Instapundit links to this post, which asks questions about the Army’s new 15 month enlistment option.
There is no mystery here. This idea has been kicking around for a while.
Its chief proponent has been Charles Moskos, an expert on military recruitment and retention. Moskos has for years been advocating a “short enlistment” option as a way to tap into a pool of college-educated young people who otherwise would not go into the military. A recent iteration of this idea is his article Toward a New Conception of the Citizen Soldier. In that piece Moskos specifically says: “There is a definite, albeit limited, market of college graduates who state a propensity for military service if the active-duty commitment is 15 months coupled with generous educational benefits.”
Looks like this is exactly the program the military is trying out. We’ll find out if Prof. Moskos is right. I hope it works out well.
10 thoughts on “15 Month Enlistment.”
Well, using stop-loss, the army could make them stay eight years during war-time, no matter what the controf says. And if they don’t, 15 months is too short to train somebody up and then get some use out of them. Three years should be minimum, especuially if you want them to take some kind of command responsibility. I’ve been a conscript for 15 months, trust me on this. After that time there still is too much that you don’t know about, or that you may know and have even have been trained to do for a (way too brief time), but still haven’t got a real grasp on. Certainly not a firm enough one to still be able to perform under stress.
Oh, and this program might even turn out to be an intermediate step towards re-intating the draft.
“re-initiating the draft” — Won’t happen. The public won’t stand for it, the politicians won’t stand for it and the Army doesn’t want it. You cannot draft people for optional, oversease wars like Vietnam and Iraq. There is just no way that is going to happen.
Also, if the Army gets a bunch of people to join under this program and then keeps them in 8 years, all they will do is discourage further enlistment. Are they that stupid? Maybe. We’ll find out.
Iraq is not so optional anymore. Withdrwing without fixing the country, and removing the Mullahs and the House of Saud first would be a disaster. And the draft may come, no matter what anybody wants. It might be one pragmatic little step after another, until the momentum leads to the drfat as the path of least resistance.
Thus far the only calls for a new draft is from liberals who see it as a way to end the war and bring troops home from Iraq.
As a retired USAF NCO who served during both the draft era and the all volunteer service I can say that the all volunteer service obtains and keeps a much higher quality individual thah did the draft. Although few were drafted into the USAF many chose to enlist rather than spend time in the Army. Most of these individuals never made the
commitment that is needed to be truly effective.
I can’t speak for todays Air Force but when I retired in 1983 some fifty percent of senior NCOs had college degrees as did a large percentage of the lower enlisted grades. The technology of the armed forces today requires a much better educated troop than did the draft era and it appears that recruiters are providing these individuals for the services.
“And the draft may come, no matter what anybody wants.”
No, Ralf. No. “The Draft” is not some force of nature that will just blow in like a hurricane. It would have to be legislation, a law passed by Congress. Then there would have to be enforcement, by the executive branch. There is no way this can happen. The American public does not want it, the politicians do not want it and the military do not want it.
Iraq is a lot more “optional” than putting in a draft. There is no politician who could get elected who was seriously proposing that we should have a draft, or be reelected if he voted for it.
As far as how optional Iraq is, if the options are (1) let Iraq fend for itself and if necessary go down the toilet or (2) reinstate the draft, I can tell you right now how Joe and Jane Voter come out on it.
If the military cannot win with what it has, then it is not going to win, because there is not going to be a draft.
You think that Social Security is the “third rail” of American politics? Any serious proposal to reinstate the draft would be the “electric chair” of American politics. Bush certainly is not going to do it.
You may continue to worry about it if you wish, but I assure you, it is an illusory danger.
BTW, Ralf, take a look at the Moskos article I linked to.
“If the military cannot win with what it has, then it is not going to win, because there is not going to be a draft. ”
Not only that, if the military cannot win with what it has, it’s also not going to win with a draft even if it were instated. The draft appears to work when most of the “conscripts” would have volunteered anyway – if that’s not the case, what you get is another Vietnam.
I’d go so far as to say that if we hadn’t had the draft during Vietnam, we could have stayed in the field for as long as it took for the other side to throw in the towel.
That said, this short-term enlistment idea scares me; it smells of desperation. And it’s not like we haven’t tried this before – until the early stages of the Civil War, we regularly had short-term enlistments, and sometimes had large numbers of troops ready to pack up and go home with no replacements and the enemy still in the field.
“…it smells of desperation…” Read the Moskos piece. I think it is worth trying.
The only people who have proposed re-instating the draft are anti-military Democrats like Chuck Rangel. They want to return to those glory days of the VietNam era when, out of fear they could get killed, draft age boys became “anti-war”. You will find no R support for a draft and darn little real D support so the idea is, clearly, a non-starter. Now, if Kerry were Prez and the D’s controlled both houses of Congress you might have a point… but thankfully they don’t. POnder this for a moment too Ralf G, since women are a big part of today’s military how would you propose only drafting males? Just imagine a military conscription in America involving women. Peddle that stuff elsewhere– ain’t gonna happen here.
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