To be an officer and a gentle man

I'm not sure I would call my classmates intolerant. But they were sure incredulous when they found out I didn't smoke or drink. Here we were, 20 of us, just out of college, thrown together for Naval officer training. It was a frantic four-month period at the height of the Vietnam conflict—an intense mix of concentrated learning, discipline, and deprivation (plus a dash of humiliation), which the recruitment brochure promised would make us officers and gentlemen.

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