He used to be a grocery boy or a graduate student. Now it made no difference which. Now he was a GI, a trooper, marching to his first hour of instruction in military justice.
Bayonet training had ended for the day. He was hoarse from the screaming, from the growling by the numbers. He walked to the cadence. Now he was to learn justice.
We are Charlie.
WE ARE CHARLIE!
Rough, tough Charlie.
ROUGH, TOUGH CHARLIE!
They chanted as they marched. He sweated under his helmet liner. He leaned under the weight of his Ml4. The voices carommed off dirty yellow barracks that lined the road. Ass-kicking Charlie. A queer introit to an indoctrination in law.
He had learned that the spirit of the bayonet was to Kill. Now he wondered what would label the spirit of the law. He clenched his teeth at the thought. A few weeks in the Army and he was already cynical as hell.
They had shorn him of his hair, his civilian clothes and most of his selfrespect. They had kept him awake the first 48 hours of his military career, told him terrifying stories about the future, about the misery of basic training, the savagery of Vietnam. He had learned his lesson quickly. The spirit of the Army is To Endure.
"Signin' Them Papers: Summary Punishment in the Military,"
Yale Review of Law and Social Action: Vol. 2
, Article 4.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.law.yale.edu/yrlsa/vol2/iss1/4