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Here is a part of what this guy is saying about the US army on CMP forum

Jon, you might not want to admit this...I think I am probably older than you are. I grew up in the post Vietnam era. But it was pretty much common knowledge back then that most guys in the sixties and seventies did not want to go to Vietnam. And it is also a fact, common knowledge, that there was rampant drug use in the military across the board (especially in the enlisted ranks) in the late sixties, seventies and even into the eighties.

My Father, while he did not go to Vietnam, specifically enlisted in the National Guard to avoid Vietnam. There were many others like him. When he went to Germany in the very early seventies, morale was extremely poor he told me. And drug abuse was awful within the average enlisted man's ranks.

This does not apply to career military types, officer or career NCO, those staying in for twenty or thirty years btw.

I can remember in the mid to late eighties when some of my friends enlisted in the military. The military used to have a "tolerance" level for drug and alcohol abuse until sometime in the mid to late eighties. But I personally observed the change period. It went from "oh it is OK to get a DUI once in a while" to "one DUI and you are gone."

Literally, I am not kidding you. I saw it. And it was even worse with drugs. Drugs were rampant in the US military when Ronald Reagan came in in 1980. It was a holdover from the post Vietnam war era. Under Reagan, drug abuse was totally clamped down on and it became a "zero defects" attitude that you see nowadays. By the early nineties, the military had been cleaned up and became kind of how it is now.

It took our military two decades to recover from the morale, drug abuse and other problems that started with Vietnam.

I grew up in a period when the military was very unpopular. You sound younger and sound like the opposite. I was merely stating what is factual. Alcoholism was rampant in the American military, it really was. That is not a "beating down the vets" statement, it's just a fact.

Even that unpopular Marine Corps General Al Gray, the Commandant of the Marines during that big change period from the late eighties to early nineties, he said much of what I am writing here now. Read some of his stuff from the era when he was MC Commandant. Get some of his old interviews from the professional Naval Journal U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings, from the early nineties era. The guy was hardcore and just told it like it was...he states by the Ronald Reagan era, the Marines had degenerated into something he did not like. Racism, drug and alcohol abuse, lots of guys who dropped out of high school, high numbers of men joined in the post Vietnam war era who were not high school graduates and they brought their problems with them into the military.

This is not bashing the military, it is just the way it was. While the officer corp and career NCO types were not affected as badly, it was very bad in the plain old enlisted man's field. Drugs, booze, STD's, low morale, GED enlistees, racism within the ranks. If you dont believe me, look it up yourself. It started in Vietnam and took all of Reagan's eight years to clean it up.

In fact, that was one of the Ronald Reagan's main ways he got elected and reelected. He told the American people he was going to "rebuild" the American military from what happened to it in Vietnam. It was awful, but he did it. But a lot of guys used to heavy drinking and drugging were kicked out as a result in the eighties, trust me on that.

That 5th group Vietnam era Green Beret that was my assistant Scoutmaster? Man, he used to talk about how some SF guys got totally disgusted with the Army and even with SF and got involved in opium trading as a sideline. He had one guy in his A-Team who "stayed behind" after his enlistment was up and got involved in the golden triangle (opium trade). The guy stayed behind in SE Asia (Thailand/Burma...probably going into Laos some) EVEN after the Fall of Saigon.

Bad stuff man, really really bad. Just kill the messenger because you dont like what you are being told. I was not bashing the military, I was just telling it like it really was. Lots of bad vibes back then with the military, lots of bad stuff and it lasted well into the eighties.

The US military was not always the squared away, has its act together military of the current era...the era you sound like you probably served in. Nor of the WW2/Korean war era. There was a dark era in the American military and it lasted from late sixties to the eighties and I grew up in it, I grew up around military bases as a civilian, I was exposed to it. It was on the news a lot, in popular press magazines a lot back then. "What can be done about the rampant drug problems in the U.S. military?" was typical.

I could go on and on but you dont sound like you get it or have a desire to understand my point.

Eric

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Last edited by RuggedTerrain40; Today at 01:27 AM.
Just cant believe this guy
 

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I served in the Marine Corps from 1975 - 1985 and then from 1990 - 2000. While the time frames for the times being really bad were a little different for me (the Marine Corps started cleaning house in the mid 70's, just as I went in the first time) the guy is telling the truth.

My first duty station after my "A" schools ( I was in Aviation Maint.) was MCAS Yuma, AZ. The barracks were setup with rooms in groups of six. Each group of six rooms had a central area with the head and lounge and the rooms were around the outside edge of the group. As I walked in to the lounge on my first day I saw four Marines, a couple of NCOs and non-rates sitting in the common area smoking dope (weed nowadays). They ganged up on me and slammed me around a little and threatened to kill me if I reported them. My NCOIC was a drunk that would come to work boozed up and several of the SNCOs were dealing drugs. Most of the drugs at Yuma, at that time, were being brought in by the pilots. The aircraft would come in and the plane captain would pull the drugs out during his post flight inspections and then he would give it to the pilot later and they would share the profits after they sold the drugs. I had a couple of guys that I worked with that made side money by riding shotgun for the drug runs that came up from Mexico. It wasn't very nice back then for a guy that wasn't a drunk or a druggie.

When I retired in 2000 I was stationed at Yuma again and while things were better, there was still a major drug issue. Crystal Meth was the drug of choice and since Yuma is so close to Mexico it was all over the base. Just about a year before I retired they had a major drug bust in the ordnance division where the OIC was forced to retire (you know how the good ol' boy club works), and several SNCOs and NCOs were arrested and served time. The NCOIC was given a pass because he had only been in the division a few months and didn't really know that the drug dealing was going on. These guys were selling in the open without any real concern for anybody seeing them. Where I worked, I had two senior SNCOs who were dealing Meth to my junior Marines and I got in to a little confrontation over the issue. I ended up being moved out of my division because they were afraid that I would get them busted.

The military is made up of a cross section of the average people in our society and while it is a smaller group, it still emulates the same good and bad that is in our society. Things have gotten tighter due to the zero tolerance attitudes but there are still crooks and bums in the system, unfortunately most of them are now in the higher end of the system. The little guy has so many jerks controlling their lives that the junior people can't get away with much of any indiscretion. The senior people though, take care of each other; the old ring-knocking syndrome that we used to complain about. Senior personnel are like politicians and corporate officers, they manage their careers through blackmail. They each have dirt on as many of their peers as possible and they use that dirt to get favors. If they get in trouble they use that dirt to blackmail someone and get the trouble swept under the carpet...that's how senior management in America works. That's not conjecture, thats fact based on my personal observations the last few years in the Corps while working in a headquarters billet for a major aircraft maintenance squadron. That ordnance bust I mentioned is a perfect example. I knew one the MPs that was involved in the investigation. They had proof that the OIC knew what was going on but the command stepped in and pulled a few strings and arraigned for the guy to retire rather than going to jail like his NCOs. After all, he had dirt on somebody else and rather than letting him expose that dirt they just let him slide away in to the sunset.
 

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I enlisted in the USAF in 1975 at the young age of 17. I grew up in rural Alabama and the hardest drug I had ever seen was liquor.

Boot Camp in San Antonio was all squared-away and gung-ho and upon graduation I couldn't wait to serve my country. I shipped off to techschool in Denver and almost immediately was exposed to hard partying with liquor and marijuana. The permanent party NCOs knew what was happening but ignored it. Fraternization between the NCOs and the students was rampant. I was on duty one Saturday night as CQ and was instructed to strictly enforce a lights-out of 2400 hrs. When I tried to shut down a party that was going on past lights out I discovered that a lot of the participants were our NCOs who told this young airman to piss off. So, I called the SPs to break up the party. Needless to say, for my remaining time at tech school I had to walk-the-line because those NCOs had it in for me.

My first permanent base was Davis-Monthan AFB in Tucson. All my supervisors had recently returned from SEA, and although there were some exceptions, most of them were alcoholics/drug abusers who cared about nothing but making it to retirement. As a result, myself and most of my buddies got wrapped up in the alcohol/pot world. I was in aircraft maintenance and I have no idea how some of those aircraft ever made it off the ground. A large percentage of the maintainers were drunk or stoned on duty--myself included. It seemed that no one cared. Most of my friends began using cocaine (drug of choice at that time) and LSD. Fortunately, I was smart or lucky enough to realize there was no future in that, so I never got involved.

There were some investigations and drug busts, but the only punishment was that your security clearance would be removed temporarily. Which meant that instead of having to work in the 115 degree heat on the flightline, the perpetrator would have to pull a few months of barracks details. It might even mean that you couldn't re-enlist, but none of us were "lifers" anyway (or so I thought) so we didn't care.

In '79 I went to England. Not much was different there. Biggest change was that hashish seemed to be the drug of choice. Then, very slowly, things began to change. People began losing stripes if busted with drugs. Although people (including me) still came to work drunk or stoned, we now were forced to hide it and not brag about it. I never realized that this slow change coincided roughly with President Reagan's reign, but I suppose it did.

Somewhere around '81 or '82 the USAF instituted random urinalysis testing for drug usage. This was a turning point. If your piss tested positive there was no recourse, no appeal, you received a General Discharge. I saw many, many people so discharged. About this time I had a decision to make--make a career of the military or quit abusing drugs and alcohol. Unlike previously, I couldn't do both. I made the right choice.

I went on to retire in '95 serving at many other installations. Although there was still a lot of alcohol abuse it was no longer accepted as normal like it had been when I enlisted. If you were caught drinking or drunk at work your career could be over. One DUI was generally a career ender. The random urinalysis program was still going on and for the most part it provided a very good deterrent to drug abuse. You never knew when you might get notice to pee in the cup. In fact, you could count on being caught in that net at least once every couple of years. Anyone with any intelligence was not willing to roll the dice.

I've rambled long enough. In summary, drugs and alcohol was a major, major problem in the USAF in the mid-late seventies. By the early eighties things were changing. By the nineties the young guys working for me were for the most part, clean, sober and much, much more professional that I was when I first enlisted. The USAF as a whole was a much better fighting force as a result.

daveboy
 

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This is pretty much how I remember it.

Here is a part of what this guy is saying about the US army on CMP forum

Jon, you might not want to admit this...I think I am probably older than you are. I grew up in the post Vietnam era. But it was pretty much common knowledge back then that most guys in the sixties and seventies did not want to go to Vietnam. And it is also a fact, common knowledge, that there was rampant drug use in the military across the board (especially in the enlisted ranks) in the late sixties, seventies and even into the eighties.

My Father, while he did not go to Vietnam, specifically enlisted in the National Guard to avoid Vietnam. There were many others like him. When he went to Germany in the very early seventies, morale was extremely poor he told me. And drug abuse was awful within the average enlisted man's ranks.

This does not apply to career military types, officer or career NCO, those staying in for twenty or thirty years btw.

I can remember in the mid to late eighties when some of my friends enlisted in the military. The military used to have a "tolerance" level for drug and alcohol abuse until sometime in the mid to late eighties. But I personally observed the change period. It went from "oh it is OK to get a DUI once in a while" to "one DUI and you are gone."

Literally, I am not kidding you. I saw it. And it was even worse with drugs. Drugs were rampant in the US military when Ronald Reagan came in in 1980. It was a holdover from the post Vietnam war era. Under Reagan, drug abuse was totally clamped down on and it became a "zero defects" attitude that you see nowadays. By the early nineties, the military had been cleaned up and became kind of how it is now.

It took our military two decades to recover from the morale, drug abuse and other problems that started with Vietnam.

I grew up in a period when the military was very unpopular. You sound younger and sound like the opposite. I was merely stating what is factual. Alcoholism was rampant in the American military, it really was. That is not a "beating down the vets" statement, it's just a fact.

Even that unpopular Marine Corps General Al Gray, the Commandant of the Marines during that big change period from the late eighties to early nineties, he said much of what I am writing here now. Read some of his stuff from the era when he was MC Commandant. Get some of his old interviews from the professional Naval Journal U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings, from the early nineties era. The guy was hardcore and just told it like it was...he states by the Ronald Reagan era, the Marines had degenerated into something he did not like. Racism, drug and alcohol abuse, lots of guys who dropped out of high school, high numbers of men joined in the post Vietnam war era who were not high school graduates and they brought their problems with them into the military.

This is not bashing the military, it is just the way it was. While the officer corp and career NCO types were not affected as badly, it was very bad in the plain old enlisted man's field. Drugs, booze, STD's, low morale, GED enlistees, racism within the ranks. If you dont believe me, look it up yourself. It started in Vietnam and took all of Reagan's eight years to clean it up.

In fact, that was one of the Ronald Reagan's main ways he got elected and reelected. He told the American people he was going to "rebuild" the American military from what happened to it in Vietnam. It was awful, but he did it. But a lot of guys used to heavy drinking and drugging were kicked out as a result in the eighties, trust me on that.

That 5th group Vietnam era Green Beret that was my assistant Scoutmaster? Man, he used to talk about how some SF guys got totally disgusted with the Army and even with SF and got involved in opium trading as a sideline. He had one guy in his A-Team who "stayed behind" after his enlistment was up and got involved in the golden triangle (opium trade). The guy stayed behind in SE Asia (Thailand/Burma...probably going into Laos some) EVEN after the Fall of Saigon.

Bad stuff man, really really bad. Just kill the messenger because you dont like what you are being told. I was not bashing the military, I was just telling it like it really was. Lots of bad vibes back then with the military, lots of bad stuff and it lasted well into the eighties.

The US military was not always the squared away, has its act together military of the current era...the era you sound like you probably served in. Nor of the WW2/Korean war era. There was a dark era in the American military and it lasted from late sixties to the eighties and I grew up in it, I grew up around military bases as a civilian, I was exposed to it. It was on the news a lot, in popular press magazines a lot back then. "What can be done about the rampant drug problems in the U.S. military?" was typical.

I could go on and on but you dont sound like you get it or have a desire to understand my point.

Eric

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Last edited by RuggedTerrain40; Today at 01:27 AM.
Just cant believe this guy
I can vouch for this analysis. I was in the Army 1980-83 in Germany. Jr. enlisted could get poped twice for weed before getting discharged. The Army was using antabuse routinely for Jr. and Sr. enlisted to fight alcoholism. I'll never forget the smell of running with an Artillery headquarters battery on a Monday morning. Kinda like the trash can next to the beer stall at a state fair.

Drugs were a problem with Jr. officers as well.

The only equipment we had enough parts for were the duese and a halfs that were designated to transfer our nuke rounds from their secure bunkers to our motor pool. It was not unusual to have 20% of our batallion's vechicles not make it out of the motor pool for an alert. That included the 155 mm Howitzers that were our whole reason for being there.

Soldiers were forced to attemp depot level maintenance in mud motor pools with no hardstands. I remember jeep wheel bearings and seals were not to be found. My driver had rebuilt a Willeys back on the farm in Iowa. Seemed like he was cleaning and repacking the bearings without being asked every time we stopped. The CO took him naturally.
He later got popped a second time for weed and that was that.

It wasn't pretty. But then again we were there ready to light up as many Russians as we could.
 

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I went into the Army in 1986, I guess at that time the services were fully immersed in wrestling with the drug issue. Basic and AIT (both Fort Leonard Wood... our basic cycle was the first cycle as a complete 'no smoking' environment. THAT upset a few people!) were like normal... we didn't have time to worry about drugs or alcohol, but I already noticed there were 'cliques' of troops, people who already started to separate themselves into like-minded groups.

Once I got to Fort Carson, things changed substantially. We were back to everyone smoking like a chimney (cigarettes...) and, as a lower enlisted man stuck in the barracks, just about everyone drinking themselves into a stupor every weekend... some almost every night. You could tell the payday cycles... Good beer in the first and third weeks, cheap beer the second and fourth weeks. Good thing we were all young...

Drugs, on the other hand, were a bit different. They were not out in the open like some of you describe. The longer I was there, I was better able to recognize the drug cliques... and avoid them. They did do random urinalysis, and, yes, if they popped you it was an Article 15 and extra duty, but you had to get popped 3 times before they would discharge you. In the meantime, you had to go through drug and alcohol awareness classes and nonsense like that. Much like failing a PT test or weigh-in... you got stuck in remedial PT, but they never punished you for being a fat slob and failing your PT test time after time. (And understand, I was in a supply company in a main support battalion... lots of women and others who took supply because that's about all their GT score would let them do. We only went downrange maybe twice a year... it was almost entirely garrison duty.)

My first wakeup call was my roomie, a black kid from Tampa, FL. His big dream was to get out, go home, and become a drug lord... I'm not kidding. He woke me up one night chopping up some coke (or Meth) on MY desk! We had the MP's raid our barracks one night, they arrested one of the electronic platoon guys... he had drugs and a pistol in his wall locker! A few of the guys were heavy dope smokers, about every 6 months they would get busted... they expected it! It was the process to getting kicked out... very hard for me to understand.

I never really saw the Hard Stuff, nothing beyond pot and coke, but it may have been there just under the radar. Fort Carson is on the doorstep of Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs, hippie central, so Everything was there if you wanted it.

As for myself, gung-ho but caught up in the garrison life-cycle, I let myself slip into mediocrity, getting drunk on the weekends instead of training and advancing my education, not preparing myself to better serve my country. I guess I was somewhere in the middle. I was out after my first 3-year term.
 

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Two guys from chitown were smoking grass in basic in 82. One of my DI's was a drunk, first night I pull roving guard he decides to get smashed and beat the **** out of his wife down on the parade deck. all the Vietnam era helicopter pilots that took a fixed wing transition now ying intel missions over Nicaragua were the ones who schooled me on how to drink on a two or three day r&r. Most of them were pro's. I can see a difference though between 82 and 91 when I got out. There was Zero tolerance at that time for drugs. Only know one guy that got the boot for smoking grass over Christmas holiday. Come to find out later he planned it. He had enough I guess. Big price to pay just to get out a couple of years early if you ask me. In 91 i did a little tdy in Ktown just before i got out. We went to paris for a weekend. I walked into one of the hotel rooms to discover four soldiers smoking hash. The piece of hash was the size of a hamburger it was huge. No clue what is going on now. Doubt it will ever completely stop, troops will either get busted or skate
 

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Here is a part of what this guy is saying about the US army on CMP forum

Jon, you might not want to admit this...I think I am probably older than you are. I grew up in the post Vietnam era. But it was pretty much common knowledge back then that most guys in the sixties and seventies did not want to go to Vietnam. And it is also a fact, common knowledge, that there was rampant drug use in the military across the board (especially in the enlisted ranks) in the late sixties, seventies and even into the eighties.

My Father, while he did not go to Vietnam, specifically enlisted in the National Guard to avoid Vietnam. There were many others like him. When he went to Germany in the very early seventies, morale was extremely poor he told me. And drug abuse was awful within the average enlisted man's ranks.

This does not apply to career military types, officer or career NCO, those staying in for twenty or thirty years btw.

I can remember in the mid to late eighties when some of my friends enlisted in the military. The military used to have a "tolerance" level for drug and alcohol abuse until sometime in the mid to late eighties. But I personally observed the change period. It went from "oh it is OK to get a DUI once in a while" to "one DUI and you are gone."

Literally, I am not kidding you. I saw it. And it was even worse with drugs. Drugs were rampant in the US military when Ronald Reagan came in in 1980. It was a holdover from the post Vietnam war era. Under Reagan, drug abuse was totally clamped down on and it became a "zero defects" attitude that you see nowadays. By the early nineties, the military had been cleaned up and became kind of how it is now.

It took our military two decades to recover from the morale, drug abuse and other problems that started with Vietnam.

I grew up in a period when the military was very unpopular. You sound younger and sound like the opposite. I was merely stating what is factual. Alcoholism was rampant in the American military, it really was. That is not a "beating down the vets" statement, it's just a fact.

Even that unpopular Marine Corps General Al Gray, the Commandant of the Marines during that big change period from the late eighties to early nineties, he said much of what I am writing here now. Read some of his stuff from the era when he was MC Commandant. Get some of his old interviews from the professional Naval Journal U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings, from the early nineties era. The guy was hardcore and just told it like it was...he states by the Ronald Reagan era, the Marines had degenerated into something he did not like. Racism, drug and alcohol abuse, lots of guys who dropped out of high school, high numbers of men joined in the post Vietnam war era who were not high school graduates and they brought their problems with them into the military.

This is not bashing the military, it is just the way it was. While the officer corp and career NCO types were not affected as badly, it was very bad in the plain old enlisted man's field. Drugs, booze, STD's, low morale, GED enlistees, racism within the ranks. If you dont believe me, look it up yourself. It started in Vietnam and took all of Reagan's eight years to clean it up.

In fact, that was one of the Ronald Reagan's main ways he got elected and reelected. He told the American people he was going to "rebuild" the American military from what happened to it in Vietnam. It was awful, but he did it. But a lot of guys used to heavy drinking and drugging were kicked out as a result in the eighties, trust me on that.

That 5th group Vietnam era Green Beret that was my assistant Scoutmaster? Man, he used to talk about how some SF guys got totally disgusted with the Army and even with SF and got involved in opium trading as a sideline. He had one guy in his A-Team who "stayed behind" after his enlistment was up and got involved in the golden triangle (opium trade). The guy stayed behind in SE Asia (Thailand/Burma...probably going into Laos some) EVEN after the Fall of Saigon.

Bad stuff man, really really bad. Just kill the messenger because you dont like what you are being told. I was not bashing the military, I was just telling it like it really was. Lots of bad vibes back then with the military, lots of bad stuff and it lasted well into the eighties.

The US military was not always the squared away, has its act together military of the current era...the era you sound like you probably served in. Nor of the WW2/Korean war era. There was a dark era in the American military and it lasted from late sixties to the eighties and I grew up in it, I grew up around military bases as a civilian, I was exposed to it. It was on the news a lot, in popular press magazines a lot back then. "What can be done about the rampant drug problems in the U.S. military?" was typical.

I could go on and on but you dont sound like you get it or have a desire to understand my point.

Eric

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Last edited by RuggedTerrain40; Today at 01:27 AM.
Just cant believe this guy
This period you're speaking of sounds a lot like what I'm going through right now as a Sgt. in the Army. When I enlisted in Nov. 2007 I went to basic with people with criminal backrounds, admitted to being drug addicts, and just all around undesirable for military service IMO. I still serve with people under this category...

Now as a Sgt. I'm dealing with Chaptering these undesirables out of the Army. There is such a painful process you have to go through most of the time to get them out. Plus, I can't really believe the things people are still getting away with. The "1 and done" for DUI's isn't neccessarily true. I have many peers with at least one DUI if not multiple DUIs.

Also, the whole issue of retirement changes is really going to mess up the Army too, but that's a whole other subject in itself.
 

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I was in the Navy in the 60's and I didn't see anything until I went to Vietnam. I don't have the time to tell you what all went on, but there were very few people I knew that didn't do drugs. Sometimes it was your only escape from insanity.
But the real thing that matters is I got over it when I got out and my family and I have lived a drug free life because on it.
 

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I served from '83 to '86. Based on the previous posts, that would have been when the Army was cracking down, and that sounds right to me. I heard horros stories about the "old days" and remember the whole company being hurded into the day room and read our rights before the barracks were searched by MPs with dogs. Also, at Ft. Knox you sometimes had to drive through a slalom course of orange cones to get back on base on Friday and Saturday night, so they were starting to take DUI seriously.
 

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This is written with hearsay and little experience. I was a 1LT at Fort Hood when I volunteered to go to Vietnam. I was raised and supported the concept in the Texas A&M Corps of Cadets that when your coumtry is at war, you go period.

The drug problems were serious in the military but the better the leadership, the less that occurred. I busted and did Court Marshall serious users and dealers. Many of these kids entered the military with a drug habit or addictive personality. The solution was mandatory unit drug testing. If you are caught dirty, you are discharged. Unfortunately it took a while to get to that point.

NORMANNEWGUY missed the dumb experiment of the VOLAR Army. It did result ultimately into an all voluntary Army. The race relations training was and is a decade or more ahead of the business community. We struggled through it and eventually it faded away as unnecessary once the military looked at an individual as a good soldier and not a hyphenated American soldier. Is it perfect now? Hardly but it is significantly better than many businesses.

I do get frustrated with the Monday Morning Quarterbacks who shoot holes in something that they never experienced. To my brothers & sisters who served our country, let's move on & support those who do their job now in nasty places. We know what we did while the majority of civilians are clueless. That is why I think serving on active duty should
be a requirement for elected office.
 

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this is written with hearsay and little experience.

I do get frustrated with the monday morning quarterbacks who shoot holes in something that they never experienced. To my brothers & sisters who served our country, let's move on & support those who do their job now in nasty places. We know what we did while the majority of civilians are clueless. That is why i think serving on active duty should be a requirement for elected office.
+1 CPTKILLER well said.DI2
 
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I served in the late seventies to early eighties in Europe and served in a Mech Infantry unit which some may say has the most diverse cross section of enlisted types. I can certinaly remember some young guys getting into the drugs, but I would not have called it "rampant".

As in any situation where you have a bunch of 18yr olds trying to prove themselves to each other, there are times when they are irresponcible and excessive... that is no different than anywhere else young guys congregate - check out any college frat house on a saturday night...

The OPs original assesment is way to general in scope and not based on any presented facts, and having lived it myself, I would disagree with his statments and can also say from personal observance, that the US Army did not turn a blind eye to drug and alcohol abuse during the 'cold war' years I served.

Perhaps during Vietnam, just like during WW2 when Morphine abuse was observed, the presures of combat caused more to seek out refuge from the pressure and horrors of war via drugs, but I would consider that population of soldiers to be the 'edge case' not the 'median' of the total population of soldiers who were enlisted and should not be used as a general statement covering all solidiers and diminishing the credit and respect they deserve for being there when the critics were in the safety of their stateside homes busy writing their protest signs and condeming the soldiers for allowing them the right to do so.....
 

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My thoughts exactly jismail. I served in a mechanized field artillery battalion in the early 80's. Now there was a few that got popped on piss tests but his was the minority not the norm. Alcohol was abused but mostly on the weekend, I saw this being CQ on Saturday nights but showing up intoxicated for duty was an absolute no. In any cross section of society you will have abusers of drugs and alcohol. The military does its best to sort through it much better than the civilian world. Big difference between an 18yr old Pvt who fails one piss test and senior nco who fails one or officer. With Iraq as one poster was complaining about the people the army were recruiting thats all who would volunteer. Maybe time our higher commands look at when they send american kids off to fight would they send there own children. If not I guess we have no buisness being there. Still wouldn't mind if there was a draft right now might make our country a better place as everyone has to serve .
 

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My thoughts;

I served from 6/68 to 4/72, and without going into great detail I would basically have to agree with you. I did see a little drug experimentation within the "young guys". I was in the air-wing all this time. The drug use I witnessed was later in my enlistment. The guys you could tell used drugs were generally short timers anyhow and didn't plan on any advancement other than getting their sorry butts out of the Marines in the first place. Other than a very few times, probably only the two I can recall, did I see drug use while the users were on duty. I simply directed them, "not on my watch". They moved on and that's as far as it went. The Marines being nearly all volunteer probably had a great deal to do with what little drug use I saw.

I did learn to drink during my service. I was seventeen when I enlisted. I never saw any of my supervisors or those I supervised drink while on duty other than at unit parties. We were generally on stand-down at those times other than an "on-duty" skeleton crew. I'll readily admit that those "parties" were always fun. From what I can recall/ DI5. Boys will be boys after all and there is nothing wrong with that. A foundation of right and wrong is the important thing. I wasn't twenty-one until just prior to leaving the service, and even while at home on leave prior to that my dad would not let me drink beer, even if a friend wanted to buy me one.

I will also say that during my brief enlistment racial tension was on the rise. It was during this time that both Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy were assassinated. This and the protests against the war left many varied impressions on this country boy in those four years.

I served in the late seventies to early eighties in Europe and served in a Mech Infantry unit which some may say has the most diverse cross section of enlisted types. I can certinaly remember some young guys getting into the drugs, but I would not have called it "rampant".

As in any situation where you have a bunch of 18yr olds trying to prove themselves to each other, there are times when they are irresponcible and excessive... that is no different than anywhere else young guys congregate - check out any college frat house on a saturday night...

The OPs original assesment is way to general in scope and not based on any presented facts, and having lived it myself, I would disagree with his statments and can also say from personal observance, that the US Army did not turn a blind eye to drug and alcohol abuse during the 'cold war' years I served.

Perhaps during Vietnam, just like during WW2 when Morphine abuse was observed, the presures of combat caused more to seek out refuge from the pressure and horrors of war via drugs, but I would consider that population of soldiers to be the 'edge case' not the 'median' of the total population of soldiers who were enlisted and should not be used as a general statement covering all solidiers and diminishing the credit and respect they deserve for being there when the critics were in the safety of their stateside homes busy writing their protest signs and condeming the soldiers for allowing them the right to do so.....
 

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I was in Vietnam in 1967-68 and we did have a drug problem. I was an officer in charge of a company size unit. The problem we had wasn't out of control, but it was definitely present. You have to remember that unlike now just about everyone in the enlisted ranks was a draftee. I don't offer that as an excuse but as a partial explanation. In those days also, the courts would give a drug offender a choice of going to jail or going in the service. I had guys in my outfit that were druggies before going in and just continued in that life style while serving.

I knew a doctor after I got out that made a living running clinics for drug dependent ex-GIs who were returning from Nam. The government paid him, and he had no lack of customers.

I believe the all volunteer armed forces of today has made for a different breed of service personnel. People serve because they want to or see an opportunity for training. In my day they were there because they had to be. Many came from the ranks of the unwashed drug riddled hippie movement and had very little or no regard for the military.
 

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I was in Vietnam in 1967-68 and we did have a drug problem. I was an officer in charge of a company size unit. The problem we had wasn't out of control, but it was definitely present. You have to remember that unlike now just about everyone in the enlisted ranks was a draftee. I don't offer that as an excuse but as a partial explanation. In those days also, the courts would give a drug offender a choice of going to jail or going in the service. I had guys in my outfit that were druggies before going in and just continued in that life style while serving.

I knew a doctor after I got out that made a living running clinics for drug dependent ex-GIs who were returning from Nam. The government paid him, and he had no lack of customers.

I believe the all volunteer armed forces of today has made for a different breed of service personnel. People serve because they want to or see an opportunity for training. In my day they were there because they had to be. Many came from the ranks of the unwashed drug riddled hippie movement and had very little or no regard for the military.
Not wanting to 'quibble', but while I can't vouch for the complete authenticity of the attached link, it states that only 25% of total forces in country were draftees...
I tend to think that certain 'images' come to mind, and then the perception become 'reality'...

Lots of other interesting facts and numbers also...

http://www.vvof.org/factsvnv.htm

CAVman in WYoming
 

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I don't know the context of the guys response in the original post. But he qualified himself as not having been there in the first place. That being said my USAF service was in the middle 70's and yes there was a lot of alcohol and drug use present during that time. There was a lot of the same in the general population of the country as a hole.
I think most people under the age of 40 would be amazed at the amount of alcohol consumption and the cavalier attitude towards it that was present at the average company party up until the later 80's and 90's when companies started experiencing legal repercussions.

"The past is another country. They do things differently there."
 

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I can vouch for this too. I enlisted in 1982 and the attitudes about pot smokers totally changed in my 4 years. It really cleaned up the ranks. We were in peacetime then so PTSD didn't hit us. We were lucky. I saw action in 91 during the Gulf War but that was cake compared to what the troops see now.
 
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