February 28, 2012

The infantalization of our military

Courtesy Michelle Obama and the food police, who have evidently successfully entrenched themselves into the military bureaucracy:

During a panel discussion Thursday on how government can promote healthy eating habits, the U.S. Army touted its mess hall labeling system that places warning on desserts and fried foods.

The event, held at the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington, saw Lt. Col. Sonya Cable highlight the “Go for Green” program, which labels healthy foods green, moderate foods amber, and high calorie foods red.

The nutrition education program alerts soldiers that “red” foods like bacon and apple pie should only be eaten rarely, with a warning: “limit intake.” Foods labeled green, however, such as mustard greens, are deemed “premium fuel for the soldier athlete,” “fresh and flavorful” and “nutrient dense.” Soldiers are advised to eat these frequently.

Cable represents the U.S. Army Soldier Fueling Initiative, which is remaking dining facilities at Initial Military Training sites across the country. She currently serves as a dietitian and the Chief of the Human Dimensions Division within the Initial Military Training Center of Excellence.

During the panel discussion she advised using the “red, amber, green” system in public schools too.


“When I got there our dining facilities were typical dining facility type styles, you know, the fried foods, salad bars existed,” Cable continued.

“We had soda machines and the pastries were, you know, typical cookies, cake, cakes, pies, all of those types of things. Well, then we had the challenge of, okay, now we’re taking former civilians, now developing into soldiers and trying to develop them,” she said. This was the beginning of the Soldier Fueling Initiative and Cable’s efforts to influence the behavior of new recruits.

If you walk into a basic training cafeteria today you will find far fewer fried foods and soda machines have been replaced with “hydration stations,” she explained.

“In the military we all kind of know red means, ‘uh oh, there’s problems,’” Cable said. “Amber, middle of the road, we’re doing okay. And green is good to go, all is right. We took that same concept and we applied it to our menus.”

I’d go on, but it’s just too fucking depressing, frankly.

I mean, we’ll trust these men and women to defend our liberty and fight our wars — but we can’t trust them to make their own informed decisions about what to eat to maintain a comfortable level of strength, performance, and mental happiness?

Look: I have no problem with providing healthy food options. In fact, such options should be encouraged. But what I do have a problem with is this idea that adults can’t make their own decisions based on their own bodies — so instead have to be “guided” and “nudged” into making the “right” decisions by way of such cheesy campaigns and the concomitant removal of foods and beverages these soldiers enjoy.

Soldiers who can’t perform the physical tasks expected of them should be subject to review of what it is they’re doing or not doing that is keeping them from performing at the level the job demands. Everyone else should be left alone and allowed to live their lives as adults. And adults don’t need color-coded labels and warnings on their fucking apple pie or sausage, egg, and cheese biscuits.

It’s insulting. It’s rank nannystatism. And frankly, it’s sad.

We are a nation of grown children forcibly adopted by a State that, through its various regulatory agencies, bureaucracies, and administrative fiats, presumes to parent us well into our adult years.

We’ve gone from an ethos of rugged individualism and self-sufficiency to permanent dependency and government-assumed oversight of every last aspect of our private lives.

And that’s not what I signed up as an American citizen, either in law or in spirit.

Posted by Jeff G. @ 9:35am

Comments (16)

  1. Is there enough space on an M-16 for all the disclaimers and warnings that Michelle’s Pentagon will need to put on there? I mean, I understand that rifles aren’t as dangerous as sweets and fried chicken, but you have to believe that there will be some attention brought to bear on the hardware.

  2. Kind of wonder how General Patton would react to Lt. Col. Sonya Cable’s “premium fuel for the soldier athlete.” Of course, General Patton wouldn’t be welcome in today’s military.

  3. No, General Patton would have been drummed out, then won a seat in Congress and, whenever he speaks his mind, had Keith Olberdouche demand he resign before he embarrasses himself further…

  4. I’m more concerned with the assault on Tricare. 348% increase? No.

  5. Of course, DFACs on bases where you can go somewhere else have been seeing a major drop off in usage. Watch next for the Burger King and Taco Bell concessions to be yanked – then AAFES to close the pizza and sandwich places they run.
    I suppose that MREs will be next up in the greening.


    P.S. I bet I’d do a damn sight better than Sonya Cable in a PT test or a combat course.

  6. No way is O!’s Tricare destruction going to get through Congress – reps in both parties have already expressed their revulsion and “this is DOA” sentiments.

    Was nice to see the mask further off, however, of the O! Team.

  7. Got that right, Colonel. It hasn’t been a happy house around here when my Colonel got wind of that proposal.

  8. Now I want you all to remember that no child of a hardworking single mother ever tied a kinetic action by prematurely expiring for country. He or she tied it by making the other impoverished, educationally deprived child of a hardworking single mother prematurely expire for his or her country.

  9. prematurely expiring for his or her country.

  10. Article on the Tricare issue.

    And two on the continual “Do as she says not as she does”.

  11. Used to be only 2 signs in the chow line:
    “Take all you want, but eat all you take” and “Bus your own tables”

  12. I seem to recall in basic training (1982) that you walked down the line with your tray and took what they gave you. No choices.

    As in;
    “Can I have my eggs over easy? ”
    “Sure honey, you can have them any way you want. As long as it’s scrambled. ”

    I also don’t recall pop machines being available to us in basic training.

  13. Meanwhile, at least one dining hall at Camp Pendleton features a buffet of fried catfish, fries, and hush puppies every Wed. I guess the Marines haven’t wimped out yet.

  14. Heh. A Marine would proudly fart in Sonya Cable’s general direction, if I remember how Marines are.

  15. Talk about trendsetters.. I was a Green Beret before Green was in vogue.. Just sayin.

  16. There were beer machines in the barracks at jump school at Ft Benning back in ’79. ..and it wasnt even light beer..