Never have I seen so many young adults with musculoskeletal injuries until I joined the United States Army.  And I’m not referring to basic training where some injuries are expected; I’m speaking of the active Army. Specifically, the airborne infantry is my point of reference, the part of the Army most of my experience is in. Many of these injuries are preventable.

Some of the blame can be placed on the individual solider from this new “inside” generation; however, much of the blame must be placed on the Army. I was even more surprised at the amount of injuries I saw in basic training considering the moderate (dare I say low) intensity of the training regimen, but that was not so much the fault of the Army.

Army physical (un)fitness: A system that promotes injury and poor nutrition

I enlisted in the Army with a bachelor of science degree, having been a certified personal trainer and martial arts instructor prior to joining. In basic training, I was taught PRT (Physical Readiness Training), the Army’s exercise program. It had many great exercises that are usually only seen from exercise professionals (surprise, it was designed by them).  Most soldiers do not think very highly of PRT because it will not take one to a high level of fitness. What it is designed to do is to create proper movement and muscle balance in a soldier’s body.


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Photos courtesy of US Army