Young people considering a career in the armed forces will find this a helpful picture of what will be required of them in their first few weeks of service. Collins makes no effort to give his narrative immediacy with vignettes or interviews. Instead--in a clear, serious manner--he describes the goals and structure of basic training in each of the five services, how recruits (men and women) can expect to be treated, and what choices they will still be able to make. Charts and tables cover insignia, 1988 pay scales, schedules, etc.; a long list of military specialities and their civilian equivalents takes up the last third of the book. Ultimately, says the author, all a recruit need bring is a healthy body and a good attitude; basic training isn't the hell-on-earth of the movies, just a tightly structured course in ""soldierization."" Good mental preparation, full of useful advice and reassurance. Index; a scattering of small black-and-white photos.