Hey you! Yeah, you!
Do you write Stucky fic? Do you know next to nothing about the US Army in WW2? Would you like to know more? Would you like to read a textbook written for soldiers at basic training in 1943, described by its authors as “packed with military information, written in the language of the trainee, who is learning to read and write, whether he be illiterate or non-English speaking”?
Then check out Private Pete Learns To Be A Good Soldier, a publication of the United States Department of War.
Peter R. Smith became Private Peter R. Smith, 32399282 [note draftee serial number, with no hint of opprobrium — stoatsandwich], on July 1, 1943. At Fort Leavenworth, Kansas he raised his right hand and said: “I, Peter R. Smith, do solemnly swear that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the United States of America; that I will serve them honestly and faithfully against all their enemies whomsoever; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of officers appointed over me, according to the rules and Articles of War.”
Pete knew that now he was a soldier in the Army of the United States, the best-fed, the best-clothed, the best-cared for, and the best-trained army in the world.
He put on his uniform, and he was really proud that now he, Peter R. Smith, was a part of his country’s great Army. His mother and dad and his girl friend would be proud of him when they saw him, too.
Pete stayed at the Reception Center for three days before he had his orders to come to the Special Training Unit. He was sent there to start his army training. He knew that he could be a good soldier only if he knew the real job a good soldier must be able to do. To become a good soldier, he must learn how to drill and how to fire a rifle. He must know how to wear a gas mask and how to protect himself from gasses. He must know how to pitch a tent, how to care for his equipment, and how to train and care for his body. He must know what laws he must follow in the Army. These laws he would soon learn are called the Articles of War. These things and many more Private Pete must learn In this book that follows is an interesting story about each of the military subjects that he must know and understand. Let’s see just what Private Pete is going to learn while he’s here in the Special Training Unit.