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The Recruiting Crisis: Obesity’s Challenge to Military Readiness
November 15

The Recruiting Crisis: Obesity’s Challenge to Military Readiness

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12:00 pm - 12:45 pm. Time zone: America/New_York

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A recap and video of this event is available here.

This year, the U.S. Army missed its recruiting goal by 25%, marking the worst ever recruiting year since the inception of the All-Volunteer Force. In June of 2018, the American Security Project published a report titled “Obesity: An Epidemic that Impacts our National Security.” The report highlighted that obesity was a major factor in the dwindling number of “qualified military available” to recruit, and the situation has worsened. As this trend is likely to continue, it represents a compounding problem which will cripple the military’s ability to meet its national security obligations.

This month, ASP is releasing a new report analyzing the threat that obesity poses to military readiness as the military struggles to find enough qualified applicants to fill its ranks. Join us as we discuss the report’s findings and recommendations to deal with obesity’s impacts on the recruiting crisis.

About the Speakers

BGen Stephen A. Cheney, USMC (Ret.) is the President Emeritus of the American Security Project. He is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and has over 30 years experience as a Marine. His career included a wide variety of command and staff positions with the operating forces and the supporting establishment. BGen Cheney’s primary specialty was artillery, but he focused extensively on entry-level training, commanding at every echelon at both Marine Corps Recruit Depots, to include being the Commanding General at Parris Island. Cheney also served as Inspector General of the Marine Corps, and commanded the Marines’ entire Eastern Recruiting Region. BGen Cheney has been on the Board of Directors for ASP since 2006, and served as ASP’s CEO from 2011-2019, and as ASP’s President from 2019-2022.

BG Stephen N. Xenakis, M.D., USA (Ret.) is a retired brigadier general and Army medical corps officer with 28 years of active service. He is an adjunct clinical professor at the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences. He has been a senior adviser to the Department of Defense on neurobehavioral conditions and medical management. He serves on the editorial board of the Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law and the Executive Board of the Center for Ethics and Rule of Law at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Xenakis is a co-founder for Reason for Hope and an anti-torture advisor to Physicians for Human Rights and Center for Victims of Torture. Dr. Xenakis is board certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in General Psychiatry, as well as Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

Amy E. Rothberg, M.D., PhD. is a Clinical Professor of Internal Medicine at the University of Michigan in the Division of Metabolism, Endocrinology and Diabetes (MEND), Research Professor in the Department of Nutritional Sciences in the School of Public Health at the University of Michigan and Director of the Michigan Weight Management Program and Diabetes Cure Clinic. Her primary research is funded by the National Institutes of Health. She also receives funding through the Michigan Obesity and Nutrition Center, Michigan Diabetes Research Center, Michigan Institute for Clinical Research (NIH funded centers), the Taubman Institute and from Blue Cross Blue Shield. Her publications focus on the epidemiology of obesity and diabetes, effectiveness, and cost effectiveness of lifestyle intervention for obesity, and their impact on reproductive function, diabetes remission, metabolic syndrome, pain and health-related quality of life.


Image credit: Will Buckner via Flickr under CC by 2.0