Retired Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling on Physical Fitness and National Security

so it's a real honor to have Lieutenant General Mark Hertling back here at West Point he's a soldier soldier who served a long and distinguished career in our army plus he's a former member of DP he got in the Aquatics committee so you know he's got to be good general Hertling is a 1975 graduate of the United States Military Academy where he excelled as a cadet and a core squad swimmer on graduation he was commissioned as an armor officer general Hertling has served in a variety of career a variety of duty assignments over 37 years both operationally in the training environment he served and commanded at every level from platoon up the field army and he has led training at the both the CTC s in the US and the joint multinational Training Center in Germany on 9/11 he served as the chief of war plans the j7 on the Joint Staff General Hertling spent over three years in combat during his career he was the assistant division commander of 1st Armored Division in Baghdad from 0-3 to 0-4 and later he commended that same division in Germany as they prepared for the 30,000 strong Task Force iron as we went back to northern Iraq from 7 to 9 for the surge from 2009 to 2011 general Hertling commanded the initial military training responsible for the initial training of over 160,000 officers and enlisted soldiers who entered the army from 27 installations across the United States he led significant change in both how we train soldiers and how we revised our army warrior tests and battle drills he introduced the soldier athlete initiative which has directly impacted every one of us sitting in here it's the new army physical readiness training as well as if you take a trip to any vessel in the army these days you'll see soldiers fueling with performance nutrition rather than french fries and onion rings he retired as the commanding general of the United States Army Europe and Seventh Army where he commanded over 60,000 soldiers and over a hundred thousand Department the Army's civilian workers and family members associated with those soldiers stationed throughout Europe as they used to receive G he led exercises in nearly every country in Europe and including exercises with the nation of Israel on a lesser important note when I was the garrison commander over Ned we I served under gel hurtling and he would do these commercials on the Armed Forces Network and he's a true believer in sport and fitness in my favorite one he's on a bicycle road bike with a sergeant major he's all decked out in his kit and he encouraged soldiers to get out and explore Europe get some exercise by bike but see see see Europe and get out of the barracks so that was pretty cool well recently you may have seen drone hurtling on CNN as the National Security Intelligence and terrorism analysts currently he works as an adviser on the global strategy and physician leadership for Florida Hospital Orlando he served on President Obama's President's Council for sports fitness and nutrition and he also is a senior advisor for several nonprofit organizations that help America's youth deployed service members and physically challenged athletes and most recently he authored a book growing physician leaders empowering doctors to improve our health care which by the way received five stars on Amazon so check it out sir now there's a lot of review sir so on behalf of the Modern Warfare Institute and DP welcome back to West Point okay what Colonel bickelman didn't tell you is he's the only person in the history of the world that's ever complimented me on those Armed Forces Network commercials everybody hates me hey guys first of all thank you very much for allowing me to come speak to you about a subject that I know and love and that's the physical conditioning of our nation's youth and I want to thank especially the folks from dpe that are here and the people who are kinesiology majors because I think you'll see some connections between my time and dpe and what happened later on in my career when I was asked to do something somewhat unique by the chief of staff of the army and the TRADOC commander so the that's a picture and I'm sorry for it being a little bit blurred but it was taken by a soldier of me and another guy anybody recognize the other guy the guy with the sunglasses and the three stars that's general dempsey okay this is one general dempsey was the acting commander of Central Command and I was command in task force iron multinational division north and northern Iraq in a 15-month tour in 2007-2008 general Dempsey by the way was not just my boss not just someone I admired greatly but he also happens to be my best friend and that relationship started when we were both captains living on Benedict Road here at West Point in a duplex or actually was a triplex the guy on the other side we didn't much associate literally but they had they were a young captain coming in he was teaching an English department I was teaching a DP they had three kids we had two all of the same ages and we grew together as a family as young captain's and what used to happen back then is we would either mow the grass or go out for a run and then we drink a beer on our back porch and talk about how the army was all screwed up and we were gonna you know if we were in charge we would fix it the bad news when you say stuff like that is eventually someday you might become in charge of the army and have to realize that you do have to fix things that you were talking about before that was our role then when he was the acting cencon commander after admiral thought talon was relieved actually by the president and i was a division commander in northern iraq my chain of command went directly to him during that visit which was in about the fourteenth month of a 15-month deployment we were actually that picture was taken in Mosul we were doing a market walk I was shown him how things were up and operational again they've since kind of gone south because of Isis but right after that picture was taken he turned to me to say mark I've just been told I'm going to become the commander of TRADOC and he says you've about reached the two-year mark in your division command and he says and I'm going to recommended the Chiefs of Staff the army that you come work for me I said great we we had worked together once before he went he was the division coming in Baghdad I was his assistant division commander in 2003 and four and he said yeah but and I was thinking when he said that that he was going to ask me to command the combined arms Center at Fort Leavenworth and what he said instead was no don't want you to do that we're going to stand up something new and he says and I think you're the right person to command it because of your background so whenever you hear that from your boss be skeptical I said what's the something new and he says what we're beginning an organization called initial military training IMT he says and I want you to be my DCG in charge of that I said well what does it do he says well you're going to basically command all the basic training centers the AI key all of you lieutenants coming into the army and all new Warrant officers coming in the army and do their introduction I said okay he says here's the thing he said there's you and I have been he said you and I have been serving in the operational force for the last couple years we've been in combat a lot he says my take in my early assessment of TRADOC is we have some major areas of concern and one of those is how we train young soldiers he says there's something wrong in basic training he said I don't know what it is but I want you to fix it those by the way our mission orders for those of you who are studying mission order mission orders and DMI that's a mission order go someplace and fix something usually you have a little bit more guidance than that but what he was asking me to do is make an analysis of what he thought was going to be problematic within basic training three basic categories that he asked me to look at the skills of our basic trainees what they were learning in terms of war fighting now this is this is was about year four or five of our fight in both Afghanistan and Iraq so at the time this was also part of the surge we were really getting a whole bunch of soldiers in and in fact if we were truthful with ourselves we would we would say that we were getting soldiers that probably should not have been in the army but compounding that problem of some of the soldiers that we were letting in because I'll talk more about that in just a second was the fact that operational commanders in the field were saying train them on this and train them on that and I've got this specific agenda I want you to train soldiers on in the training base and by the way change the way we do so from a TRADOC perspective the training and Doctrine perspective we were getting a lot of influence from the operational force commander saying our soldiers were not prepared for the things they were seeing in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan and we were four years into the war at this point five years into the war at this point the second thing we were having problems with was the inculcation of values now remember during this period of time for those of you that were in grade school or high school in 2007 we were having major problems with sexual assault we were having the issue that you probably study in your history class about Abu Ghraib there have been some things that both our soldiers and our office that there's there's a book called black hearts about a platoon some of you're shaking your head about a platoon in 101st that we're doing things that were unethical immoral and illegal in combat what general Dempsey said was I'm not sure how we're training the army values of loyalty Duty respect selfless service honor integrity and personal courage so could you look into that too and then the final area was something he turned attributes and what he said was I don't know what's happening but it seems it seems that our attrition rate is exceedingly high primarily for the physical conditioning of our young soldiers he said I haven't looked in depth at the details but could you look at that too and tell me what's going on there before I go on I'm going to just tell you some initial assessments in those three years first of all in the skills area the first one of the first things I did when I got to Fort Munroe we're TRADOC was at the time I said hey I'm here to look at what we teach in basic training can you give me the program on instruction what's called the PLI every course in the Army has a Pio lie it's what you do it's the objectives for learning and all that other stuff so these guys troubled in my office with a couple of books dump them on my desk and said sir here's the POA I said well you know it's a 10-week basic training oh sit basic training is ten weeks long what what is our primarily key hours of instruction they said well sir we think that might be a problem because as we look at the PIO i we have 797 hours worth of instruction and basic training and if you subtract the amount of time that soldiers need to sleep relieve themselves have food and just do personal items and training they concluded they only had about six hundred and nine hours of training time available so we were trying to shove 797 hours into 609 and part of that was the rationale of everybody in the field wanted us to do more things but it was there was a physics problem you just can't get that many things into that few hours so we started having to take a look at what we were actually training and why and we get a complete revamp of the program of instruction over a period of about six months where we actually pulled in a bunch of drill sergeants a bunch of commanders and said let's fix this so we did and we eliminated some things which truthfully I took all kinds of heat for one of the examples is bayonet training you do we still do bayonet training here at lost my good ok because the last time the US Army did a bayonet assault was like 1912 or something like that and what we determine is we were spending 27 hours in basic training on the skill of the bayonet and stabbing little dummies and running through courses and stuff like that and we never did that for real in combat in fact the ar-15 doesn't even have a stud to put a bayonet on if you wanted to do a bayonet charge so we eliminated bayonet training in basic training that caused a lot of old people from a cultural standpoint the sergeants and the Colonel's out there to say this general hurtling is a wild man he's crazy why is he eliminating the spirit of the bayonet and if you've ever gone to the Infantry Museum at Fort Benning Georgia they have a huge bayonet to welcome you into the building so I took some heat in the skills part when I asked some of the key sergeant majors in the drill sergeants what how are we teaching these values because we've got 18 hours in our program to teach the army the seven the Army Values and they said well sir you know we really don't have time for any kind of classroom instruction or any kind of you know engagement or exchange so what we do is we just allow the drill sergeants to talk about values when they march guys to the ranges how do you think that would work there were about 750 drill sergeants in basic training about seven Army Values seven times 750 times one hour of peace you begin to see that there's no caste conditions and standards associated with how you learn Army Values so we revamp the Army Values program and try and did some things actually we're here with some folks at Cape to try and get our army trained a little bit better on values so they could perform better on the battlefield the third area is the one I'm going to talk about now and it was because I'll give kudos to the PE department it was because of my time in the nd PE in 1984 through 1986 that I was able to take a look at what was happening with our nation's youth and that's what I'm going to talk a little bit about today okay two years later this lady would became it had become the first lady the United States and she wanted to come to Fort Jackson to see exactly what we were doing and the commentary that we had and with regard to what we were learning about our nation's youth and what we were seeing in basic training caused her to start the let's move campaign so if you don't think you can you don't have an influence on national policy and strategy as an Army officer at any rank you would be wrong because every once while you get the ear of someone important and you got to have your act together in terms of telling them how you want to proceed in terms of changing the culture this is what I told her here's what we were seeing because there was a big push at the time the first understanding that since understood by all that we were recruiting this generation of people called Millennials they were the first ones in our training base and this was some these were some facts that we received out of research about these new recruits that we had now things I would and by the way this is a slide we showed her so I just lifted this in a couple other slides and I'm showing you so you're getting the same briefing that the first lady of the United States got 85% eating fast food regularly tobacco products was not smoking as much as it was Trula stuff in fact that 53% of using tobacco project about 51% of those were smokeless tobacco as opposed to you know puffing away the tube time of both TV computer iPads iPhones averaged out to about and this is 2009 by the way average out to about 60 hours a week in front of a tube when you do the math let me say that again 60 hours a week and that's not homework stuff that's mostly entertainment and gaming soda was the primary beverage you'll see where this plays a part later on and milk had been sort of replaced by energy drinks across the board now the last thing that I told her is says these kids are smart they're much smarter than my generation of baby boomers was but we have a baby boomer in command we have X&Y generation folks as drill sergeants and we have Millennials as new trainees and that's a recipe for disaster because I was commanding folks to do stuff the drill sergeants who were the X and wires we're saying we're going to beat it into them because that's their culture of making stuff work and you got to be as good as me to a bunch of young people who were the Millennial saying we're smarter than you and we'll do it for a while that then will give up so our attrition rate was very high those were the key areas now what I also talk about here is since I had taught in the PE department of West Point in 84 to 86 the majority of our states across the nation had eliminated PE in schools that started in about 1992 ok today currently right now in 2017 there are five states in the Union that have some fight type of mandatory PE 45 states in our Union have no mandatory requirements for physical education that's surprising anybody in here prior to that they had also eliminated this goofy course called ho mech now for those of you who have ever heard a ho Mac that was where you used to teach girls to cook sorta but it was also the place where you taught nutritional value of food and how to maintain nutrition the value of our food many of you have seen the movies about what's in wheat what's in rye products the kinds of things that are grown into rice the kinds of soy and and nutrients that are pushed into different kinds of food that all started happening in the early 1990 so this was the nutrition piece that was going on the the play piece was probably the most disconcerning because that 60 hours of tube time had replaced all the time you spent outside playing doing whatever doesn't have to be organizational sports it can be tag hide-and-seek whatever being played outside on a Sandlot okay so PlayStation had replaced play other factors and there's about a hundred of them and I won't go through this we're affecting the obesity level of our young people there literally were a hundred the the elimination of smoking the fact that most of our kids didn't smoke that actually contributed to increased weight gain the introduction of air conditioning in the South in an area which we'll talk about in just a second also caused people to stay inside more so that contributed to a lack of play hell I live in Florida right now and I can go out on my street and there are and it's a beautiful day and there are no kids outside the neighborhood I grew up on admittedly I'm an old guy now the neighborhood I grew up on on a nice summer or spring day everybody without doing something that doesn't happen on our nation's streets anymore when we first started getting kids into basic training part of the analysis was this chart this was the army PT test that we give on the first day of basic training very first day when they come in they get their uniform and all that the first thing that new recruits do is take a PT test and you can see the failure rate is up around 60% for females and about 40% for males but it started now this is again 2010 when I was showing it to the first lady but when I got this chart I said what what happened in 2004 – cause this is it we were given a different test where the drill sergeants taught to be more rigorous what was going on that was causing that sudden increase in that curve to cause the failures in basic training and after we studied this for a while we realized it it didn't happen in 2004 that was instead the first generation of youth entering the military that had grown up in the 1990s so supersizing was invented by McDonald's and Burger King in 1992 the increase of coke and soda started in the early 90s and completely replaced milk by the late 90s all these food products that were having the different effects the tube time air conditioning introduced introduction in the south elimination of smoking and all the other things that went along with obesity all started back in about 1994 so we were getting in basic training you will be getting as your soldiers this generation of youth that has done very little growing up here's a BMI isn't always the best measure of obesity and people being overweight but in 2010 this was the percentage of people we were accepting into our army because we had to and oh by the way one of the things I didn't mention early on and you've probably heard this statistics before one of the things that Florida mrs. Obama was we could only accept about 23% of our nation's youth into the military because 77% were not fit to enter because of one of three things either they didn't have a high school education they had some kind of legal issue during their grades you know an arrest of some type beyond a misdemeanor or they were over their obese so we made some leeway for the ones that were just slightly obese but the majority of the kids that showed up at our door in the recruiting stations could not come in because they were too fat I mean I can't put it any other way now some of you have probably seen this chart I got to run this can you I mean take a look this was before I start the button this is the United States in 1985 this is a product of the Center for Disease Control and what you'll see is the majority of states had no data or were less than 10% level of obesity below the the 35 percent mark okay good can you play that watch what happens over the aging you'll see across the top the timelines that's where we stand today you can see the average in a couple of states Georgia Alabama Mississippi and a few others was way beyond the 35% that were greater than the obesity the average youth between 18 and 24 was in that category Colorado which had been the best state in the Union is still the best but by the way the majority of their kids are between 15 15 and 19 percent of the population are above 35 percent BMI does that scare you as future commanders of these soldiers as leaders of these soldiers if it doesn't let me show you just if you take from about New York down around the East Coast through Texas and into Arizona that's where the majority of our recruits come from why I don't know is it that they're more patriotic or what I don't know but that's where that they call it the banana belt in recruiting command because it looks like a banana they focus their recruiting effort on those states because that's where most of the population is that would have a propensity to join the military you start to understand my problem it's not over one injury an injury and I asked for some data from our researchers I said I said we're allowing not only the folks who don't want to serve as a couple of weeks in basic training to quit but we are seeing an incredible injury rate what are we doing wrong so after watching how PT was conducted and seeing how things were going on early in the morning with combatives and the runs and all that other stuff I said you know this is PT the way I know in fact it's better PT than what I saw in the operational you know what's going on what was going on is all the kids that had entered the service who were not only overweight but had not laid had not done the kinds of things that you and the kinesiology and dpe world no they had not closed their growth plates so their bone density was incredibly bad it bones weren't breaking they were shearing and there were a number of injuries that we were most concerned with this was the most important it's called the femoral neck stress fracture you can tell me who it knows what that is but it's where the hip bone connects to the leg bone and that little ball and joint that's in there cracks it's not a break it's like it's like taking a crack in concrete and pouring a little water on it and letting it freeze so it expands it's a debilitating injury and on one Base Fort Jackson South Carolina this used to be a female injury because of leg gate when you were running they would stretch out and their their pelvic girth is wider so you have a wider girth in a female so as they would stretch their leg out the pressures on the this next stretch for the morel next stress fracture would occur more readily what we were seeing is this was happening both men and women now and it was a result again of weak and poor bones here's the deal though this is one of about 20 injuries we tracked it was the most expensive because for every single one of those it costs between 200,000 and 300,000 dollars for our doctors to fix it so do some quick back of the envelope math in 2009 at one of our five basic training locations we had 135 of these people times 300,000 that doesn't come out of healthcare that came out of my budget and this is just one of 21 injuries we were tracking so you could see that as a commander being charged with the health of my soldiers I had to provide doctors medical equipment to treat these kind of injuries dental readiness you can't see I'm sorry for the white on there in two thousand our category three and for new recruits was at about thirty one percent by 2009 category two three and four the ones that could not go to combat was about 66% 2/3 of our new soldiers had some type of teeth injury or teeth issue primarily caused by energy drinks sodas and bad food okay now you say why do I care about teeth issues because the commanders in the field we're telling me don't we're in the middle of a surge we're taking your new soldiers and going right into combat with them and we can't take a soldier into combat if it's if he or she is category three or four so please fix them in basic training now this is anything from bridges to root canals to full dental repair which if any of you have had any of those things know that they take a lot of time so every hour you take out to fix teeth you're taking away from the rifle range is this a readiness issue you bet it is I had young soldiers young recruits in the dental chair longer than they were on the rifle ranges because if they reported to their unit within a category three or four they were not allowed to deployed and I was no good to the commanders in the field so what we did about it is colonel bigger men said and and this is close to being the end of my presentation and we'll talk some questions is we created a couple of things and it was hard because it was culture change we created the first thing was called the soldier athlete program we said to our young soldiers hey if you're going into combat you're the equivalent of a world-class professional and you got to perform like a professional so if you're performing like a professional you got a train like one you got to eat like one and you have to sleep like one again who's been the basic training how much sleep do you get in basic training now a lot but you're getting more today than you were back then okay so all those things compounded will cause a breakdown of the human body we also completely revamp and introduced PRT now I don't know how you all feel about PRT I personally think it's a pretty good workout program but more importantly it was something that we needed because our old PT program was contributing to the breaking of soldiers it caused some of the injuries we were saying now okay let's let's talk real world versus philosophy the philosophy of let's introduce something called PR key to reduce the amount of injuries we had versus we had a reporter from the New York Times by the name of Jim Dow come down to spend a week with our basic trainee and he wrote an article in fact it was the article that got mrs. Obama to come see us and the title of the article I'm going to put your put you all in your soldier role now and tell me how you would react to this title on the front page above the fold of the New York Times Army changes from calisthenics to Pilates and yoga that was a title of the article you can look it up if you want how would you react to that as soldiers in the army so yeah you'd be upset the bad news is that's sort of exactly what we were doing now we weren't calling at Pilates and yoga so we had a lot of stretching we had a lot of time drills part liqu training the kinds of things that good coaches will tell you to do but you can imagine the fan mail I got from the old sergeants and the old Colonels who had been retired for a couple of years that wasn't op by the way it came about three weeks after the bayonet story came out the second thing we did oh I'm sorry in the killing the soldier what we created in all basic training brigades was something we called muscular skeletal action teams we combine physical therapists with athletic trainers with doctors and put the doctor in charge at each Brigade now I don't know if you know the culture of physical therapists and athletic trainers they hate each other because one is to prevent injury the other one is to treat them so they take away business from one another pulling that team together and putting them into brigades I'm being a little facetious here was a hard thing to do and it was a cultural shift but those folks would watch soldiers prevent the ones from getting hurt that we're doing things that were stupid and at the same time rapidly treat them so we didn't have multi-million dollar injuries that was all under soldier athletes fueling the soldier was the hardest part who anybody here a st. Louis Cardinal fan good tell me about Matt Carpenter okay he's a baseball player you know his history okay his his history is such that he played at TCU played baseball TCU and every day before practice is he would come in with a couple of Big Macs super-sized fry and a chocolate milkshake and his coach one day told them hey Matt you got some as they say in Boston wicked skills if you want to play professional baseball the only thing that's going to hold you back is your diet you got to give this food up and eat right and if you talk to Matt Carpenter did it today he will tell you that what put him on the road to be on national league all-star was the fact not that he improved his hitting his hitting was always good it was that he changed his diet if you are a Cardinal fan you also tell me about Matt Adams tell me about Matt Adams this year okay man you're not much of a Cardinal fan you're not a fanatic back ok all right Matt Adams was the first baseman for the Cardinals over the last three years they called them big country huge guy probably weighed about 280 pounds of the first baseman way too fat to play and he was in the position of losing his job this season so he took a page out of Matt Adams or out of Matt Carpenter's book and said I gotta lose some weight he lost 50 pounds in the offseason he's now one of their superstars again what we realized we had to do is the same thing in the army and we only had four basic training 10 weeks to do it so one of the biggest culture shifts we made was completely revamping all of our dining facilities we eliminated all ready for this and most of our dining facility training sites are in the South we tore out all deep fat fryers does that mean anything to any of you that means no fried chicken no french fries no onion rings unless they were baked we took the big glass canisters which I'm sure all of you have seen when you visited different army posts that were filled with Danish and chocolate and fruit and egg not truth but bad desserts and we took them all out of basic training and put fruit in there diced fruit and all those kinda things now I could do this pretty easily for two reasons number one I was the commander number two when your basic training you don't have anyplace else to go you go to the dining facility that's it so for a 10-week period of time I had these kids under my control and we did some research studies and found out some Magnificent changes in body composition their capability to train and learn and some real improvements in their body fat we had you know there's it you say well that how hard is that to do is real hard because when you talk about changing dining facilities you have to talk about train changing what food you order and the Orang army pays about three billion dollars a year just for food for you all okay and they're all under contract and there's a lot of Crisco oil involved in that contract so when you start eliminating contracts for different things that are high in fat even lean meats it's radical but I had the help of the army g4 and he said you want to do this general I'll help you out so we did it the hardest part so another hardest part soda machines when you go into the dining facility and you got the subsea machines we've got a huge Pepsi contract notwithstanding Kendall general right now but what we said was we've got to eliminate carbonated soft drink beverages because that's the key contributor to people being overweight the Pepsi contract would not allow us to do that for two years so I had a really smart sergeant major at Fort Benning Georgia when I went into the dining facility one time and all of his soldiers all the infantry soldiers were going to the flavored water machines and bypassing from what I could see at a distance the soda machines I said sorry major how'd you do it so did you guys eliminate your contract so no sir he says sergeant major so what you mean he goes clear so we went over there we went to the Machine and there was a out of order sign on them too and I said is it out of order does not you want to sort out get join Fort Hood and sure help the Pepsi came out I said well he said sir she put out her order on there that the new recruits don't know any better so they're going to go okay and then go over to the water machine so this guy was nefarious enough to do that this is being filmed I shouldn't say this but because it's a violation of contract but what we just told all our brigade commanders put out our machines or our designs on all the machines it worked for a long time but that's sometimes how you have to use insurgency skills to get through some things I learned that in combat then the final thing we did and I was talking to major Spencer about this this was in 2010 we designed an army PT test that actually tested the skills we were supposed to use in combat and it is one of my biggest failures in the army we could not push that true you know why take a guess take a couple guests say it again I'm sorry no that wasn't the case they didn't try it money no it was actually cost cost was not an issue how so now our one of our priorities for building the test was it can't take any equipment we could and we had to do it anywhere in the field or in a garrison environment and we the new tests had both those things when you say running the tests who are you talking about the sergeant's and stuff yeah that's sort of it yeah here's the thing all of you are going to run into in the army everyone all of you believe you are experts in leadership and Pt I know how to do it better than you do just because I'm a colonel or I'm a major you know when you start asking people to give you definitions out of the a DRP 6 – 22 which is yes what is it it's the leadership manual how many of you even knew that how many of you have read a BRP 6 – 22 ok that's sad but it's a representation of the rest of army so if you don't know what our attributes and competencies are in terms of leadership 3 and 3 both and you don't know how they're applied in an influence tape technique and you've gone through West Point you don't know how to do it you're going to learn an awful lot firsthand from your sergeants and your commanders who don't know what it says in our own army doctrine the same is true in PT why should I do a new PT test when I've been maxing push-ups sit-ups and the two-mile run all of my life I'm in shape so I'll just keep doing what I've been doing and everybody after me will keep doing what they're doing although the army PTT s has zero relevance and no correlation to what we asked soldiers to do in combat none zero now am I being a rebel here yes because I believe we probably should replace the PT test about 30 years ago but we haven't yet we're still studying it that's where you guys can change your culture but there's ways to do that so of the two of the three I did okay I'd give myself a good grade on that last one we failed miserably so here am i this final slide my lessons one of the reasons when I left the army I joined a hospital on a healthcare organization instead of a defense contractor was because I think we're facing a health crisis in our country we see the debate on opaw macare or the AHCA and we just look at it having to do with insurance or how we pay people to get fixed when they're in the hospital it is not it is our nation's health and you all as soldiers will experience this because it is about to become if it hasn't already a national security crisis in World War one we had to recruit two million soldiers for General Pershing in order to get about a million and a half 500,000 or about a quarter were not fit to fight most of those were not fit to fight because of disease like venereal disease believe it or not biggest reason why people didn't get into the army in World War two Laurel one in World War two is fifty-fifty so 50 percent of our young people and by the way in World War one part of the outcome of World War one was to establish the ROTC program primarily to get people in shape that was the reason we created ROTC in World War two fifty percent we had to recruit a million we had to recruit two million for every million we got again disease lack of Fitness inability to fight today that percentage is 2377 if you looked at that chart that I showed with the rotating fat guy indicators if we don't change something that is by 2030 we will have less than 10% of our nation's used to recruit from and if some of the other measures come into play like what's going on in New York State right now with free college education it's going to be even less because you're going to be competing with with a much smaller pool for when you're lieutenant Colonel's and Colonels by 2030 I'm not trying to say there's a bad future ahead but unless we start turning this around there's a bad future head what is our defence budget as part of GDP who knows come on it's been on all the news with the NATO discussion it's about 4 percent it's about 3 percent of our GDP is spent on defense health care 19 percent of our GDP and it's going up to about 25 percent within the next five years so we are going to be studying that quarter of our produced money on trying to keep healthy that scares me from a strategic perspective and it should scare all of you so for all of you who are in the kinesiology program you will have a job in the near future there's ways to model these things and to lead these things but primarily I would suggest you know the army came out right after we did our thing general horoho who's a good friend of mine who used to be the Surgeon General started the the army what's it called yeah but yeah but it's called something it's a perform yeah performance triad yeah that's the phrase I was looking for so sleep nutrition and exercise we're the own in the private sector now we're the only organization in the country that's doing those three other than my hospital which just started the sleep part of it everybody else is worried about die in an exercise diet and exercise but mental health sleep outlook interpersonal relationships all contribute to your ability to perform and we don't pay enough attention to so those are the things you can do that's my message it all started here in 1984 when I was a PE instructor because the cadets we saw then are not the cadets and the youth of our nation that we see now I'll stop talking now and ask for any questions what do you get just happen here is it just me yeah I can hear it yeah okay start cut out radical oc3 in high school sir I would go to a basic training I mean aa basic training a recruiting office with my best friend to help her prepare for basic training so I was wondering sir if you ever looked into improving or establishing like a program within the recruiting offices that helped prepare physically prepare the soldiers prior to entering basic training yeah and yes we did and we had it when I first took over IMT and what we were finding is we could not in a program that was conducted in a recruiting office counter the activity that was going on or that wasn't going on in the schools in the homes and it was costing us an extreme amount of money I just couldn't afford it you know it's one of these kind of things a lot of people say well you know the army doesn't in fact that was the first thing mrs. Obama says the army does it so well how do you transfer it to the rest of the nation and I said we don't you do figure it out and I actually got in sure I didn't get in trouble I I said to the first lady I was literally in my last week in IMT I was getting ready to go take command and you saw her in Europe and she said general hurting this is terrific thank you so very much I need you help me with this let's move campaign as a ma'am I can't I'm going to Europe nice knowing you see you later I said I've got and by the way the army is 1% of our nation 1% of our nation's youth is wearing uniform 99% are not so I said I can't help you with that 99% I just don't have the funding you and your husband have to figure that out so so when I retired lure I was on a beach in New Smyrna Florida phone call rings mrs. Obama wants you to be on the President's Council for fitness so my smart asset miss God fit me in the butt no you just can't solve the problem by having small things at recruiting stations because what I will tell you is recruiters do it on their own and they'll have workouts two or three times a week it is not enough to counter the societal norm this is a societal issue this isn't an army problem yeah thank you Sarek jet mccormick company I three just out of pure curiosity what did the a PRT program consist of the Union that did it was a five event test there actually was to test one was the typical four score a PRT and it consisted I don't want to go into the details but it consisted of truthfully if you general Jung Dempsey has an expression that I use a lot its if you want a new idea read an old book the new five event a PRT was a lot like the five event a PRT that was in existence in the 50s and 60s and it was pull-ups that's why we have so many pull-up bars around the army now because of we thought it was going to go to that it was a like a crab walk run I can't remember the name of it this was too long ago and my mind's going dead on me it was a type of sit-up that was not a sit-up it was a run but not a two-mile run and something I can't remember but we had that test but we also had a combat test where you could take all the things you would find in a normal supply room and make out a course on a football field or any kind of level field and just do it for time and it was an anaerobic event much like the IOC T is that was he cute by the way for those of you who hate it who hates it okay it is literally the best test of physical fitness in the world today because it tests anaerobic capability that was not an advertisement but you guys can pay me later okay it tests all the things you want to test especially those related to the kinds of things you do in combat it's exactly related to any skill that I saw soldiers perform in combat but you have to make a gradual transition between the three event which is relatively easy people pass to one that might be a lot tougher that tests things that they don't normally use we did a rollout of the new PT test at Fort Jackson with a bunch of reporters and a bunch of folks from AUSA and there were a couple reporters that actually did it and they they all you know came outs and we've never experienced anything like that before it was hard so a lot of older let's just say older more portly soldiers in the rank of officer and sergeant major didn't want to try it's unfortunate what else anything else two more three more all right go ahead you just raise your hand cuz you didn't think you'd be called Bingen okay I know they do I was look at that one go ahead sir with the new physical fitness test or the combat readiness test do you think standards should be the same for everyone regardless of age or gender or like in order to promote combat readiness no I'm sorry for the PT test yes for the combat test no and the reason I say that is because you're always going to get competition among certain cults and tribes in our army for certain things and they're as a tanker I had to do different things than an infantryman day or an artilleryman or a logistician or a finance officer I mean there are differences so I think you could if you're going to it depends on what you want to tie it to if you just want to compete it should be the same for everybody and you should have a grade scale that does it but if you have that grade scale that does that it will cause problems so you have to find a way and I thought we did a pretty good job of it of tying combat skills to requirements but also differentiating between I hate to categorize but combat versus non-combat skills the problem is everybody's in combat and you know if your there are now going to be mo what I think what the chief is leaning toward you guys correct me if I'm wrong because I'm dated now but I think he's leaning toward MOS specific testing is that right I think that's a good idea because if you can't serve in the MLS if you can't do the required physical skills in the MLS you want to serve in you shouldn't be in anyone else but that shouldn't prevent you from being promoted or doing so if you want to serve as an infantryman you got to do the things an infantryman does there was somebody else somebody else had a question yes sir sir Destin focus on DPE my question had to do with the physical education programs in the country you mentioned that 45 of the states they don't require it five do when you spoke with mrs. Obama were there discussions or you privy to discussions about trying to energize States to bring those back into play so that Fela grams are beefed up in some states that don't yeah that's that's an individualised state thing and she realized she couldn't do anything about that other than shaming which truthfully she did over the last couple of years she started an organization called the partnership for a healthier America where it brought a bunch of different people together into one group and they were attacking the problem from different angles the physical fitness nutrition sleep meld so there were all these agencies that were contributing and they had a couple of conferences a few times a year but as soon as you start messing around in the state's business you get in trouble and I'll give you an example as part of the President's Council they sometimes ask me to go to different legislature when I used to be part of the President's Council they would ask me to talk to senators and congressmen at the state level the state of Florida on my state which you would think pretty healthy state right they got oranges orange juice sunshine all those other kind of things yeah not so much there is no mandatory PE in schools in Florida now they had a class up to about two years ago and they eliminated it and it took a vote of Congress I went down there to try and influence the senators and congressmen not to take it out of their required courses in the middle school and instead of having PT they voted it out guess what they voted in to replace it because they were compressed for time a computer course I personally think the last thing we need to be teaching more of in schools because most of the students know more than the instructors is computers so they've replaced that without an understanding of the second and third order effects of disruptions in schools behaviors in schools and all the research that has been done in terms of learning based on physical activity I can't account for that it's an uninformed representative body that answer your question I don't know how to do it I don't know how to do it I mean it's it's going to take parents speaking up it's going to take more Act and the other thing it can't take him mrs. Obama was very aware of this you can't shove it just into the schools you've got to portray it in your role modeling in homes – this is the sixth this year is the 60th anniversary of the President's Council on Fitness so when I was a little kid in John F Kennedy and in fact that was another outshoot of the 50-50 in World War two you know when Eisenhower became president he said I couldn't get enough recruits to fight World War two so let's start this thing called the President's Council on Fitness that's how it started – this is the 60th anniversary of that what the President's Council is attempting to do is get more and more parent 'el involvement and grandparent involvement and raising kids the right way okay you gotta cut X and we get one more question was in the back and then we'll stop it we're going to make people late for the next that's too bad just blame it on me okay now I'm sorry go ahead let's let's it so we have this room until 1452 another 30 minutes for questions okay thanks everybody really appreciate be our kinesiology fact faculty most important I'll finish college and cadets thank you very much for your central words sir your your shirt from the a there's probably old take this new one in effect work out okay thank you very much thank all right you


  1. This was the guy on CNN shooting the AR-15 on "fully semiautomatic". And here he says the M4 doesn't even have a bayonet mount? How did this guy ever make Lt. Gen at TRADOC? Some people just manage to fall up.

  2. This guy needs never to be heard again. what a fucking loser. full semi automatic

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