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A return to tough image could help military recruiting

USA TODAY's article about military recruiting certainly is timely, but it ignores a major reason three out of the four military services are failing to meet recruitment goals: the Clinton administration's forced feminization of the military (''Military recruiting costs soar,'' News, Friday).

Co-ed basic training and allowing women to fly combat aircraft and serve on ships at sea -- where some of them become pregnant -- have contributed to the breakdown of the military's masculine image. In one sentence, USA TODAY's report cites ''the economy'' as the major reason for the decline in enlistment in the Army, Navy and Air Force.

And later, the article points out that the Marine Corps -- which has maintained a tough-image policy of ''men fight, women support, and sexes train separately'' -- has had no problem meeting its recruiting goals in the same economy that supposedly is hindering the other services' recruitment.

Gene Schwimmer New York, N.Y.

Discharging gays not helping Let me get this straight:

The military is whining about a combined shortage of thousands of recruits while at the same time it's discharging men and women simply because they are homosexual.

Thank God, the military hasn't tracked down the other gays serving with distinction in the military.

Then, our national defense really would be at risk.

David Williams

Louisville, Ky.

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