THE ARMY: Happy Birthday, Sarge!

In today's all-volunteer Army, the fringe benefits can be very sweet—but apparently not sweet enough for some noncommissioned officers, who have added to their "bennies" by shaking down recruits. Such abuses are gradually being exposed at five of the eight Army bases that are home to basic trainees. Typically in such cases, a recruit was given a weekend pass, allowed to get away with some minor infraction, or awarded a passing grade on a test. In exchange, he had to pay cash to his drill instructor or some other noncom, or perform a service such as washing or waxing...