A Rumor of War Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. Explain why Caputo says that at age twenty-four he is more prepared for death than he is for life.

He goesstraight from school into the Marine Corps; from Shakespeare to the Manual of Small-Unit Tactics; and from the campus to the drill field and on to Vietnam.

2. Why does he say he fears being an unsat or a marginal?

The unsats are unsatisfactory for the military and sent home. The marginals are just above unsats and rarely make it. He seriously wants to succeed.

3. What is the new warfare of the New Frontier?

The new warfare is counterinsurgencies and it is obvious that it will take place in Indochina.

4. What always comes to Caputo's mind when he thinks of basic training?

A double file of green clad men bent beneath their packs and kicking up dust as they march down a dirt road under a relentless sun.

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