Report | November 19, 2019

Stay the Course: Building on a Decade of Results

Retired admirals and generals are working to improve national security by investing in kids

Military leaders know that physically fit and highly skilled troops are the backbone of our national security. For this reason, Mission: Readiness has spent the last decade advocating for investments in health and education to ensure that America’s youth stay fit, in school and out of trouble, and are prepared to succeed in the military or whatever field they choose.

While military leaders are always on alert for threats to national security, few could have anticipated that one of the most challenging threats to address would be the health of our youth. In 2009, a small group of retired admirals and generals joined together to sound the alarm that obesity was a looming threat to our national security, and Mission: Readiness was born.

Over the last ten years, great progress has been made in preparing our youth to be productive members of society. High school graduation rates have improved; crime rates are decreasing; yet the fight against obesity wages on. In the decade since Mission: Readiness was founded, there have been increases in obesity rates among young people, increases in obesity and injury rates among service members, a decrease in deployability, and perhaps most concerning, a decrease in the number of young people who are eligible to serve their country if they so choose. Obesity is one factor that we can, and must, continue to prevent and reduce in order to ensure our nation has a fully staffed, healthy military, now and in the future.


  1. National