Army Falls Way Short Of Goals To Recruit New Soldiers

Army officials say the reason is that today’s young people are not healthy enough. Hey, anybody else remember way back at the start of WW2? Because of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the Army had the immediate task of growing the peacetime army from 200,000 to 6,000,000.

Most new soldiers then were draftees, not volunteers. At that critical time, the total physical requirement seemed to be able to stand up without falling down. When I hit my 18th birthday, I had to register for the draft. Just a few weeks later, I was summoned for my physical. I was near-sighted and wore glasses. When the doctor told me to read the chart on the far wall, I meekly replied, “What wall?”

Fortunately, I didn’t get drafted into the Army. However, just few weeks later I volunteered for the Navy. I had memorized the eye chart and spent my final teenage year in WW2 sailing the beautiful Pacific Ocean on a troop ship, with scenic 1945 visits to lovely and unpeaceful Iwo Jima, Okinawa and Leyte.

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