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Just Shut Your Mouth & Do What You're Told: Surviving in the Army

Ratings:
108 pages1 hour

Summary

It was 1973 when, as a very poor (grade-wise) junior in high school, I decided to join the Army once I graduated from high school. Living in a very small southern Minnesota farming community, my options were limited and I, having spent the best part of my high school days having fun and ignoring my grades, would not be accepted in any respectable college or university. While thumbing through the current issue of Cosmopolitan, a card fell out, urging me to send in for more information on the Armed Services.

My initial service of choice was the Air Force but they wanted a minimum commitment of four years. Since the Army only wanted three, I chose it instead. I signed up for the Delayed Entry Program joining before my high school graduation, after which time I would go on active duty. Joining early guaranteed my promotion from E-1 to E-2 once I survived Basic Training.

Eleven days after graduation, I was on an airplane to Columbia, South Carolinas Fort Jackson. It was early June and extremely hot. I was all by myself unless you count the other hundreds of women who were also beginning their Army careers. It was scary but I took comfort in the fact that we were all in the same boat.

This book describes my experiences in Basic Training, my computer training, and my two and a half years in The Pentagon as a Computer Console Operator. Back in 1974, women in Basic Training trained with other women no men allowed, however, some of the Drill Instructors were male. We were still considered members of the Womens Army Corps, commonly called WACS we were not fully integrated in the regular Army until 1976 or so. But we trained wearing fatigues, boots, wool socks, hauling field packs and canteens just like the men.

I was and still am, opinionated, mouthy and contrary to authority. How in the world did I survive three years in the Army? I stood steadfast to my motto: Just Shut Your Mouth and Do What Youre Told.

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