Army's brutish training doesn't produce victories

November 30, 1996

I was more than a trifle disturbed by the Nov. 16 editorial ''The Army's challenge.'' On the surface, your editorial sounds fair; as if you are addressing both sides of this issue in a just manner. But on the deeper level, your suggestions are insidious.

You have said that female army recruits might report imagined harassment just to avenge the ''brutish training'' dished out by them by drill instructors.

That's all we need -- military officials thinking the way you do and providing themselves with the perfect loophole to investigate only the most egregious crimes reing the less serious allegations.

You espouse a ''necessary brutishness of training'' in the military because that is what will ensure the survival of soldiers during actual combat. After years of war, it was the cunning of Ulysses that brought the Greeks their triumph against Troy.

All the brutish fighting that went before didn't culminate in victory. How many military men are celebrated in history for their brutish methods? Most are remembered for their mental alacrity and shrewdness of planning.

It is possible to do well in battle with any brutish training. Go ask ever.

Training may enhance the odds of survival, but it is idiotic to suggest that this training has to be brutish. Saddam Hussein had a large and brutish army, and yet he lost the Persian Gulf War.

Future wars will be fought with robots, laser beams, and smart bombs. This is all the more reason to promote women to positions of power in the military. Women, more than men, are endowed with the qualities that great soldiers must possess.

War is invariably about strateflect after they have acted. Waging war is also about patience, perseverance and teamwork.

Women are great team players, and they have patiently persevered under male domination since the dawn of history.

Studies tell us that women have excellent administrative and leadership capabilities. Yet in the military, women often find themselves on the lowest rung of the ladder.

The male power structure of the military probably applies your standards to war, emphasizing brutish training over meticulous planning and cunning execution. Under this circumstance, women will remain underlings and their harassment will continue.

It seems to me that many of the Army's instructors did not know where the brutishness of training ended and where real life began. The sexual harassment that they meted out to their female recruits shows that these men are craven and do not deserve to hold positions of authority or to lead others into war.

Why were they promoted into positions of power anyway? Because they can march through jungles and miles of mud without pleted their training under the duress of sexual harassment are the ones who can successfully lead us into war.

They are gritty survivors. They deserve to be commended by the Army and many more of them should be promoted to positions of authority.

The top men in the miliary have a responsibility to foster every female recruit who has bravely embraced the military challenge.

Usha Nellore

Bel Air

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