I've heard a story that one of the differences between the German and US militaries during WWII was that the Germans would take their best people at (whatever) and send them to the front, where they would do well until they were shot. The US would keep their best people at home to teach others what they knew.
On a personal level, my Grand-Dad volunteered for the army during WWII. He was a crack shot (used a 410 shotgun to shoot skeet). He thought he was going to Europe to shoot Germans. The army sent him to Texas to train sharpshooters. My Granny and my mom were just as happy that he wasn't going to Europe. Still, he was almost killed by a recruit with a hand grenade.