The thing to remember when dealing with the such statistics (number of GIs who actually fired "a shot in anger" is that the logistical "tail" of the armed forces was in uniform during WWII, not the civilian contractors of the present day. Civilian involvement with WWII military logistics ended at the receiving pier on the other side of the ocean, and sometime, in the case of the US Navy's "fleet train", long before that. One set of numbers I've seen had the US WWII "tail to tip ratio" at something like 8 or 9 support troops to each line infantryman, tanker, or gunner.
Another WWII number crunch goody...before the manpower needs got severe, something on the order of 1/3 of WWII-era draftees couldn't pass the physical.
And yeah, George Bailey was 4-F because of a ruptured eardrum he suffered when he was a child.
Society wide? No question, much weaker, both in arm and character.
Yes but that is what is wanted. We have protests and we enact laws against free speech, rather then address the concerns.
Even with all the 'tech' (C4I) you would still need someone to go in and hold the ground. You can't fight a one aspect war (aspect being tech, space, air, or ground) it is an all aspect situation and you need to control all of them or you're beat.
My grandfather was too young for WW2 and too old for Vietnam (gotta love the Silent Generation).
The draft was gone by the time my dad was 18.
Neither of them ever served in the military. But they both know how to read and write, which you apparently think is overrated.
I've read through much of this thread, and there seem to be a few common ideas, so let me try to give a brief synopsis.
Men are turning into wusses, individually.
How wussy we are, is measured by a number of metrics, including one involving pocket knives.
This individual wussiness is permeating our society and culture, and while weak men can exist, a weak society or culture is a bigger and more troubling problem.
Do I have it just about right?
If so, let me offer this. Individual physical prowess, whether in males or females, is not so important as a general willingness to stand up for yourself and what you believe. And these, historically, have been the quintessential American cultural traits. When the going gets tough, we come together and git'r done!
I just spent last week in a government building. My pocket knife went with me, through security, and back in my pocket, every single day. And, I regularly had it out, in plain view, and in use, unashamedly. 3 guys on my team were shocked I carried one, much less brandished it openly.
It's a tool.
Well yes, in the USA there has been a concerted movement against critical thinking skills, science, multicultural knowledge, resilience, and intelligence. But your original post did not speak to that concern. It listed a bunch of ideas that really have nothing to do with mental toughness and courage.
Sorry, but I must disagree. Concerted movement against... In education we are trying our darndest to address these very skills and other important ones. The issue is students who don't step up to learn them. I can only teach a student who is ready and WILLING to learn.
That isn't over thinking on our part, it is just seeing the world differently than you.