FROM PARTY PUMPS TO ARMY BOOTS

Last fall, 18-year-old Rebecca Susan Drake, like scores of other teen-agers, headed to Austin to begin her
sophomore year at the University of Texas. She was a member of a sorority, took preparatory classes, had lots of
friends and made above-average grades. Then she opted for a different education.

This fall, she enlisted in the Army, with plans to become a nuclear-weapons maintenance specialist – a far cry from a
sorority sweetheart.

Drake says that after two years of college life she felt she was at a standstill. This summer, while staying with her
grandmother in Oklahoma, she visited an Army recruiting office, took the military aptitude test and, after discovering
that her test scores were high, decided to make the Army her career. She chose nuclear-weapons maintenance because the
Army’s computer rated it as the best area for her. Drake also qualified for a $20,000 Army bonus.

Basic training begins this month. After eight weeks, she will begin her advanced individual training, in which she’ll
learn the basics of nuclear-weapons maintenance. Once she has completed her training, she’ll be placed in a top-secret
area.

Surprisingly, her family has no strong military background. Her father was drafted and served for two years between
the Korean and Vietnam wars. Drake says she wants to go on to officer’s training school.

She says she believes that the United States should reinstate the draft. “I shouldn’t have volunteered,” she says. “I
should have been made to join the Army. I think it’s asinine that they [young men] resist the draft. I don’t have
tolerance for people like that.”

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