Life at sea has always been more rigorous than life ashore. Fighting the sea, the elements, and a wartime enemy from a fragile craft demanded shrewd, determined, and physically fit men. It still does. But, going to sea has changed greatly: the ships are not quite as fragile, and, although shrewdness and determination are still needed, the emphasis today is more on the individual’s technological qualifications than on his physique. When a ship needs an expert radar technician, the most superbly conditioned athlete cannot help unless he happens also to be well-grounded in sophisticated electronics. Perhaps this shift in emphasis accounts partly for the progressively worsening level of sea service physical fitness—but only partly.
Physical Fitness in the Sea Services
By Capt. Paul Morosky, USCGR