American’s Unhealthy Behaviors are a Matter of National Security – with Chad Robichaux: Chad Robichaux is our guest, today, on to talk about the dwindling pool of eligible recruits for our military. America’s epidemic of unhealthy behaviors, body and mind, are leaving our military branches without the applicants they need. We need a strong spiritual emphasis to turn the culture in the right direction. With American’s once again believing that the body is a temple, we can start turning our behaviors around and building healthier, stronger bodies in the process. Only then will we have a once-again ready military.
Air Date: 3/8/2023
On-air Personalities: David Barton, Tim Barton and Rick Green
Guest: Chad Robichaux
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Welcome to the intersection of faith in the culture. It’s WallBuilders. We appreciate you joining us. We are taking on the hot topics of the day from a biblical, historical and constitutional perspective. I’m Rick Green here with David Barton and Tim Barton. Tim Burton, national speaker and pastor. He’s president of WallBuilders. David Barton, of course, America’s premier historian, and our founder at WallBuilders. And I’m a former Texas legislator and America’s constitution coach. Check out our website to learn more WallBuilders.com . That’s WallBuilders.com. You can also get archives of the program over at WallBuildersLive.com . Alright, David and Tim, we got our buddy Chad Robicheaux will be with us a little later in the program. We’re going to talk about military readiness, and 77% of Americans aged 17 to 24 are not fit for service. I’m a little bit older than that, and definitely not fit for service. So I’m going to be the hypocrite today saying we need to do better on this, while I am not yet doing better on this. Anyway, this is an important topic, guys.
This is the consistent pattern of adults being able to criticize the rising generation. You know, those millennials, those snowflakes, those Gen Xers their rock and roll. But genuinely…
I will say at 17 and 24, I would have been fit for service. But yeah, that’s the olden days. Back when I was a kid! Yeah.
But but genuinely, this is a major problem. And it’s reflective of a culture we live in. It’s one of the things that I remember growing up in the 80s and 90s, when you started having some of these Nintendo’s are Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis and N64. And the conversation, even then was, if we become a video game culture, will that keep kids from getting outside and being active, and then there were conversations in the 90s and early 2000s. Even today, when you have so many kids that live on video games, and they play football, and they’ll go to their kind of their their fall, two days, and sometimes three days depending on where they go. And these kids haven’t been outside all summer. And they… they’re having heat exhaustion, and heatstroke and dehydration and all these issues, because they’re so used to being inside. And of course now with social media and YouTube and TikTok and all these things that are out there, we are such an inactive society. And there are lots of negative consequences that come from being inactive. But certainly, if we’re talking about a nation and any level of military readiness, we know right now under the Biden administration, that military recruiting is at an all time low, which actually does make sense. Why would people want to sign up to serve under a president who doesn’t like America, who wants America to be behind other nations. And what we saw with the Afghanistan withdrawal, just that debacle that happened. There’s a lot of reasons it makes sense why people would not want to sign up in general. But then when you look at the fact that only 23%, 23%! of Americans in the age range are even potentially fit to go try out. There’s just major issues when it comes to implications with national security in this nation.
I’m going to suggest that the lack of fitness is actually a spiritual problem as much as anything else. One of the things that we were taught from school up was that we’re a tripartite being. We’re three parts, we’re body, soul, spirit, and we have to take care of all of those. And so even as I looked, when I was younger, at body, I was… there were two verses that really jumped out at me. one is in First Corinthians, one is Second Corinthians. But both say that my body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. I want him to have a nice place to live. I want it being in as good a shape as they can be, I don’t want a dilapidated building that’s falling down, that’s not a nice place to live, any more than I would want to move into a slum neighborhood, if I had a choice. And so I wanted to give him a nice place to live. And I was reminded of what Paul said in Timothy, that bodily exercise profits a little, it’s not everything you got to have… So that’s why you have to have the body. But you also have to have the spirit and the soul. All three of those need to be in good shape. And I think as Christians, we have an individual responsibility to be in good physical shape. If I point to the Bible, there’s no way you can say Jesus was a wimp. I mean, when he went into the temple and overturned the money changers tables. At that point in time those guys in the temple didn’t think he was the Son of God, they didn’t think he was divine, they thought he was cult leader. How come nobody confronted him and beat him up for what he was doing. There could be a lot of reasons, but not the least of which is, he was not a small weak guy, nor was Paul nor was Peter nor so many other apostles.
And let me jump in too and add to the fact that there been studies done, depicting what it would be for someone to be beaten like Jesus was beaten, and then be able to carry their own cross, and the physical weight of that cross and how far he would have carried it before, obviously, he collapses and then you have somebody else come and carry it. Jesus had to have been a physically strong person, and of course with the background of the training as somebody that worked with their hands, somebody that both, we… Today, The Bible reads carpentry but if you talk to some of the Hebrew scholars, they’ll tell you that actually that word is closer to like a stonemason. Someone that built with stones. And so whether he was lifting trees and logs or lifting massive rocks, this was a strong dude, to your point. As so many of the individuals we can point to in the Bible, the heroes of the Bible, by and large, these were pretty masculine men.
And if you want to look the other side, look at Eli, what happened to him? He was not physically fit. Look at Eglon, what happened him? There’s a lot of examples on both sides in the Bible. And so I think there’s a responsibility as Christians, that we have to take care of this temple of the Holy Spirit physically, not just spiritually. We’re tripartite being. And growing up as I did, I remember the stuff from President John F. Kennedy on physical fitness. And if you want to really shock yourself, go back and look at what high schools were doing at that point in time, the American Physical fitness program. Look at how high school kids looked, not just athletes, all high school kids. It’s a whole different world from what we have now. And so in seeing this, I was thinking, you know, this is not good for the nation, that we don’t have 100% that we can pull from to see who the best are. We have to start with the pool of only 23%, and not all of them are going to qualify, you know, not all of them are going to be… have the right attitude or the right like or not all of them are even going to love America, but you’ve only got 23% in the fishing hole to begin with, we need a whole lot more than that. So this really is a national problem. But I think it’s a spiritual problem as well. And I just encourage everybody to start doing something to really get your temple in better shape, whatever your age is, I refuse to be left behind by all the young guys and not be able to outwork them, whatever I’m doing. And that’s just an attitude that I think we all need to develop.
Yeah, and you know, and guys, of course I’ve you know, joking about it earlier. And in all seriousness, think about what it does for our effectiveness. I know when I’m in shape, and when I’m eating better and doing those things, I have more energy to last longer, which means I can do more for the kingdom, I can, you know, when I’m not in shape, I’m sick more. Whenever, when we don’t take care of ourselves, we’re down and we’re out of the fight. And we’re not able to be engaged, for what God wants us to do, let alone length of life. And of course, he knows our days, and he’s the one that has them numbered. But if we’re not taking care of ourselves, we’re not going to be able to do near as much for the Kingdom. And our guest today is going to talk about, you know, I would argue, that when you serve in the military, you’re serving for God and country, you’re serving to defend the liberties and the… of this nation and be able to share the gospel, and for the people of our nation to be able to share the gospel. And so our subject today is about the, you know, the nation not being… the young people in our nation not being ready for military but as you said, David and Tim, it’s for all of us, and very specifically to be able to serve well, to be able to do what God’s called us to do. So Chad Robicheaux is a great friend of the program. He’s done a lot with us and of course, Mighty Oaks, we highlight a lot, his book Saving Aziz, we’ll talk a little bit about, but very specifically, you know, Tim, you’re a big BJJ guy and do a lot of Brazilian Jujitsu. This guy’s a champ, man. He’s been a champ in that arena and also in MMA, so many different things that he’s been at the top of the game in, and so we’ll talk a little bit about how to get that mindset as well. Stay with us, folks. We’ll be right back on WallBuilders.
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Welcome back to WallBuilders. Thanks for staying with us. Always good to have Chad Robichaux with us. Thank you, Chad, for coming on as always. A lot going on in your life. Mighty Oaks continues to bless so many members of our military. Thanks for what you’re doing there. New book Saving Aziz. And it’s just good to have you back on the program, man.
No, thanks for having me on. Always fun to be on with you guys.
Well, so much we want to talk to you about, but there was an article that definitely caught our attention. And David and Tim immediately said, boy I wonder what Chad has to say about that. And it’s this whole thing about how you can’t even hardly find people fit for service to join the military anymore. 77% of Americans apparently… in that age range 17 to 24 are not fit for service, and that’s from the DOD. So this has got to be, you know, not just something to kind of chuckle at, this has got to be, becoming a major issue for us and our readiness and our ability to defend ourselves as a nation.
Yeah, you know, it starts off as a cultural issue, and it bleeds into being a national security issue, because the result of that is that recruiting is down 28%. And that’s when I say that recruiting is down 20%, that’s after concessions to lower manpower numbers to lower standards, when it comes to standard for entry. So we know, even though, because they skew the numbers, so quickly, we don’t even know what the real number of recruiting is down. We’re getting less people in our military, less quality people in our military. And the recruiters are having to just cut corners to get people in. And it goes back to, you know, where our culture is headed. If you look back, I love and hate seeing these memes. But you look back in these memes on social media, and they’ll show pictures of what PE looked like, in the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, even. When you go into PE and in our school system and people are [doing] monkey bars, climbing monkey bars, doing push ups, doing the fitness tests that we used to have to do when we grew up. I’m 47 years old. We had a fitness test to do when we grew up. There was no walking for half a mile around a track, you actually went out and worked out. And you know, it’s… We produced a lazy culture. And, you know, I think part of it’s our school systems, and the school boards that has done that, and part of its technology. Phones. Me and my wife were driving yesterday and I’m like, I don’t see anyone out playing football and baseball outside. You know it’s fall, I mean it’s spring, it’s like beautiful in Texas right now. Like people need to be out just plowing people into the grass with a nerf football. And none of that anymore, right? Where are these kids? And, you know, they’re inside.
How much of that, Chad, has been, you know, it’s, like you said, starts culturally bleeds into the readiness issue and the military, but when the culture got lazy, the institution started giving into that, instead of saying, no, we’re not going to lower the standards for you, you’re going to have to push against the cultural trend, if you want to be a part of us, whether that’s the military or, you know, colleges or sports programs, or whatever it is, but it’s like we just got lazy on every front, including kids sports, you know, and just made it where everybody gets to play and lowering the standards. So how much of it was lowering the standards as well?
I think a lot of it’s lowering the standards, I mean you… When you lower the standards, you take the pressure off people trying to, you know… if I really want to do this, I have to… if I really want to be a United States Marine, you know, I have to be at a certain level to go into Marine Corps. The recruiter is not gonna be able to cut me any slack or let me in because they need people. And, you know, I think in our culture, we’ve cut corners, we had this equality and fairness and participation trophies, and everybody has to have the opportunity, so let’s lower standards. Instead of bringing people up to the standard, you lower the standards, and that’s dangerous. That’s dangerous in society, is dangerous for our young people to say, I don’t have to work, to aspire and achieve to something difficult, because at some point, they’re going to make a concession for me. So this is very dangerous to do to young people. Because, you know, that’s the formidable years of having concessions made for you. Now, you expect those your whole life, and you’re not willing to do the difficult things. I mean, I’ve done a lot of difficult things in my life. And the greatest achievements I’ve had in my life, have come on the other side of the most difficult challenges, and the most difficult things. And when you achieve those things, as hard as they may feel at a time, there’s a lot of value you get out of it, you understand what it means to work hard, you understand the reward and working hard. And you understand that, you know, hey, I did something special that not everybody could do, I had to work hard for it. it wasn’t just given to me. And it also it creates an opportunity for, it creates opportunity when you have high standards it creates opportunity for you to fail. And I think in America, we forgot the important… we forgot that culturally, we forgot the important lessons of failing. You know, I have got to do a lot of great things in my life. But make no mistake there was a lot of failure in those. I mean, when you do something like a sport like Brazilian Jujutsu that I do, and you know, when you do a Brazilian Jujutsu tournament, by the second round, 75 people fail, because the single elimination. Like kids that wrestle in elementary school in high school, they go to these tournaments and there’s 1000 kids there. In the first round, 500 of them fail, half of them fail, 75% of them fail by the second round. Failure is a very important part of growth and progression. And we lower standards like this. It takes away people’s ambition to achieve, it takes away their lessons from failure and success, and is ultimately dangerous and wind up in a situation like this where we have 77% of our country from 17 to 24 years old can I even qualify to serve, at the most minimal level, by the way, the most minimal level to be, not special operations guys, but you know, logistics people and cooks and all the support roles. They can’t even do that to serve in our nation. And that’s a national security issue. You know, it turns from a cultural issue to a national security issue. I mean, this is a very dangerous place where we’re in. Now I will say on the flip side, I’ll say this, I’ve seen the military over the last 30 years being involved, the standard of entry level has continued to go down and down and down every year. But the one place that I’ve seen it hold, hold the standard has been the Special Operations community. And so I’m very proud of that. In fact, I would even say that in marine recon, and it pains me to say it of own self pride, because I always want to be like, I’m the guy that went and, you know, walked up the snow hill five miles to make it to school, and it was harder in my day. I think the program is probably more difficult today as it was, when I went through, I think these programs have gotten tougher. The statistics of graduation’s probably still the same, it’s about 80% attrition rate for the Special Operations community, but I think the programs are better, and they produce a more physically fit, smarter and more capable, special operator out of fields recon. I can’t speak for the queue course for Green Berets. I know, it’s still a tough program. I can’t speak to the contrast between them where it was and where it is today. But I know for sure, marine recon, seals, PJs, CCT, those are better programs than more… than when we went through. And the standards have not went down.
And that, Chad, really speaks to what you said earlier about when you do have difficulty and you have the freedom to fail. And you have to get back up and do it again, you not only do you earn more respect for yourself, other people respect you. And so even as, you know, I mean, SpecOps guys still have tremendous respect in the culture and it’s partly because of what you do, but also because of what you just described that the standards are still high, and you do still expect greatness. And I got to say, man, what you were saying about failure is so important. We’ve lost that not just in athletics and military and that sort of thing, but in business and, you know, the freedom to fail as necessary to have the freedom to succeed. And I know like you were saying, same for me, I learned more in my failures in business or politics than I did in my successes. That’s where God refines us and allows us to get better and better. And so teaching that to kids to embrace that and not be afraid of that and run from that and be snowflakes and, and you know, the whole thing about, you know, essentially padded playgrounds at this point. And that whole mindset is making us less tough, less gritty, less capable of winning wars. No, I mean, I’m not exaggerating, it literally goes to, as a nation, not being able to win wars when we get that mindset.
Well, I mean, and look, I’ve taken that lesson. And as a, someone who mentors, military people in my resiliency programs I do it Mighty Oaks, and as a father, like as a leader in my organization at Mighty Oaks, like when I had the chance to talk to my kids, when I had the chance to talk to my staff members. When I have the chance, I’ve spoken to a half million active duty troops in the military, it’d be super easy and comfortable for me to stand up in front of them and talk about all my successes, which there’s a lot to be learned from sharing about our successes. But there’s also a lot to be learned, it’s very important, to teach people about our failures. So tell them about a time, that I tried really hard, and I didn’t make it and I fell on my face. But I had to pick myself up again and rebuild myself and, and continue to drive forward. There’s such important lessons in that. And oftentimes, we don’t have the, our pride or ego doesn’t want to allow us to talk about those things. But those are the most important lessons to learn. And so when I have the opportunity, you know, speaking my own children, I don’t want them to think… I don’t want my children to think that I never fail before. I don’t want them to think that I that I’ve never messed up. Because then when they do, why would they come talk to me? You know, Dad never messed up before. Why would I go talk to him? He doesn’t know what it’s like to struggle like that. So it’s very important for that, when I get in front of these troops who I know they’re struggling. I know the things they’ve going… because I’ve been through them. I don’t want to stand up there like I had it all figured out. I never struggled before. I never failed before. That’s such a dangerous place, position to mentor from. And so for me, I use the opportunities that have to be in front of people that’s not just talking about the successes, but talk about the failures as well.
Chad, as always with you, man. When we start on one topic, you say things that have such wisdom in application to other areas that I have to go down some rabbit trails. And that’s, I mean, what you just described is also important in parenthood, just being transparent when your kids are getting into that 15, 16 year old timeframe and they’re struggling with things when parents try to act like we did everything right. We were perfect. And we don’t talk… it makes it unapproachable. There is just like what you just said, I know I found with my kids by, as they got older, you know, there’s an appropriate time for those things, that by being what you just described, it allowed our relationship to grow and they were willing to come to me when they had those struggles. And so I just, I think what you’re saying is obviously fits the topic of what we’re talking about today. But man, everybody listening today can learn from what you just said.
When it comes to fitness, I mean, our military, you know, goes off of these four pillars of resiliency and readiness, that’s mind, body, spirit and social. Are young warriors need to be mentally tough, motivated, educated, they need to be physically tough and ready to do the difficult jobs in the military, and to be surrounded by the right people and in the right culture, and spiritually you need to have a strong spiritual foundation. All for those extremely important. And, you know, oftentimes in culture, we have a definitely disproportionate balance of those things and it’s not like it’s an individual readiness, but it really comes down to our national security. And it’s… we’re in dangerous time right now. These things need to be sorted at childhood. It’s the responsibility of parents, every parent listening needs to be responsible as a parent to lead their kids in this and as communities we need to be leading our kids, that way too.
That’s where it begins. Absolutely, right there in our own home. Hey, Chad, before I let you go, man, tell us a little bit about the book that you came out with a couple of months ago, Saving Aziz. I know we talked to you about him last summer. And you know, as a lot of that was going on, but folks can learn that story through the book, can you give us a synopsis of it and where they can get the book?
Yeah, the book Saving Aziz is available everywhere. I think, when it released January 17, it was number three and sales. It hit a lot of, most of our bestseller lists. And we basically… the subtitle of the book, is how the mission to save one, turned into calling to rescue thousands. Azis is my interpreter, eight deployments together. He’s my friend. And we worked very independently together because of the nature of my special operations job. And he saved my life multiple times. So when the withdrawal happened from Afghanistan, and you know, President Biden made this, I won’t even call it a mistake, because there’s no way it was a mistake. A deliberate decision to withdraw our troops leave Americans behind, leave our allies behind, we move the global security at Bagram Air Force Base, and leave … equipment behind. There’s a lot of things I disagree with. But the one thing I could do something about was to go get my friend. And so I put together a team, a special operations… to go get Aziz, his wife and his six kids, and that… God just stepped in and did a miracle through our… that just to say yes to burden our hearts to go help. And not only were able to rescue Aziz, his wife and six kids, but for 17,000 people. So the book has a story about the rescue of those 17,000 people, my relationship with Aziz and all the chronological events that happened during the withdrawal of Afghanistan. And it’s spent five months at the Pentagon getting redacted and reviewed. And it has, you know, a lot of great truths in it that the mainstream media did not even attempt to touch. So I definitely would encourage everyone to get it. Not just for me to sell a book, but to know the truth about what happened during the withdrawal of Afghanistan and you can go anywhere to get it. SavingsAziz.org or Amazon, Barnes and Noble, anywhere books are sold, you can find it.
Powerful, powerful story, brother, man, we appreciate you so much. Really appreciate the time today and let us go a little extra long with you. I appreciate you staying with us and just keep up the great work and let us know how we can serve you. I really want encourage people to visit Mighty Oaks as well. Make those donations, the number of people that Chad touches and the lives of those who put their lives on the line for us. Saving those lives through this ministry is vitally, vitally important. So we’ll have links both to Mighty Oaks and to Saving Aziz today, at our website. Chad, God bless you, brother. Thanks for coming on, man.
God bless, man. And I want to say one thing before I get off, is thanks to David Barton and Glenn Beck, everybody at Mercury One because we would not have been able to do those evacuations had God not formed from that partnership between us. So, you know, thank everyone over there, too. You guys helped make it possible. So God bless you guys.
Amen. Amen, good stuff. That was Chad Robicheaux. We’re back with David and Tim Barton. And guys a lot of advice there that’s not just for the military. It’s for all of us. We even got into parenthood a little bit there.
Yeah, it was a lot of great things to think about, maybe be challenged with. And, you know, guys, as you, Rick, specifically you and Chad were mentioning, is kind of the vulnerability at times of parents and letting your kids know that, you know, I definitely made mistakes. Because one reality that every parent should be aware of is, your kids know, you’re not perfect. Right? Like there’s that phase, right? Certainly when kids are younger, and they’re like, my parents are perfect. And my dad’s the strongest, can beat up anybody. My mom’s the best cook, and we love her. Right? Like, there’s the phase where definitely kids think their parents are just the best there is. But then certainly, the older you get, the more you recognize the humanity of your parents. And of course, depending on different parents, I mean, some kids, unfortunately, are put in situations where they recognize the humanity of their parents much earlier, through some unfortunate scenario. Sometimes it’s some really bad scenarios, nonetheless, Rick, to your point of being able to connect and invest in them is so significant. And Rick, you alluded to right before the interview, kind of Chad’s background in Brazilian jujitsu and his MMA career, his UFC career where he was a champion. He’s actually the guy we have done a lot of firearms training over the years, you know, Rick, obviously with some of the stuff you do with your constitutional defense courses, where people can come and they can get some hands on first, really first level training for individuals who want to know how to operate a handgun, be able to defend themselves and their family, and I started doing a lot more classes, a lot more training in areas. And some of the trainings got to where as we were clearing houses, we were going hand to hand with bad guys in these simulations. And I realized I really don’t know what to do, and I actually saw Chad like the next week. I was like, Hey, man, you know what should I do? He said, You got to take Brazilian Jujutsu. And I started several years ago and I’ve fallen in love with it. It’s something that I wish I would have started 20 years ago. And I want to highly encourage, as over the years, we’ve encouraged people to be able to defend themselves with firearms, to learn that skill, learn how to use that tool, so you can defend yourself and your family. Also learning some basics of jujitsu and self defense, there’s just so much benefit in it. And, you know, Rick I… one thing and Dad, we’ve talked about before, I do see a positive happening a little bit in the culture, even though so much of the culture is going the wrong direction, we do see a remnant that God’s raising up and protecting. And for so many of the rising generation, we are seeing that they are becoming more self aware, and wanting to be able to defend themselves wanting to learn how to use handguns, and even so many people that are now starting to get interested in Brazilian jujitsu. And I will tell you, it’s totally worth it, go and do it. Just like learning anything. It takes little time and practice, you won’t be good at the beginning. But you are not going for a weekend lesson, you’re going to learn something ultimately that it’s more valuable for your life. And this is something that I did because Chad encouraged me but this is something if we’re going to, if we’re going to turn the direction of America, it’s something that we’ve got to start with our families, we can control what’s inside our sphere of influence. And that starts with our family. So for parents out there, this is something for your families. Y’all need to be able to know how to operate a firearm, you need to be able to know how to defend yourself and between the Constitution defense courses, Brazilian Jujutsu, these are things that we should start learning more and more just as responsible individuals.
Yeah, just to emphasize there, Tim, this is not just the guys we’re talking to here, it’s the ladies to. You know, 55% of the people that go through our constitutional defense shooting course are women. And I love seeing young ladies learn how to defend themselves with Brazilian jujitsu as well. So everybody out there has something to gain from today’s program. Hope you’ll share it with your friends and family. We sure appreciate your listening to WallBuilders.