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Other/Mixed "Can We Make Our Soldiers Tough Enough?" - Popular Science, February 1944

Other strength modalities (e.g., Clubs), mixed strength modalities (e.g., combined kettlebell and barbell), other goals (flexibility)
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Level 7 Valued Member
I discovered this article via a link in Wikipedia and thought it might be of some interest:

I wonder how many of these assessment criteria and training drills are still used in the modern military. It's enlightening to read how, even then, there was a fairly dim view of the physical fitness of the young men being prepared for conflict during World War II.


Level 9 Valued Member
I believe I have probably mentioned this before, but when I showed up for basic training I was shocked at how weak, soft, and totally underprepared the recruits were (for the most part)
circa 1978

To be fair however... after 13 weeks many were in much better shape.


Level 6 Valued Member
I started recruit training pretty fit but it would have been a hell of a lot easier if I started really fit. And the fat guys, I mean really!?!?!?!?!? What on earth were they thinking!?!?!?!?!? For them the going was really hard. Mind you I drank lots of beer on the handful of days off which made each 'day after' a lot harder than it had to be. And, yes, the 12 weeks is designed to bring everyone up to a standard so with most exercises conducted in teams the fitter people do the same stuff at the same pace as the less fit and just have an easier time of it


Level 9 Valued Member
There's always been worries about the state of new recruits. It's like the classic talk about the youth of today vs when we were young. Nothing new under the sun, at least for the thousands of years of western history written down.

Things change a bit during the 19th century as statistics come into play in medicine, medicine in general becomes more trustworthy, and the worries about degeneration become an issue. But just WW1 cleared most of these issues.

Deleted member 5559

Strong and tough are different to me. I would rather have someone on my team that can't swim as long as they will still jump in the water knowing they can't. I would rather someone not be able to skin the cat on the bar but will cover a second watch when people are tired. Some people have heart, some people have ability and if I can't have both, I'll take the former.

Steve Freides

Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
4 posts moved to Everything Else section new thread, Killing From A Distance.

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