Armed Forces: Welcome to the Army, Mr. Jones

Army basic training has traditionally been a cross between a prolonged fraternity hazing and a trip through bedlam —eight weeks of abuse and instruction aimed at preparing the recruit for the even worse ordeal of war. Now the system may be changing. Convinced that men can be trained to fight for positive motivation rather than fear. Army brass at Fort Ord, Calif., are experimenting with a basic reform in basic training that could greatly change the armed forces and mark the end of the Sergeant Snorkel drill instructor.

Now being tried out with two battalions of trainees (about 2,500...

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