DECEMBER 17, 1957
NEW YORK—An article in the N.Y. Times last Friday, under the heading "Army Scientists May Quit Kitchen," makes it clear, I think, how foolish certain things in the draft have become.
It seems that qualified scientists have been doing KP duty. Now with great virtue the Army announces through its Adjutant General, in a report to a Congressman who had complained about this, that it is reviewing its policy and it may see its way clear to allow scientists who held important positions in civilian life to return to those positions when they cannot be used in the Army on work that is of value in their particular line. The Congressman evidently had "thoroughly documented information" that 53 engineers at the Aberdeen, Maryland proving ground were spending an average of 22 percent of their time in such chores as washing dishes and standing guard.
For a long time I have been saying that we in the United States wasted human material, and this particular report points up the kind of waste which has been going on. I complain more often about the fact that our taxpayers are willing to let certain young people who should obtain higher education lose out because of economic reasons. It is unfortunate for the youngsters, but far more unfortunate for the country as a whole. This is one of the areas in which our country must face the Soviet challenge. They use their manpower better than we do. They waste very little; and it is high time that we did review, as the Army promises to do in this instance, our whole defense program.
This also points up the need to ask our doctors to devise a method whereby everyone will get the medical care he needs from pre-natal care on, regardless of ability to pay. This is part of the defense of our country, yet it is one of the areas in which we have been most wasteful of our human material. Study should be going on in all fields so that this waste can be eliminated.
I have been asked to point out, since I mentioned the fact that there was a considerable amount of unemployment, that there is need of more occupational therapists and that this is a profession where young people can be sure of finding a job. However, it does require long training and better pay to attract those capable of taking the training.