The Pentagon prepares to random drug test soldiers returning from Vietnam
Acting on recommendations from the White House, the Pentagon prepares to random drug test soldiers returning from Vietnam. Since drug use is an infraction of military code and automatically results in a dishonorable discharge, many servicemen would be placed in legal jeopardy, and the result would be a public relations nightmare. To solve the problem President Nixon – acting as commander-in-chief – sends a one-page memo to the secretary of defense ordering that drug use will no longer be considered a crime under the military code of justice. This single act reverses decades of military policy and simultaneously introduces random urine testing as a matter of public policy.