Two military recruits hospitalized after being pushed in fitness training

The two Canadian Forces recruits were allegedly subjected to physical fitness training beyond what was deemed necessary.

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Two Canadian Forces recruits are in hospital amid allegations they underwent physical fitness training beyond what was deemed necessary.

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Retirees and military personnel told this newspaper that the recruits were hospitalized during their first week of basic military training at Canadian Forces Base Gagetown, NB. He says that physical fitness training is sadistic.

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Both men were treated for dehydration and rhabdomyolysis, according to military sources.

Rhabdomyolysis is considered a serious medical condition and is caused by direct or indirect muscle injury. One of the causes of rhabdomyolysis is overexertion.

Canadian Army spokeswoman Major Sandra Lévesque confirmed that both recruits are in hospital. Neither the name nor the health condition of the soldier was released.

“The School of Infantry has launched a unit-level investigation,” Lévesque said.

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The investigation will allow the army to better understand the incident that led to the soldiers being hospitalized.

“At this time, we are limited in the level of information we can share because of the investigation,” added Lévesque.

The US military has been concerned about rhabdomyolysis. In 2021, the US military has 513 cases of exertional rhabdomyolysis. The highest number is among men, less than 20 years old.

In a 2010 study, the US military described rhabdomyolysis as the breakdown of muscle cells that release proteins and electrolytes into the bloodstream. If left untreated, it can be fatal and lead to kidney failure, heart attack or stroke, the study said.

In 2018, another US study noted that cases of exertional rhabdomyolysis are on the rise among American military personnel and high school and college athletes. An individual’s fitness level, a sudden increase in exercise intensity, or certain types of training can increase the risk, added the study published in the journal Military Medicine.

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In 2000, rhabdomyolysis and severe leg muscle swelling ended his Canadian Forces career as a first-year Royal Military College cadet who was hospitalized for kidney failure.

The cadet’s family says instructors at the Canadian Forces Leadership and Recruit School abused their authority and pushed other soldiers and recruits beyond their limits.

But a Canadian Forces board of inquiry blamed the soldier for the injuries, claiming he had pushed himself.

A later investigation by the Canadian Forces Ombudsman’s office determined the board of inquiry did not obtain expert medical evidence, and misunderstood the medical information it received.

The ombudsman’s office also recommended the Canadian Forces develop a formal system to track and report evaluations of the training regimens they implement.

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The officer cadet was kicked out of the Canadian military due to lifelong medical complications from the incident.

The Canadian Forces are currently facing a recruitment crisis as fewer young Canadians are interested in joining the ranks. Military leaders also acknowledged the ongoing sexual misconduct crisis affecting recruitment.

One recommendation given to senior leaders is to move recruits through the system more quickly. The BMQ, or basic military training programme, for non-commissioned members in the future should be cut from 10 weeks to eight weeks, it has been recommended.

In addition, the Canadian military is facing the highest attrition rate in 15 years and will need more than a decade to get the number of soldiers back to the required level, according to a briefing prepared for defense chief General Wayne Eyre and other senior leaders.

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The briefing was leaked to this newspaper in October.

Lack of housing for military families and failure to increase cost of living allowances also contributed to serving military personnel leaving the force.

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