General Question

talljasperman's avatar

Would militaries promote steroid use?

Asked by talljasperman (21739points) July 28th, 2014

Seeing peak fitness is encouraged and this isn’t the Olympics? Who knows it might just save a life.

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5 Answers

jerv's avatar

Unlikely, as there’s more to fitness than just strength, and steroids tend to cause other issues; the sort that cannot be handled by a Field Medic. Cardiovascular fitness and mental discipline are far more important than muscle mass; steroids don’t affect one, and often decrease the other.

Darth_Algar's avatar

I don’t see why they would. Real life military isn’t like G.I. Joe and there’d be no advantage to huge hulking infantrymen with pro wrestler physiques (not to mention physical and mental health issues that steroids have been known to cause).

dabbler's avatar

I have no doubt that IF there were some strategic advantage it would be considered and used.
But as @jerv and @Darth_Algar both note, steroids have all sorts of medical problems associated with them.

In the past century militaries have used methamphetamines….
The whole German army in WW II was marching on industrial quantities of speed.
U.S. bomber pilots on long missions are on carefully administered doses of speed to keep up situational awareness and keep them from falling asleep.

If you care about your troops’ long-term health and capabilities you’ll be careful. If not then there’s no limit to what might be done to ‘enhance’ the troops.

jerv's avatar

@dabbler Good point. Upon further thought, I have realized that we have been assuming a military in a culture like America or Western Europe where we have a certain degree of concern for the well-being of our fighting forces that others may lack.

First, let us look at history. The Middle East has a history of suicide bombers. During WW2, the Allies were willing to fight even if they had to die, but Japan seemed willing to die even if they had to fight; they pioneered “terminally guided munitions” in a pre-computer era. China has a large enough army that, before nuclear weapons, they could win a war simply by making the enemy run out of ammunition before they ran out of troops.

A culture who considers their troops more expendable than we do would have no concerns about long-term health effects. However, steroids still wouldn’t be the way to go as we don’t fight teh same way we did in the Middle Ages. Stimulants and opiates (painblockers for increased damage resistance) would be far more likely. There’s no way to make a person inherently bulletproof, but jack them up on enough PCP to not notice they’ve been shot and the net effect is the same, and cheraper than body armor. Add in enough amphetamines to make them hyper-aware enough to see sounds and taste colors, and things could get interesting.

Darth_Algar's avatar

I have a friend who’s been in the U.S. Army since 1998 and he’s actually kinda scrawny. I mean he’s in good conditioning, but he’s almost like a rail. In terms of physical endurance cardiovascular fitness will win over big muscles in any situation.

Which is another factor = people who are overly muscled tend to have lower stamina overall.

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