Private Mailer Re-Enlists

Private Mailer Re-Enlists

Every Army psychiatrist is familiar with the strange phenomenon of re-enlistment. On Monday the rifleman hates the Army with a bitterness bordering on homicide. On Tuesday he signs up for a new hitch.

Clearly the impending transition to civilian life is more painful than the institutional adjustment which, however disagreeable, has become a habit. The soldier’s adolescent years have been consumed in becoming a man, as the Army understands manhood. Now he is reluctant to begin again, on civilian terms. In the Army he leads a half-crippled existence; if he has seen combat, he is perhaps a good deal more than half dead. Yet this is preferable to the painful changes which await him.

Something of this sort has happened t...

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