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Tags: usa | armed forces | academics | body fat | training

US Army to Launch 'Prep Course' for Substandard Recruits

army soldiers run
(Paula Bronstein/Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 27 July 2022 03:43 PM EDT

On Tuesday, military officials announced the creation of a "prep course" for recruits who fall below the Army's minimum academic requirements, along with those who exceed weight and body-fat-percentage caps.

The Army likens the "90-Day Future Soldier Preparatory Course" to a pilot program, with the primary goal of getting eligible recruits in shape for the rigors of basic training.

"This course is one of many approaches the Army is taking to invest in America's young people," Gen. Paul E. Funk II, commanding general of Training and Doctrine Command, said in a statement. "We have to acknowledge that society has changed and help our youth improve, so they can benefit from the training and opportunities that Army service provides."

The $4 million "prep course" launches in August with the mission of helping "prospective service members lose weight and improve their academic performance," the Army statement said.

The Army reports that only 23% of young Americans today would have been eligible for enlistment, based on weight and educational metrics.

Also, according to the Army Times publication, worsening obesity and declining scores on the Armed Forces Qualification Test (AFQT) heightened the urgency for the "prep" course.

Throughout the 90-day prep course, the Army says the trainees will be tested every three weeks; if they meet the required standards, they will automatically advance to basic training.

"We'll take a holistic health and fitness approach, exposing these trainees to diet, exercise, resilience and reflection while they're here," post commander Brig. Gen. Patrick Michaelis told Army Times.

There's also an entry-level requirement before entering the "prep" program: Recruits must pass a gender-neutral Occupational Physical Assessment Test (OPAT); and their body-fat composition can be no higher than 6% beyond the accession standards.

According to The Associated Press, the Army has achieved only 50% of its recruitment goal of 60,000 soldiers for the 2021-22 fiscal year, which ends in October. 

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The U.S. Army is expanding its horizons with personnel recruiting, perhaps out of creative necessity.
usa, armed forces, academics, body fat, training
Wednesday, 27 July 2022 03:43 PM
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