As I mentioned last week, while I was stationed at Sheppard AFB in Texas in 1957 someone in Washington – no doubt some pencil pusher who knew nothing about military life – got an idea for “improving” basic training; one which I have no doubt was tossed out soon after it was implemented.

What idea? The idea of replacing career DIs, young men who were active, healthy, and successful, and who had been carefully taught how to train new recruits, with broken down old NCOs who were near retirement and thought they knew everything there was to know about everything.

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