The Seventeenth Largest Army


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 ——”