Robert Murray’s draft notice arrived after his first year at Harvard Business School in 1969. At 22 years old, the Tuckahoe, N.Y., native enlisted in the Army for what he hoped would be a 24-month stint. Then he would finish his MBA.
But the Army, swollen by the draft, needed officers for its men. Murray’s superiors sensed that he was sharp, so they sent him to the Officer Candidate School in Fort Knox, Ky., to become a non-commissioned officer. After ten weeks of training, Murray was promoted to staff sergeant — a sign that he was in the top 5 percent of his class. In November 1969, he deployed to South Vietnam.
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