Army recruits from 10 southern states tend to be less fit than those from other states, a study conducted by the U.S. Army Public Health Center, American Heart Association, and The Citadel. As such, recruits from Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas are 22 to 28 percent more likely to get injured during training than recruits from other states.
The study also notes that the 10 states provide the Army with its largest percentage of recruits. By one estimate, each significant injury to a recruit during training costs the Pentagon $31,000 on average.
Researchers also said that 27 percent of all 17- to 24-year-olds are too overweight to qualify for military service. Further, 47 percent of all males and 59 percent of all females failed to pass the Army’s entry-level physical fitness test upon entry.