Does anyone agree that the modern army has become a haven for the weak and lazy in terms of physical fitness? I have harboured this opinion for many a year now and I find myself unable to resist venting my anger on this forum. If a soldier has no interest in fitness and health there is no real system in place to ensure that they pass the mandatory tests. The fat and lazy have only to complain of bad knees or bad back or the old stalwart 'shin splints' and they can begin the perpetual cycle of sick chit - get fatter/unfit - fail test - remedial PT - Med centre - sick chit and then maybe eventually achieve the holy grail of getting downgraded. I understand the pressures on the doctors. They are mainly experts in disease and medicine and they also have the dual daggers of the hippocratic oath and the fear of litigation hovering over them on every diagnosis. I also understand the frustrations of the QMSI's who must rely on the the doctors to certify a soldier fit and the Sergeant Majors to ensure they turn up for PT. It seems to me that we have now reached the critical point where much of the heirarchy are either in permanent physio or are downgraded or are just 'too busy' They have no real interest in attending PT or 'mandatory tests' and this gives those underneath them carte blanche to miss PT themselves or let their personal fitness standards slide. And no boss is going to give a poor CR to an individual for not attending PT when he knows he has not attended himself. As an example I have just worked out (Ball park figures here!) that in my last three units that 20% of Officers turn up for PT, 30% of Seniors (mostly Sgts) and maybe 40-50% of junior ranks. Of course some soldiers have genuine ailments and I feel for them. I have been one of them from time to time in my career and I remember the frustration well. I have no wish to put these people into the bracket that I outlined above. To me the solution is clear: Leadership by example. If Company/Squadron/Troop PT is scheduled then the most important personnel to parade are the ones at the top of the heirarchy. If your boss makes a big thing of turning up then there is positive pressure on you to turn up as well. Also if a SSgt/CSgt is going to be coughing up his lungs on a cold winter morning he will be more inclined to make sure that all his juniors have turned up and are doing the same. I could go on and on, but the above rant was partly fuelled by a wish to avoid wasting half a bottle of vino and I now find that my anger has subsided and been replaced by a desperate desire to go to sleep. One last thought: if you lose interest in your fitness, then you lose interest in your health. And if you lose interest in your health then surely you have lost interest in life?