The Trained Killers
by Joseph N Manfredo
Trafford Publishing

"From that day forward I avoided the appearance that I could even tie my shoes correctly."

Caught in the uncertainty between the Korean War and the early escalation of the Cold War, the author of this autobiographical memoir was selected to serve a term of active duty in the United States Army after a deferment for University study. Suffering his way through basic training, he was transferred to the Aberdeen Proving Grounds as part of the Scientific & Professional detachment of soldiers who had already studied and acquired professional skills prior to their military duty. Unfortunately, Army protocol at the time mandated that these drafted soldiers, who could provide a scientific leg up in the approaching arms and space races, be subject to grunt work that most other soldiers on the base were exempted from doing. Rather than devote their time fully to experiments and advancing technology and equipment, the S&Ps were required to additionally perform guard duty, kitchen police, and other menial tasks.

In addition to providing a detailed glimpse into the life of a young soldier in this time of hostile peace, this book introduces a broad cast of vibrant characters based on the author's personal experience at Aberdeen. Corporals and Lieutenants trying to keep their men to adhere to an exact and strict idea clashed with the author's young scientist peers that fluster these superiors with pranks and wit in order to maintain a sense of personal identity. From testing the effects of alcohol on horse flies to spotting Sputnik's voyage across the night sky, these stories strike the balance between being historically informative and humorously entertaining.  Military history enthusiasts and fans of the human experience alike will enjoy this collection of memories.

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