BASIC TRAINING: A Portrait of Today's Army by Burnham Holmes

BASIC TRAINING: A Portrait of Today's Army

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In what might be an authorized ""portrait,"" Holmes follows Jeff Baker from his first tentative visit to the recruiting office and then, in a week-by-week rundown, through basic training. Officers and drill sergeants issue warnings, pep talks, and praise, and Frank paints a picture of strict discipline and challenge but no horrors or undue hardship, with everyone trying to measure up. ""All I want is his respect,"" says Adam of his drill sergeant. ""To be proud of me is too much to ask."" In general the conversations among male and female recruits sound like someone had told them to ""be natural, but remember we're listening."" Rifle practice on dummies, hand grenade drill, and a run through the gas chamber without masks are all mastered by left and his fellows, and Frank says that many get a thrill from marching together. But is there no raunch, wit, or skepticism in the new Army, or did all that go out with sadistic drill sergeants? Young people contemplating enlistment will no doubt recognize what they are and are not getting here, and be grateful for the advance briefing on the program.

Pub Date: April 30th, 1979
Publisher: Four Winds