Mud Soldiers: Life Inside the New American Army

George C. Wilson, Author Scribner Book Company $19.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-684-18986-4
In this judicious yet outspoken evaluation of the All-Volunteer Army, Wilson (military correspondent for the Washington Post ) reports what he learned after spending much of 1986-1987 with a group of volunteers as they made the passage from civilian to soldier, during basic and advanced infantry training and through their first major field maneuver. Chronicling their painful setbacks and exhilarating successes, he reveals his feelings toward ``these knocked-around kids who asked for so little from their country and gave so much.'' At the same time, he became increasingly critical of the way the Army mishandled them. He was ap palled at the lack of protection afforded trainees during risky exercises, by the boring and oppressive routines and by the Army's indifference to the GIs' families. Wilson recommends that the Army send its young officers through basic training with the troops, that it develop ways to make training more efficient, enjoyable and safer, and that it provide ``exit options'' for volunteers who realize that they have made a serious mistake in joining the Army: there were four suicide attempts among the group Wilson attached himself to. Photos. (June)
Reviewed on: 06/01/1989
Release date: 06/01/1989
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 276 pages - 978-0-02-071051-6
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