Morale: Why Chinese Soldiers Don't Snore


April 28, 2006: China is striving to improve the quality of its armed forces by raising the standards set for new recruits. As part of this policy, it has been decreed that young men who snore loudly, may not join the armed forces. Since recruits and junior enlisted troops live in barracks, with 20-40 men sleeping in one large room, this makes sense. Sort of. Troops have been dealing with snorers in their midst for a long time. While this has resulted in an occasional homicide, or offending soldier deserting (to avoid the rough treatment of his cranky roommates), the Chinese method is one of the more direct solutions. In Western armed forces, where most troops live in college dorm type accommodations, excessive or disruptive snoring is treated as a medical condition, and treated accordingly. China has more recruits than money for medical treatment, so their new policy makes sense.

Also prohibited from joining up are those with criminal records, the overweight (an increasingly common problem in China's booming economy) and those with too many, or too prominent, tattoos. All of these things will also keep you out of most Western armed forces, although the United States has recently eased up on the tattoo thing.

The higher standards makes for better troops, and better morale all around.


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