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The Adventures of a Rookie

The Adventures of a Rookie(1943)


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Nightclub emcee Jerry Miles, truck driver Mike Strager and Bob Prescott, the scion of a wealthy family, all receive their draft notices on the same day. Upon reporting for induction, they are fitted for uniforms and given aptitude tests. Bob is then put in charge of the group during the bus ride to boot camp. Along the way, Bob's uniform is spattered with mud by passing motorist Peggy Linden, and Jerry and the slow-witted Mike are pushed off the bus and left behind. Upon finally reaching camp, Bob sees his hopes of entering officer training school dim when the colonel, who is his commanding officer and uncle, chastises him for losing two men and wearing a dirty uniform. When the three trainees are granted a six-hour pass, Peggy invites them to join five of her girl friends for a turkey dinner at the Linden house. After a pleasant evening, Bob is about to return to the base when Dr. Potts arrives, having been summoned by the Lindens' cook, Hilda. Diagnosing Hilda with a case of scarlet fever, the doctor quarantines the house for two weeks. When Bob calls the base with the news, Sgt. Burke, his platoon leader, comes to the house to investigate and is quarantined with the rest of his men. Determined not to let a quarantine interfere with his training program, Burke leads his men in maneuvers up and down the stairs and through the house. When the doctor returns to examine Hilda, he announces that he has misdiagnosed her and lifts the quarantine. After returning to camp, the trainees are dispatched on a thirty-day field exercise. Burke orders Bob, Mike and Jerry to march the twelve miles to their field base, and they decide to save time by hitching a ride with a convoy. Unaware that the convoy is bound for San Francisco, the three fall asleep and are surprised when they are ordered to join the troops being shipped overseas upon waking. Finding themselves AWOL on an ocean-bound boat, the three decide to use the ship's cargo nets to swing back to the docks. When the net jams, they fall into the water and find a briefcase of dispatches that had fallen overboard. Hailed as heroes for saving the dispatches, the three are hospitalized and are told that General Ames is coming to personally thank them. Realizing that if the general discovers he is AWOL, he will never be admitted to officer training school, Bob insists that they sneak out of the hospital. When the nurses see them trying to escape, they call the M.P.'s, and the three are sent back to their unit. To hide the fact that they are AWOL, Jerry suggests they claim to have gotten lost on their way to field camp. Peggy drives them to a deserted ravine, where they are found by Burke and taken to the colonel. After informing them that he saw Peggy drop them off at the ravine, the colonel orders the trio jailed. As their company prepares to ship out, Jerry and Mike are released and commanded to follow Burke. After reading a memorandum written by General Ames, the colonel forgives Bob, who then abandons his pursuit of officer training school to join his friends being shipped overseas.