JFK’s Fitness Challenge 

How it Applies Today. Why It Applies Today.

Army Brass have a handle on the “state of the fitness union” in this country. Because they see and deal with the poor physical condition of today’s army, The U.S. Army has initiated the “Soldier Athlete Initiative.” – “if a soldier is to perform on the battlefield, they have to train like an athlete,” as in past generations.

  • Below average performance of young adults coming into the military life not able to run, jump, tumble or roll, critical components in military service, is alarming.

  • Poor diets and the very high percentage of elementary and high schools no longer teaching mandatory P.E. classes across the America have been part of creating this national disaster.

  • An example of a lack of physical soundness in many young recruits ill-equipped to handle the rigors of training is the high incidence of femoral neck stress injury. This is placing a financial strain on the military that has never existed like this before.

What is femoral neck stress? “Stress fractures are a problem in various populations including runners and military trainees.[1, 2, 3] These fractures can occur with as little as 2-3 weeks of training, be very mild, causing only minimal changes to the bone which eventually heals, or they may progress to a complete fracture that requires surgical fixation. Although rare, poor outcomes may occur in the form of nonunions or avascular necrosis. Certain stress fractures have a higher risk of poor outcome, including anterior tibial and femoral neck stress fractures (FNSFs).” Medscape.com

For today’s kids, being fit electronically and scholastically is necessary to compete in today’s world. Physical fitness fills out the triad of being well-rounded physically.


  • The ability to function normally on a daily basis, maintain sound fitness and have a quality of life as we age is just as important. Important to who you ask? Self, family, community, and the health of the nation as a whole.

  • For a village to thrive, the whole village has to be fit, from the outset of life and beyond.

  • Insist on Physical Eduction classes in your children’s schools and community. Getting involved in their fitness will improve your own fitness, especially if your fitness is lacking. Monkey See, Monkey Do.

It is time to address our school’s focus on fitness. Overall fitness. This was our nation’s fitness in the 1950s. What do you see now?