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Supporting Materials for Sir! No Sir!

It's Basic

You've just come in the Army and you're not really sure what to expect. No one tells you anything. It's like you're cut off from the rest of the world; even the rest of the Army. Basic training is really a drag with all the harrassment and bullshit, but you're sure it will all end after eight weeks. It won't!!! You'll find the same G I parties and inspections wherever you go. The same sergeants and lieutenants will be telling you to get your hair cut and polish your boots. You'll still have drill and ceremonies in the hot sun and bivouac in the freezing rain. Sure you'll be able to get out on pass after basic--every night you don't have something else to do- -but that's just a little hit of token freedom. You still have to be in by six the next morning. No, nothing is really, going to change when you get out of basic.

Basic training has one main purpose. The Army wants in see if you can put up with the milltary way of life. Can you put up with someone telling you when to get up, when to eat, when to o to bed, when you can smoke a cigarette? Your girl is coming up on Sunday, but you've got guard duty. Someone on KP went on sick call and you have to pull his duty on your day off. A weapon is missing and the whole company is restricted until it's found.

If you can't adjust, you can't stay, but once, you finish basic, the Army knows you can adjust. Do you have the courage to stand on your own two feet and be an individual?! If you do, there's no place for you in the Army. If you can think for yourself, the Army cant use you. You've all heard your drill sergeant say that you're not paid to think, but if you don't think for yourself you're not an individual, you're not a human. It's hard to be an individual in the Army. The lifers will härrass you until you think you can't stand anymore. Sort of like beating you into submission. It's, very hard to stand on your own two feet in the Army. It takes a man to do it, and it takes a group of men to do it and get results.

You have two or three years of slavery ahead of you. Two or three years of living in trained flea circus run by lifers who only want more rank. More power. Two or three years of getting up at four o'clock in the morning to pull sixteen hours of KP even if you don't eat in the mess hall. Guard duty all night long. Three pre-inspections for every inspection you have. Two or three years of jumping whenever some lifer tells you to do something. A year fighting in Vlet Nam; seeing your friends killed or wounded, even if you don't agree with the war. Two or three years of living like an animal on a leash with a muzzle. So what can you do?

You're not alone while you're in the Army. .There are some civilians who know what you're up against, but not enough know what the Army is really like. You can't expect the lifers to tell people about the Army; they'd be putting themselves out of a job. If you want civilians on your side, you have to tell them about the Army yourselves. It's really easy to talk with people and write letters to your family and friends at home. The Army is a very real part of life.

Do you remember the Presidio 27? Twenty-seven men who were court-martialed for mutiny because they wanted to present a list of grievances to the stockade commander. They sat down and read their list during a formation because the commander hadn't paid any attention to previous complaints. When the Army charged the men with mutiny and gave the first man tried a sixteen year sentence, civilians were outraged. They began to see how rediculous the Army really is. The civilians wrote letters to congressmen and the Army officials, and newspapers wrote letters against the Army. The officials backed down and reduced the sentences to nine months to two years.

If the Presidio 27 had been one man, do you think civilians would have stood by this man like they stood by the 27? NO! One man alone can't really hope to get anywhere up against an organization as big and powerful as the Army. It takes a strong group of strong men to accomplish anything. You have to get together with your friends and stay together. The Army has a saying, "When the going gets tough, the tough get going." That's also true here. The Army will try anything to suppress you, to crush you, but if you stick together and stand up to the Army, they can only back down. The going will be very rough sometimes, but if you stay together, it will be much easier.

Yes, you can do something about the Army if you really want, but it takes a strong group to do it well.

Fed Up!, no. 1


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