Armed Forces: The Thinking Animal

At 5 ft. 4| in., he was plainly too diminutive to meet the Navy's minimum height requirement (5 ft. 6 in.). So Victor Krulak persuaded a buddy to hit him on the head in hopes of raising a bump big enough to narrow the stature gap. That ploy failed, so—bloody but unbowed—Krulak petitioned and won the right to join the U.S. Marines as the shortest man in the corps. His Annapolis instructors also rated him low—among the bottom 10% of the class of '34 in military aptitude.

In time, Marines learned to look...

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