With intimidating tales of bellowing drill instructors and their seemingly incongruous tasks, Reluctant Lieutenant captures the essence of what it meant to survive the training regimen of the Old Army.
In this engaging memoir, Jerry Morton reconstructs his reluctant journey through basic training, advanced infantry training, and Infantry Officer Candidate School during the Vietnam era. His is a unique record of what it was like to be a conscript in the U.S. Army in the late 1960s.
Morton's account also provides a roadmap to the sociology and culture of the military, especially the class system that divided college graduates from those with less education or economic stature yet did not override solidarity in the field. He describes his disappointment and discomfort at being "killed" during training ambushes. But he also shows how someone with a master's degree in psychology could adapt to an environment in which the army did the thinking and the soldier the doing. However unintentional, by the end of his journey Morton is no longer a civilian but an officer, adept at army gamesmanship and ready for command.
This book offers an informative foray into the training system used by the army during the Vietnam era and valuable insight into the military culture. Veterans of the Old Army will find their memories kindled by this vivid account of one man's experience.
Published by Texas A&M University Press.
On Amazon & Kindle
Genre: Military History
Book Size: 6x9
Book Page Count:317