Saturday, 2 September 2017

PLA Recruits Not Making the Grade

More and more PLA recruits aren't able to pass the fitness exams
The People's Liberation Army is having trouble recruiting young soldiers because more and more are failing the physical exam.

In one unnamed city in Hubei province, more than 55 percent of the 1,233 young people who tried out for the PLA failed to make the cut because of vision and weight issues, the PLA Daily reported.

However, that was better than in Jianghan Plain, in central and southern Hubei, where the pass rate was 25.6 percent last year, down from 30.8 percent in 2011, the report said.

Many young people applying are overweight and aren't fit
Li Xianggui, chief director of a hospital in Jingzhou said he had seen a significant decline in fitness levels in the 20 years he had been involved in the military's physical exams.

He said although living standards are rising, many young people had unhealthy diets and more were overweight.

According to the medical journal The Lancet, some 43 million men and 46 million women in China are overweight -- 10.8 and 14.9 percent of the population respectively.

"In general, the physical condition of young people wanting to sign up is not ideal, but we can't lower our standards when it comes to finding troops," said Gao Jindong, a division commander in Jingzhou.

Although more young have been applying to the PLA in the past two years, many weren't able to pass the physical exams, according to Liu Deming, a military political commissar in Jingzhou.

PLA doesn't want to lower its standards to get more recruits
The problem of finding new recruits is so widespread that the PLA Daily even posted on social media 10 reasons why many recruits failed the fitness test -- including too many  video games, not enough exercise and too much masturbation.

How the last reason has anything to do with fitness levels is bizarre, but maybe has to do with focus?!

Many are keen to join the army because of the benefits for them and their families, though with Chinese President Xi Jinping cracking down on the PLA as a corporate entity, taking from the trough will get harder in the coming years.

And then there are also recruits who pass the exam, but are later discharged because of "hidden" conditions that emerged during the rigorous training process.

Does this mean the world's largest army is going to shrink soon?




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