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.