Good day everyone, it was brought to my attention that there is a plan being formulated in order to implement a military draft. This draft, however, would be a bit different, I’m sure you’re wondering how it would work so let me give you further explanation.
The proposal is for young people to have two years on active duty or six years in the reserves. Either way, they’d first have to undergo basic training and MOS training.
If the draftee would rather attend college first, they must participate in a Reserve Officer Training program and from there serve. If they fail or quit ROTC, they then enlist.
No matter the option that is chosen, their obligation is fulfilled with a single combat deployment.
There are lawmakers and others who believe that current wars have stretched the military to its breaking point. With more than a decade of bonuses and expanding benefits has brought personnel funding to its limits.
A big concern is that civilians are more disconnected from the military than at any time in history.
The American public ignores volunteers while military families are carrying the burden of multiple combat tours and suffering the consequences, including post-traumatic stress, divorce, addiction, injury and suicide.
Some feel its time for us to consider reinstating conscription. As it’s been more than a decade of all volunteer armed forces. I’m not sure if this would do any better besides increasing numbers as volunteer force is better educated, more diverse, more professional and capable than the military has ever been.
There are those who also believe that conscription would sacrifice readiness in the name of vague notions of shared sacrifice. Also a poor attempt to restructure how America fights its wars.
History of Draft
The nation moved from a lottery-based draft system during the Vietnam War to a full volunteer service in 1973.
This was pushed and driven by President Richard Nixon’s campaign promise to end the draft, which was a highly unpopular practice, in part due to a controversial war.
Over 2 million men were drafted during the Vietnam War-era period of 1961 to 1973.
More than 9 million served during the period, however, the majority of draftees served in Vietnam.
Among some draft boards, those with wealth or connections could find ways to avoid military service while those without those advantages could not.
Many argue this contributed to a larger distrust of the system that was sending men to war.
Multiple commissions and studies throughout the 1960s evaluated what a move to a volunteer force would mean.
Some cautioned that it would be too expensive and would divorce the citizenry from its armed forces, thereby increasing militarism.
Cost Of Volunteers
A combination of pay, benefits and other bonuses has contributed to a 41 percent increase in personnel costs. This was in the decade following 9/11, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
Now, recent plans to increase the size of the military call for re-enlistment bonuses across the force.
* The Air Force is offering up to $35,000 a year to keep pilots and $90,000 for enlisted airman in key career fields.
* The Army is offering up to $60,000 to non-commissioned officers from the special operations community.
All of the services are offering bonuses based on specific MOS and ranks.
Eliminating enlistment bonuses and reducing recruiting budgets would cut much of these costs.
Yet beyond cost lies a more fundamental concern which is the perception of an isolated military that is less and less understood or considered by a seemingly apathetic public.
The draft argument shouldn’t be considered until the nation and its leaders figure out what kind of military they want.
Are they wanting a small, highly professional force that fits a specific desired performance model or do they want a much larger body that requires adjustments but can also be reasonably effective on the battlefield. These are things that need to be put into perspective.
The nation seems to send its all-volunteer military into conflicts more often. In the 27 years preceding the all-volunteer military, the U.S. engaged in 19 overseas military operations. Between 1973 and 2012, the military executed 144 operations.
There are alternatives to the all-volunteer force, including national service, universal military training, conscription and continuing with the current setup. Would conscription be the most fair, efficient choice among these three options.
A “fifth alternative,” which would reduce the Army’s ranks by 200,000 soldiers and draw down the Marines by 28,000.
Adding 100,000 service members to the Guard and Reserve components of both while keeping the Air Force and Navy at current levels.
The shift alone would save taxpayers $75.3 billion annually.
Do we really want this and will we still remain efficient and ready when the time calls??
Isaac J. Hall II