Army & Navy - Harsh Lesson

Into the hot hills of the Desert Training Center (TIME, July 19) slogged a platoon on its six-day endurance maneuver —39 men and a lieutenant. Last week 36 came back, reported three dead, one missing. During the first night out they missed a rendezvous with the water truck. The next day a heat wave swept over the already scorched land, the temperature climbed to 139°.

The lieutenant called a halt, ordered the platoon to stay where it was while he went off for water. He was back in a matter of hours with water and help. But while he was...