Northwest Arkansas Times from Fayetteville, Arkansas on June 9, 1974 · Page 5
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Northwest Arkansas Times from Fayetteville, Arkansas · Page 5

Fayetteville, Arkansas
Issue Date:
Sunday, June 9, 1974
Page 5
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r«VnTtVlt.L«, Country Club Atmosphere Evaporates The New Army Finally Decides Not To Join. You After All By JOHN WHEELER . AP New stratum Writer . The U.S. Army slipped into trouble before Ih* last battle flags were furled and the final troops withdrawn from Vietnam. In J a n u a r y 1973, as the draft was ending and the truce was announced, only four of the ·Army's 13 divisions at home : and abroad were rated combat ready. Just five years earlier, eight combat divisions had been stationed in Vietnam alone. The Army's fighting spirit had been eroded by the grow ing unpopularity of Vietnam, by an epidemic of heroin addie lion, by race conflict, by a decline in discipline so serious that knifings, muggings and theft were commonplace Army bases. And the Pentagon had made a decision in 197t which at tirsl added to the Army's troubles. The decision was to rebuild the Army with volunteers. There wasn't much choice. The nirm ber of draftees was declining and the end of the draft was anticipated. The Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps also were to be volunteer forces, but they had never been as draft-dependent as the Army._ Trying to lure recruits, the Army changed its approach in 1971. Instead of mating young GIs adjust to Army ways, the Army adjusted to the whims o its enlistees. The motto, "To day's Army wants to join you,' se' the lone. The new country club atmos pbere only sent morale tumbl ing further, especially anionj career officers and noJicoms. "Vietnam damn near de stroyed the Army," said an senior officer with five rows o combat ribbons from two wars "Then the Pentagon fell al over its feet pandering to Hie kids and damn near fimshci the job." "I don't know which mad me madder,'' a jut-jawed firs e_rgeanl said, *'not winning in Vietnam or coming home to un an outfit 1 would't want to o into combat with against 'oy Scouts." Surprisingly, many of the remits also were dissatisfied I'ith the new Army. Surveys aade by the Pentagon and indi- idual military commands }und that the GIs considered heir training too soft. Men in ombal units wanted programs lat would make them tough rolcssionals, ound. the surveys "We just weren't operating in the same frequency," a unit OTtimandcr said in an inter- number con- with officers ·lew, one of a ducted recently and enlisted men. "We put beer 11 the barracks to please the kids. They didn't want it. We started by handling them as if hey might break. They didn't want that either. They resented the altitude and wanted -- no, lemandetl -- that we treat .hem as responsible, adult soldiers." {The Miirines said they were not offering anyone a rose garden, maintained their t o u g h TOotcamp and combat training and, by comparison, thrived.) So the A r m y changed again ;his time with more success. The change came in Oclobci 1D72. Gen. Creighton W Abrams. back from Vietnam had just succeeded Gen. Wil liam C. Westmoreland as Armj chief of staff. The draft ended eight 'months later, on July 1 1973. Abrams toughened basic and combat training and insisted on discipline during duty hours But off duty, civilian Freedoms arc the rule; No reveille, nc KP, no need for passes to gel Other top officers are optimistic, but less so. U. Col. Ron Watts, a two-tour Vietnam veteran, now a 1st Division battalion commander at Ft. Riley. Kan., says "We're not out of the woods yet. It needs two or three years. For sure, the way the new Army started off. it never would have made it. It was too permissive. . .but that is gone now in this battalion." At ft: Bragg, N.C., home of the 82nd Airborne Division, Spec. 4 David Clark, serving his f i r s t enlistment, says of the new Army, "It's like a ci 'ilhui job. Do your work, here's no hassling and you get promoted. Well, they do harass is a little, but if you can't take t, you'd be no good in combat If you can't take orders, yol get yourself killed and maybe others, too." 12 DIVISIONS READY The Ai-my today rales 12 o its 13 divisions combat readj and the 13th is to achieve tha status this year. Gen. Abram says he hopes to create a Mil division without increasinj over-all manpower. He say lie'll do this simply by increas itfj the number of combat so dicrs and reducing the numbe. of support troops. Rut that depends on enlist ments. They are lagging ill in fantry, artillery and armo units, which were eiglit pe cent below authorized quotas b March 31. Over-all, the Army was only 2,000 men -- less than one per cent -- below its Ihorized level of 7B6.000. The short-fall was 20.000 men on Jan. 1 when the Army's authorized strength w a s 802,000. That was cut as part of a grad- h«y've been helped by a bange in public sentiment away from the anti-militarism of the Vietnam war years. The radical spirit among the oujig seems to have waned, Vrmy spokesmen report, and he questions asked of recruiters are the right ones, from the Army's viewpoint: "What do you offer in the way of pay, iducation, security and life- itylc 1 ;" The divisions stationed in the ilates appear to be shaping up ""astest in the new Army. Seven have combat-ready status and appear, according to Army statistics, less affected by the crime, drug and race problems still in evidence in Europe, where four divisions are stationed. IMPROVED PAY Better pay apparently has helped to reduce crime. An A r m y private earns $326 monthly, compared with $134 in 1971. As part of the recruitment lure. Volunteers signing up for four years in combat units gel SZ.500 bonuses. If they re-enlist [or an additional six years, there's a $10,MO bonus. . Officers and noncoms interviewed at Ft. Bragg, N.C., home of the elite 82nd Airborne Division, and Ft, Riley, headquarters of the 1st Division, generally. say they wouldn't hesitate to go into combat with (heir newly trained men. But one infantry commander at Ft. Riley explains: "Sure. I would go back to combat with these men. They are better troops than I had in 'Nam. But I question the whole purpose of many coming into the Army now. They are too mercenary; they are in it for the bonus money. History is full of instances when battles and wars were lost because 'men who fight for pay alone can't rise to the level of dedication to swing the tide of battle. Too many men are running away from something rather than to something: a good career in -the Army." Another fear lias been that intelligence levels would be too low in an all-volunteer Army. But this hasn't happened, according to Army statistics. In 1970. some 23 per cent' of Army recruits were Category Fours -- those whose test levels had put them in the just-able-to- Irain class. Now the figure is 16 per cent. In 1970, 61 per cent were high school graduates. The percentage fen sharply^ bottomed and now has recovered to 54 per cent. Adding those who p a s s high school equivalency tests once in the Army, the percentage today ia 71 per cent. off base, no hassle with angry sergeants inspecting barracks. "No matter what they say, the volunteer Army is working." said LI. Gen. Bernard Rogers, Army deputy chief of staff for personnel. "It's not going to work. It's working right ual reduction to convert armed forces of Vietnam days to a peacetime military. The Army. Navy, Air Force and Marines now total 2,182,000, compared 3,548,000 men and women in uniform in 1968. Recruiters visiting high school and college campuses throughout the country 'Let Them Eat Transcripts . . .' In Northeast New Mexico Private National Park Eyed SANTA FE. N.M. (AP) --i What has 480.000 acres of forest and grasslands will peaks rising to a snowy 13,000 feet, 60 high country lakes, 100 miles of cold Irani streams. 40.000 deer 5 MO elk and almost no people? Thai. « U.S. Forest Service inventory says, is the private y owned Vermejo Park Ranch in northeast New Mexico s fabled Maxwell Land Grant country. Its new owners are talking about turning it into sort of a private national park. U went on the market at JM an acre in 1970 after Fort Worth. Tex., millionaire W i l - liam Gourley died The estate refused to subdivide for land developers and held out while looking for a buyer with $26.0 ""some congressmen thought the government should buy il and protect it. Congress balked, then authorized il, studied it. and delayed action some more. The New Mexico legislature turned down the offer last year. SE: V"*e' pS $ich also includes Iwo huge stone mansions at the ranch headquarters, and hunting and ."Th? president of a Pennzoi! fabsidiary. Hunter Martin Jr. Mid his group's corporate as Jgnment is to preserve (lie ·anch and open it to more general recreation. Another official. James Goss, old of following an old map of he Sa^ta Fe Trail that passed hrougii the ranch between Raon and Cimarron. He said he ound a stone building where he map indicated a stage coach slop. UNDERGROUND TREASURF. "The people on the ranch didn't even know about il." There arc underground treasures too, which the giant energy corporation is sure lo explore. Martin said drilling to 5,000 to 6.000 feet showed oil and g a s , "hut not commercial quan- lilies." There also is coal, which Martin said the corporation has "no plans at this time to mine." A West Coast f i r m has a tim her lease, hut Martin said Ihe cutting will not alfect the ranch's aeslhelics. What does Penri/oil plan to do with it? "Our general approach I: that everybody who knows Vcr rnejo Park knows it is a unique tract of land. . . Recognizing that, we want to do those thing that will nvike it available I more people than have ever en joyed it before," Martin said. "II wasn't purchased a * aything. It's a working guest and cattle ranch." New Mexicans, at least, have een aware of Ihe area's polen- ial for recreation. The Forest Service lermed it outstanding, ""he New Mexico Wildlife and Conservation Association used he term paradise. For a fee. the new owners ex- iccl to open the area later to he public for wilderness camp ng trips, h i k i n g , bird watching and photograph safaris. It will be opened this summer r or hunting and fishing to pay- .ng guests. Keating Marries PRINCETON', N.J (AP) -Kenneth B. Keating, the U.S. ambassador to Israel, has married Mary Pilcairn D^vis in private ceremonies at the bride's home in New Jersey. The ceremony on Friday night was attended by about 15 relatives of the bride and bride groom. Keating, 74, Is a Inrmer U.S. senator from New York. A Republican, he lost his scat in 1%6 lo the l a t e Robert F. Kennedy. Keating's first wile, Louise, died in 1968, OPEN DAILY 9-10; CLOSED SUNDAY Air Conditioner Filters Assorted /*« Sizes ZOC El. Limit 4 Storage Chest MEN'S PAJAMAS 67 HEAT TOPS FOR SUMMER WEAR 2 Days Reg. 4.46 to 4.96 Summer pj's of no-iron polyester/ cotton with short sleeves, short and ong leg. Coal or middy styles in cool prints. Men's sizes. Shop and save BOYS'JEANS at Kmart Aeg.4.97- -2 Days hidiqo cotton denims. Our Keg. 3.88- 4.5 7 2 Days Only Neat'knits that take you everywhere! You'll find just the number you need in our collection of nylon or polyester sleeveless and short-sleeve slip-ons in a variety of colors. WOMEN'S T-STRAP SANDALS Our Reg. 3.97 JACQUARD BEACH TOWELS Reg. 5.88 white vinyl T-strap with a slim wedge heel, silver-tone buckles (or accent. Imported 33x64" towels of absorbent cotton terry. Variety of colors, patterns. Save. REDWOOD FURNITURE 2 Days Only Rustic.grouping for patio or den. Chaise lounge, 2 chairs, coffee table. Printed vinyl/urethane foam cushions, boxed-edged. TISSUCS Keg. 28c HYDRO JET 9 CAR WASHER KIDDIES' PICNIC TABLE Reg. 1133 9S 6 KMART AIR FILTERS Their very own picnic set! Solid wood lop and seats, aluminum tubular legs. Hwy. 71 B, North at Rolling Hills Drive in FayelteYille, Ark.

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