Passage Eighteen (The Military Is In)
Things have really changed. Not only is the military standing tall again, it is staging a remarkable comeback in the quantity and quality of the recruits it is attracting. Recruiters, once denounced by antiwar students as “baby killers” and barred from campuses, are welcomed ever at elite universities. ROTC (Reserve Officer’s Training Corps) programs, that faltered during the Viet Nam era, when protesters were fire bombing their headquarters, are flourishing again. The military academies are enjoying a steady increase in applications.
Certainly, the depressed economy has increased the allure of the jobs, technical training and generous student loans offered by the military. Students know that if they go in and become, say, nuclear weapons specialists, they can come out and demand a salary of $60,000 a year. Military salaries, while not always competitive with those paid for comparable jobs in the private sector, are more than respectable, especially considering the wide array of benefits that are available: free medical service, room and board, and PX (Post Exchange) privileges. Monthly pay for a recruit is $574; for a sergeant with four years services it is $906; for a major with ten years’ service it is $2,305. The services’ slick $175 million-a-year advertising campaign promising adventure and fulfillment has helped win over the TV generation. Kids are walking down the school hallways chanting ‘Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines,’ just like in the commercials. And many military officials feel that the key difference is the enhanced patriotism among the nation’s youth. There is a return to the view that the military is an honorable profession. The days of a judge telling a miscreant to join the Army or go to jail are over. Recruiting for all four services combined is running at 101%of authorized goals. And the retention rate is now so high, that the services are refusing some re-enlistment applications and reducing annual recruiting target.
The military academics are also enjoying halcyon years, attracting more and better-qualified students. Compared to private colleges, where tuition and expenses have been climbing sharply, the service schools are a real bargain: not only is tuition free, but recruits get allowances of up to $500 a mouth. It is reported 12,300 applicants are for the 1,450 positions in this year’s freshman class. Military academies are now just as selective as any of the best universities in the country.
Nationwide, ROTC enrollment exceeds 105,000,a 64% increase over the 1974 figure. In the mid 70’s, the ROTC students refused to wear their uniforms on campus because they suffered all sorts of ridicule, if they did. Now if they wear them to class no one looks at them twice. To them, Viet Nam is ancient history, something the old folks talk about.
1. What is the main idea of this passage?
[A]. The Military is in [B]. The Military is up
[C]. The Military is down [D]. The Military is on
2. What was the attitude of the students in 1970’s towards the military?
[A]. Approval. [B]. Indifferent. [C]. Distaste. [D]. Scolding.
3. The phrase “come out” is closest in meaning to
[A]. “become visible”. [B]. “begin to grow”.
[C]. “be made public”. [D]. “gain a certain position”.
4. Which one of the following is NOT mentioned as a reason to attract students.
[A]. Free tuition. [B]. Spacious room.
[C]. Considerate allowance. [D]. Technical training.
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