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The Making of the Twenty-First-Century Soldier (Part 1)
April 3, 2005 2:36 PM   Subscribe

The Making of the Twenty-First-Century Soldier (Part 1) "In which a dope-smoking, valet-parking skateboarder living at home makes his way into the infantry, and into Iraq." By Colby Buzzell, author of the My War weblog we've discussed previously. The Army Times mentioned his blog in a recent article on weblogs by military personnel. Buzzell stopped posting personal accounts to the weblog after getting busted by the Army (Google caches are still available), but he's writing a book.
posted by kirkaracha (15 comments total)

 
your first link points to the sixth page of the article, not the first. It's like a self spoiler, or something. Boo.
posted by bonaldi at 3:06 PM on April 3, 2005


Here we go. First page. (I can't believe someone would post to complain, but not bother posting the correct link.)
posted by 327.ca at 3:15 PM on April 3, 2005


Can't uninvent the bomb. Spoiler's a spoiler. Can't believe someone wouldn't bother looking up a name.
posted by bonaldi at 3:19 PM on April 3, 2005


So the point of contention was his prior drug use?
posted by uni verse at 4:01 PM on April 3, 2005


Sorry, the first link should go to the first page of the article.
posted by kirkaracha at 4:18 PM on April 3, 2005


"I completely bombed on the math part of the test, like I'm at a seventh-grade dum-dum level, but my written and word comprehension was okay, so it kinda jacked my score up a lot. "

Either his writing has deteriorated considerably since then, or the military is letting anyone pass.
posted by BarePaw at 4:59 PM on April 3, 2005


Hmmm. I seem to recall recent mention that literacy in general has dropped. The link makes special mention of its discovery in the army:

WWII was over in 1945. Six years later another war began in Korea. Several million men were tested for military service but this time 600,000 were rejected. Literacy in the draft pool had dropped to 81 percent, even though all that was needed to classify a soldier as literate was fourth- grade reading proficiency. In the few short years from the beginning of WWII to Korea, a terrifying problem of adult illiteracy had appeared. The Korean War group received most of its schooling in the 1940s, and it had more years in school with more professionally trained personnel and more scientifically selected textbooks than the WWII men, yet it could not read, write, count, speak, or think as well as the earlier, less-schooled contingent.
posted by A-Train at 5:57 PM on April 3, 2005


A-Train,
This is just speculation, but could it be that after WWII the military was looked upon less and less as a viable, respectable career or even life choice for those in the middle/upper class, and has come to be viewed as a road for the poor or uneducated to move up? It seems like prior to WWii, even the sons of wealthy families might be expected to sign up for service as a mark of honor or service to the country, but that idea doesn't really hold as much sway anymore.
posted by Sangermaine at 6:08 PM on April 3, 2005


Since he got busted by the Army for his blog, I will concede he is an actual soldier. However, while reading that article, I felt the definite need to pull on some boots to wade through the bullshit.

You've heard, "Tell it to the Marines!"? Well, this Marine says that doughboy is more than a bit of a weasel. However, I will grant him the following:

"The Marines wanted virgins, and the Army wanted quantity, not quality."

Yup! ;-P
posted by mischief at 6:29 PM on April 3, 2005


Sangermaine, the draft continued from WWII to 1973. Although there might have been some difference in socioeconomic factors in inductees between WWI and the Korean War, it probably wasn't enough to account for such a large change in literacy rates.
posted by mono blanco at 6:43 PM on April 3, 2005


sangermarine, mono blanco:

TV, stupids.
posted by Satapher at 7:42 PM on April 3, 2005


anemone, the draft continued from WWII to 1973. Although there might have been some difference in socioeconomic factors in inductees between WWI and the Korean War, it probably wasn't enough to account for such a large change in literacy rates.
Wouldn't many of those who fought in the Korean war be either:
1) kids who grew up during WWII, who had their fathers and older brothers oversees, their mothers working shifts at the munitions plant, and their thoughts on whether or not the war would end by the time it was their turn to go? (Not to mention that the schools they attended were presumably starved of funding and staff by the war effort.)
2) Veterans of WWII, who found the educational benefits (and job prospects) available to them sufficiently unappealing that they chose to stay in the service.

Seems to me both groups might have comparatively low literacy rates, and that might explain the decline in overall rates.
posted by kickingtheground at 8:03 PM on April 3, 2005


anemoneSangermaine, the draft continued from WWII to 1973. Although there might have been some difference in socioeconomic factors in inductees between WWI and the Korean War, it probably wasn't enough to account for such a large change in literacy rates.
/stupid spell checker
posted by kickingtheground at 8:04 PM on April 3, 2005


Either his writing has deteriorated considerably since then, or the military is letting anyone pass.

The Army isn't looking for writers, you know.
posted by me & my monkey at 1:17 PM on April 4, 2005


The Army isn't looking for writers, you know.

Nor, apparently, is Esquire.
posted by Ayn Marx at 6:19 PM on April 5, 2005


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