Peace Time: October 12, 1999


The Air Force has selected 36.39% of its eligible Senior Airmen (pay grade E4) for promotion to Staff Sergeant (pay grade E5; Army Staff Sergeants are E6s). This is the highest selection rate in Air Force history, and reflects a need to replace thousands of E5s who did not re-enlist after their first tours. Analysts worry that in a rush to correct a deficit, people are being promoted before they are ready.--Stephen V Cole

The Marines have proudly announced that their recruiters have made their goal for 50 consecutive months, convincing 167,618 young Americans to sign up. More than 80% of Marine recruiters work more than 60 hours per week.--Stephen V Cole

The Marines have recently eliminated boxing and pugil stick competitions from recruit training due to concerns over the injury rate, and the fact that many recruits do not like the training. The good that is lost, however, is far more than the problems avoided. This type of training is often the first exposure of new recruits to physical violence, and the need to maintain a cool head and continue the mission even when being physically assaulted. Officer cadets at the Academy continue to receive mandatory boxing training, not to learn how to box, but to learn to emotionally withstand physical violence.--Stephen V Cole


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