Nation: The Gold-Bar Surplus

Since American troops first went into combat in Viet Nam in 1965, the U.S. Army has been desperate for that most expendable commodity of ground warfare: second lieutenants. Until mid-May, the Army was processing aspiring officers through its Officers Candidate Schools like widgets. Now the press is off. Defense Secretary Melvin Laird has cut down total Army strength by 200,000 men since last year. More cuts are in prospect, so now the Army is trying as hard to discourage O.C.S. applicants as it was working to encourage them earlier. Most applicants are three-year enlistees. To stop them coming, the Army is...

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