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Author: George C. Wilson

Mud Soldiers: Life Inside the New American ArmyScan

From Publishers Weekly

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.

Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

The author, a military writer with the Washington Post , followed a company of 200 men through Army basic training. Since the company was kept together, he visited the same men a year later to assess what had happened to them. Wilson records a great deal about the men as individuals, their training, and their handling by the officers and NCOs. The story resulting from these two visits is not flattering to the Army. While some of the criticisms are valid and well made, the base for the general conclusions is far too narrow. The same study of a different company might have resulted in a different book. A better book on the modern Army is William Bowman’s The All-Volunteer Force After a Decade ( Pergamon, 1986).

– Edward Gibson, Alderson- Broaddus Coll. Lib., Phillipi, W .

Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.


Product Details

• Hardcover: 276 pages

• Publisher: Charles Scribner’s Sons (June 28, 1989)

• Language: English

• ISBN-10: 0684189860

• ISBN-13: 978-0684189864


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