- Historic Sites
The Seventeenth Largest Army
The old Regular Army, part fairy tale and part dirty joke, was generally either ignored or disdained. But its people went about their work with a dogged humdrum gallantry—and when the storm broke, they helped save the world.
December 1992 | Volume 43, Issue 8
Then came the entrance of more than eight million men into what had been an army of a little more than one hundred thousand, with USO shows and stage-door canteens and little old ladies inviting servicemen to their houses for nice home-cooked meals on Sundays, and men buying them drinks while Red Cross people at the train depots offered free packs of cigarettes, “tailor-made,” not like the rolled ones the Regulars always used to smoke; and all the equipment was redesigned, the helmets, packs, web gear, barracks bag, shelter halves, everything; and in 1942 Yank , the GI weekly, run by and for the ex-civilians, defined the words Old Army as a group of persons who spoke in sentences inevitably beginning with “By God, it wasn’t like this in the ——”