact that the army needs people and doesn't want to get picky about it. new soldiers come to our unit knowing exactly how many repetitions equal 60% but couldn't for the life of them tell you how many they need to max the event, and then they think the commander's goal of 270 or above on the pt test for every soldier is unreasonable.

Monsoon65
05-14-2006, 17:20
Some guys in my unit have this mindset, too. "If X% is passing, how many pushups do I need to do to get it?" I don't think anyone asks, "What's the max for my age in this event?" and then tries to make/beat that.

Goggles Pizano
05-14-2006, 18:06
SAD!


Goggles, where in De.?

PM me if you like.

Terry

Got your PM Sir and reply sent. I'm in Wilmington.

Gene Econ
05-14-2006, 21:32
Question: Is this a real problem with youth today or did we strike a bad batch of folks? Also, if this is identified as a problem what would be the best approach to increasing fitness awareness without invoking the "nanny state" of government intrusion?

GP:

My view. The physical condition issue isn't a real problem with youth today any more than youth thirty years ago. The attitude of 'what are the minimum standards' is something I can date back to about 1990 in the Army, but for a very small minority.

I believe that fellows of my generation -- growing up in the 50's and 60's -- may have been thinner instead of fatter but it seems like the guys in the Army today who are the right weight are in much better condition than we were. Look at the two mile run scores on an Army PT test today compared to twenty years ago. At my age (50), I would have to run that thing in 16 (?)minutes to max it. When I went into the Army, I had to run it in 14 minutes to max it. I can't say I saw a guy break 13 minutes until I was in IOAC in 1983 where we had one guy run it in 12:30. Today, a whole bunch run it in 12 or less. That is the Army and specifically the Infantry. A guy would get smoked real badly if he talked back to an NCO during a PT test or fell out of a unit run -- no matter how stupid the run is in terms of speed and distance. Guys are given more points for scoring over maximum on PT tests these and IMHO the chain of command has done a good job of giving guys an incentive to do well.

Here is something to think about. I bet the percentage of guys who only want to score minimum is extremely small. Some guys ask this to give themselves an out because they know they are in poor condition. These guys are generally asking for leadership to direct them down a path of success although they will never admit it -- until they meet that success. Chances are you have about 2 percent who are honestly tyring to get over. They probably will as they are also BS artists. I would bet the others know they have a problem and want a leadership example to emulate. I also bet that these two categories represent less than ten percent of the guys and females you are dealing with. They can really piss a guy off and remember that ten percent of your folks will consume 90 percent of your time -- although they still represent ten percent and not ninety percent.

Many of these beer belly 21 year old's are trying to be police officers for a reason and it ain't money or prestige. 98 percent of them want a role model to follow. The problem with the 'system', be it Army or LEA, is that bureaucracies hate leaders. Lead them and they will succeed.

Gene

Maisy
05-15-2006, 02:05
I understand your frustration Goggles. I would like to add a couple of thoughts though, if you don't mind.

1. The fat thing is endemic. Your country and mine is fat, adults and children. At the same time schools are cutting back or dropping Phys ed from their curriculums. That is happening around the world, not just the U.S. I think these days kids simply don't know how to stay in shape. I'm not blaming schools for their condition, parents have to take the majority of the blame, but it's certainly not helping matters.

2. My answer to that one is simple. "The max is x, you make anywhere near that, you're doin' good". Forget just sliding through, but I can understand young people needing a set goal to aim towards. For some, "do the best you can" leaves them wondering if they could have done better. There's that little voice in the back of their heads saying, "could I have done one more situp, run just that bit faster? I wasn't throwing up or passing out at the end, so maybe I didn't push hard enough". Giving them a clearly stated goal, any goal, helps.

3. Whingers, the lot of them. If the instructions at the beginning of the test included the words "failure to obey an examiners instruction will result in automatic failure of the test", as I am sure they were, then the whinging little back-talking brats need to go away and learn how to obey simple instructions before they apply again. :rolleyes:

Every generation is different from the one before. Every generation has it's virtues and faults. Every generation thinks the one following it is a degraded and degenerate version of theirs.

Of course, there's only one generation who is the exception that proves the rule, with all virtues and no vices, and that would be the 30-something gen-Xer's. :D :lifter

Jack Moroney (RIP)
05-15-2006, 10:50
Actually I guess it is all a matter of perspective. I can see Gene's point but then when I came into the military PT was a joke in most units. The PT test has evolved many times since 1963 when I took my first one and once the Army started to get more serious about it the actual requirements for passing the test seemed to increase every year with each new modification of the test. Now that was not really a problem because I was able to maintain my own standards, which exceeded theirs, but a lot of folks sort of got discouraged because no one seemed to know what to expect from year to year. Not to mention some of the events were absolutely idiotic and had nothing much to do with evaluating your ability to perform as a soldier. Remember the inverted (perverted) crawl? About the only thing that was good for was shuffling yourself across the floor of a Poulis Porter to get into a good door posiiton. I also can see the other points being made and I do think, reflecting back to the 40s and 50s when I was a kid (that's 1940 and 1950 in case anyone wondered) kids are definitely not the same when I grew up. Our heros were real people and when we played as kids it was outside not in. Many of today's kids' icons are fictional and a lot are in cyber space. They can get lost for hours behind a keyboard and never even break a sweat. Now we did have our fictional super heros but even when we imitated them you still had to run real fast to make the cape your mother made out of some old sheet flap in the breeze-the point being you still got some exercise. We played with sticks, rocks, bounced balls off curbs, hit apples with bats and golf clubs, got into a lot of rough neck stuff and fist fights, made our own bows, spears, and assorted weaponry. Kids today don't seem to be able to pretend anymore but they are hell with a mouse, IPOD, MP3, and anything operated by a battery or power not human generated. When we wanted to loose ourselves in some activity we could use our imagination-a lot of kids today use drugs. We settled kid and teenage stuff with fists not guns. Even kids "sports" activities today require "snacks" and a non-combative, low competitive attitude. Hell our snacks were dirt and those that had that non-competitive non-combative attitude were picked last but they worked hard not to be the next time because peer pressure worked. So, I guess from my little corner and limited perspective I can see all points, but the majority of the kids today would rather be spectators in physical activities than participants and society is going to pay the price. Just my .02 cents.

PSM
05-15-2006, 11:04
Look at the two mile run scores on an Army PT test today compared to twenty years ago.

I don't know when the PT uniforms were issued, but, 30+ years ago, we did our two miles in fatigues and combat boots.

Pat

Razor
05-15-2006, 11:15
I don't know when the PT uniforms were issued, but, 30+ years ago, we did our two miles in fatigues and combat boots.

Pat

The unfortunate result of that is thousands of vets with serious lower back, hip, knee and foot problems that plague them to this day. The line between hard and smart is very thin and often easy to cross, if you're not careful.

PSM
05-15-2006, 11:21
The unfortunate result of that is thousands of vets with serious lower back, hip, knee and foot problems that plague them to this day. The line between hard and smart is very thin and often easy to cross, if you're not careful.

I agree. I was pointing out why the times may have improved. We were high-drag back then. :D

Pat

lksteve
05-15-2006, 16:32
Remember the inverted (perverted) crawl? About the only thing that was good for was shuffling yourself across the floor of a Poulis Porter to get into a good door posiiton. if memory serves me, the inverted crawl replaced the low crawl and the horizontal ladder replaced the grenade throw...not that i'm of the age to remember (but my dad was)....thankfully, all that stuff went the way of the duck walk...

i don't miss the days of being gigged for not having spit-shined boots and wearing day-old fatigues for PT...ah, yes, the 82nd years....:mad:

Gene Econ
05-15-2006, 20:20
I don't know when the PT uniforms were issued, but, 30+ years ago, we did our two miles in fatigues and combat boots. Pat

Pat:

Roger. In some places but not others. I think the last I saw of running with boots on was in Airborne school in 1977. No TOE unit I was in had guys run with boots. The circumstances that resulted in wearing of running shoes was due to the marathon craze. Next thing you know, units are running way too far each day and running shoes or not, guys started getting hurt.

Heavy ruck marches -- speed marches -- etc were another one that hurt guys pretty badly.

Gene

CPTAUSRET
05-15-2006, 20:46
The unfortunate result of that is thousands of vets with serious lower back, hip, knee and foot problems that plague them to this day. The line between hard and smart is very thin and often easy to cross, if you're not careful.


Too true!

My basic was 40 years ago, M-1 Garand, BAR, .30 cal aircooled MG, etc, etc.

Fatigues, combat boots, and LBE for the runs.

Terry

The Reaper
05-15-2006, 20:55
Boots were still used for the runs as late as 1980 at Benning.

TR

mugwump
05-15-2006, 21:42
I see the exact opposite in the kids from the local high school -- on average they are much more fit than we were at that age. My daughter lifts 3 times a week and runs 4 miles on another 3 days. My son lifts 4 days and runs 3 days (he's in college now). They both have a pretty broad range of friends and the only kid who's got any kind of blubber is an offensive lineman who could probably break me in half.

Almost everone does a sport - even the stoners play lacrosse.

If anything, they are hypercompetitive. I look at these kids and I see real hope for the future. :lifter Now some of their parents, thats another story...

Gene Econ
05-15-2006, 21:43
Boots were still used for the runs as late as 1980 at Benning. TR

TR:

Roger. I went to Airborne School in 1977. We wore spit polished boots and starched fatigue uniform. It was stupid but we did it. That, plus Ranger School, was the last time I was forced to do PT in boots.

I believe it was around 1980 when the Army changed it's PT test to sneakers and fatigue trousers as opposed to boots and fatigue trousers. Maybe 81. I think when I took the Airborne Ranger PT Test for SF in 1980 that we did this test in boots but can't remember.

Between us, although boots were heavier than sneakers, I never really cared. My injuries came from distance running forced on us by marathoners who were commanders (conventional side), plus a really stupid emphasis on moving real fast with heavy rucksacks down concrete roads (SF side). When was the last time a SF Team had to speed march twenty miles down a concrete road with full gear in a real combat situation? Never. That's why God invented helicopters and the internal combustion engine.

I believe soldiers must be in very good physical condition. However, I don't believe they must emulate a tri-athlete, marathon runner, or power lifter to be a solid soldier capable of being physically able to handle any combat condition he may 'realistically' encounter. If I had my way, a Joe would be a combination of a Biathlete and 'Worlds Stongest Man' -- watered down quite a bit from the international competitors of course.

The question today, like our day, is this. What is the right combination of 'Biathlete' and 'Worlds Strongest Man' given the constaints of time for PT , resources available for PT, and desire by the soldier? Answer that in terms of all the variables of the same by TOE units and one will never have to work again for a dollar.

Gene

NousDefionsDoc
05-15-2006, 22:03
Beg to differ Gene. Good PT requires no resources. As for time, well, any soldier that doesn't have time for PT needs to re-evaluate his time management. I would offer that they cannot afford not to do PT.

Gene Econ
05-15-2006, 22:10
Too true! My basic was 40 years ago, M-1 Garand, BAR, .30 cal aircooled MG, etc, etc. Fatigues, combat boots, and LBE for the runs.
Terry

Terry:

Where is the water cooled Browning? He, he, he.

There was a major shift in belief by the Army in terms of PT during the marathon craze in the mid to late 70's. Jim Fixx is the culprit or hero depnding on one's view.

The best way to explain it is this. Mass formation PT in boots, fatigue uniforms etc -- 'Daily Dozen' plus a two mile "run" in mass formation was never intended to get guys into any type of physical condition. It was intended to be more of a espirit thing than an exercise thing. Mass formation of soldiers, dress right, tallest to shortest, starched fatigues, spit polished boots -- all calling cadence etc. No one fell out because the pace was so slow it didn't tax anyone.

Then the Army figured out that they needed guys in good shape as opposed to espririt. Confusing from there. Although Jim Fixx influenced commanders to actually try and get guys into good shape, commanders couldn't grasp the fact that getting into good shape required a different approach to PT! So we had mass formation runs with sneakers at a faster pace for longer distances instead of coaching guys to become PT oriented as a life style.

Well, it took the Army from around 1980 to -- well they still don't get it real well even today. At least they are doing better at trying to get guys into decent condtion today than our era's. I still see incredibly stupid things being done daily in terms of PT, but not as stupid as my era.

I take things as they come but am real happy to be retired from the Army.

Gene

mugwump
05-15-2006, 22:20
Is routinely rucking with a 15kg plate over prepared cinder/chip trails a smart thing to do if you are 2 years away from a PT test? Is it an invitation to injury or good conditioning? He (20 year-old) tells me a former AD acquaintance he runs with has shown him how to carry the weight high, use a padded hip belt properly, etc. and I know he has decent shoes. I myself have bad knees and I just worry that this is a formula for problems. Sorry for the hijack.

CPTAUSRET
05-15-2006, 22:24
Terry:

Where is the water cooled Browning? He, he, he.

Gene:
Gene



Gene:

Saw them, never used one!:)

Terry

Gene Econ
05-15-2006, 22:40
Beg to differ Gene. Good PT requires no resources. As for time, well, any soldier that doesn't have time for PT needs to re-evaluate his time management. I would offer that they cannot afford not to do PT.

Doc:

Never implied they shouldn't do PT. Only said that how the Army focuses them is mostly wrong.

It takes resources. The resources are time and equipment to become something that a Chain of Command has envisioned. It can be done given a clear vision of an end-state in terms of overall physical fitness.

I work with Stryker Brigades. 'Unconventional', Conventional Units. They have a serious PT program but it isn't always done smartly. Time is wasted smoking guys on exercises that have absolutely no meaning in terms of their doctrine or combat orientation.

I believe in developing a soldier physically to execute his mission. Some need more cardio training and some need more anerobic strength training. Stryker soldiers need to be more of the 'Worlds Strongest Man' than 'Jim Fixx', but they can't totally deny either. The Stryker can carry them to and from a contact and yes, 99 percent of the Strykers do survive some absolutely horrible circumstances.

We can differ in opinions -- no sweat from me. Please offer your best views. It can make a bigger difference than you can imagine.

Gene

Jack Moroney (RIP)
05-16-2006, 06:39
Doc:

something that a Chain of Command has envisioned. It can be done given a clear vision of an end-state in terms of overall physical fitness.



That is truly the key to a good PT program if it is designed to accomplish the goals to standards that are required to perform the job. Unfortunately the goals and standards of many in the Chain of Command are more like the goals of educators and that is to train to the standard of "the test" be it the APFT or the SAT. Neither of which measure the true ability of a person to perform all the actual tasks in school or combat. They are mere indicators of levels of ability. Good commanders are smart enough to define the requirements and allow the teams to design their own programs to achieve the results required, they do not worry about who has the unit with the highest test score. Now I am not saying that we need to throw out the PT test because it still provides a guage to validate that folks are doing something and troops (and I mean all regardless of rank or grade) will still do best that which the boss checks, but training to pass the APFT is not a program that will meet the needs of all troops and it has to be a totally integrated effort into the entire training effort. To me it has always been the minimum standard from which to start to build a program to meet unit requirements. Strength, agility, endurance are all important and lowering requirements to fit age is stupid if the person is still required to perform the same tasks in the same MOS. That is not a PT program, it is professional charity, personal suicide, and a team handicap. PT, like professional development, is not the sole charge of the chain of command it is the chain's responsibility to ensure that it is done but it is the individuals responsibility to execute and maintain. If that means starting your day at O dark thirty and ending it fifteen minutes before BMNT then so be it. Just my opinion and personal philosophy.

The Reaper
05-16-2006, 09:45
Sir:

Since we have taken this track, if a male rigger has to be able to perform at a certain level as validated by a PT test, why do female riggers have a different scale?

It would seem to me that if a soldier is required to demonstrate upper body strength by performing a certain number of push-ups, why would we allow a select group of soldiers to perform at a level so low that their max is below the minimum for the other soldiers? If a male has to run two miles in 15:00 to pass, why should a female be allowed 22:00 to cover the same distance? Will the enemy pursue them more slowly?

Are we a warfighting institution, or a social experiment?

TR

Jack Moroney (RIP)
05-16-2006, 12:16
Sir:

Since we have taken this track, if a male rigger has to be able to perform at a certain level as validated by a PT test, why do female riggers have a different scale?

R

You'll get no argument from me. They should not have the same MOS. If we are going to use the MOS to define tasks, conditions and standards with PT being a standard then give them a different MOS or change the standard for all. I absolutely disagree with different standards for the same job and that also goes for senior officers and NCOs who hold a MOS and can no longer meet the physical requirements of the job. I think SF started out on the right foot by having a higher standard for the APFT but I think we screwed the pooch when we started changing the standards of performance based on age. If you are a Major and running a B-Team and are supposed to be able to deploy to set up an area command and link up and run with your subordinate A-Teams you had best be able to meet the physical standard set for that younger Captain or you should not be running a B-Team with that mission. I am sure you can think of a lot of other examples. 18As are 18As and age should not define the requirements but duty position should. When you no longer can lead from the front and have to push from the rear your MOS should change and the requirements to include the physical performance standards should change also. I am sure some creative personnel managment type could come up with different 18 series identifiers just like we do with ASI, SSI, etc.

Warrior-Mentor
05-16-2006, 13:57
Are we a warfighting institution, or a social experiment?
TR
I'm afraid you already know the answer to that.

Brought to you in part by the same people who came up with "shoot him in the leg" school of marksmanship.

Flight accomodations paid for by GREEN AMMO, NAMBLA and other PINK TRIANGLE ORGANIZATIONS.

NousDefionsDoc
05-16-2006, 15:22
Doc:

Never implied they shouldn't do PT. Only said that how the Army focuses them is mostly wrong.

It takes resources. The resources are time and equipment to become something that a Chain of Command has envisioned. It can be done given a clear vision of an end-state in terms of overall physical fitness.

I work with Stryker Brigades. 'Unconventional', Conventional Units. They have a serious PT program but it isn't always done smartly. Time is wasted smoking guys on exercises that have absolutely no meaning in terms of their doctrine or combat orientation.

I believe in developing a soldier physically to execute his mission. Some need more cardio training and some need more anerobic strength training. Stryker soldiers need to be more of the 'Worlds Strongest Man' than 'Jim Fixx', but they can't totally deny either. The Stryker can carry them to and from a contact and yes, 99 percent of the Strykers do survive some absolutely horrible circumstances.

We can differ in opinions -- no sweat from me. Please offer your best views. It can make a bigger difference than you can imagine.

Gene

Ah so, I misunderstood. Roger Gene, we are on the same page.

kgoerz
05-16-2006, 18:26
1st SGT Lipton, The real one who was portrayed in Band of Brothers. He came out to our Range to watch a Demo just a month before he passed away. We asked him what was the one thing a Soldier could do to prepare for Combat. He said be in the best physical condition possible. "Combat is the most physically demanding ordeal you will ever go thru". About gearing your PT towards the mission I totally agree. Barry Sanders was visiting us one time. He obviously was in good shape for Football. So we kitted him up and made him run thru our Urban Movement exercise at MOUT City with Simunitions. He was smoked after moving one block and was amazed at the weight we carried just with the vest, no Rucks involved.
This is off subject. When 1st SGT Lipton passed away a couple of guys from the Team went to his funeral in Class A Uniform. He lived close to FT Bragg in N.C. There was no one else there representing The Army or 101st Airborne. Thought that was pretty sorry. Unless the Family requested no one show. The Army definitely knew about it because his passing and Memorial Service time and location was in all the papers