A fairly administered Military Draft would be an Asset.


Currently The United States of America has a volunteer army, meaning military service is not required of anyone in the country…  For various reasons, because no compulsory service is demanded, what has evolved is that the nation’s military is made up of significant numbers of military personnel coming from limited segments of our society — upon whose shoulders are placed the responsibility and  hardship of fulfilling America’s military roles…  And that does not seem fair…

Unfair not only to the men and women on active duty who suffer the hardships and separation of war , but also to their families and communities from whence they come.

A military draft, much more fairly administered than has been done historically, might  infuse the military with additional beneficial perspectives and skill sets, as well as make every community and segment of American society feel the pain whenever a   “hot war” is raging.

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10 Responses

  1. Are you saying the uneducated had a higher chance of doing the “grunt” work? Seems fair enough. My high scores on the aptitude test kept me from getting the low score job I wanted. In looking back, isn’t that called managing your assets? I sure didn’t like it at the time, but got me a skill I’m still using today.

    • No to the question…

      The belief that has been expressed from some quarters through the years was not necessarily that higher numbers of “lower education” level draftees were assigned to ground combat units ( which was probably true), but that supposedly some with as high I.Q/ education levels as others with similar attributes, were more readily assigned to ground combat units than others of comparable level, and, that race, nationality, social/economic class might have played a part in such assignments… Some from certain quarters have expressed that belief.

      The comments in all my posts refer to Army draftees, only and specifically… There came a time during the Vietnam Conflict when ground combat units were always in need of new bodies — and the criteria used to assign people to that specialty was suspected from some quarters as not having been fairly arrived at, in certain cases…
      Of course in my explanations I am not seeking to excuse the behavior described in another post coming from apparently someone’s first hand knowledge; I am simply offering a possible explanation of what might have led to the “misconduct”…

      The overall idea I would reiterate is that draftees in ground combat units in Army Vietnam overall performed bravely and admirably under extremely hard conditions, as they have from the beginning of the history of this country …

  2. What is fair? Wasn’t the lottery system fair if based on a birthdate? Maybe not if there are a disproportionate number from the middle to lower classes. Due to the masses, one would expect that, however, suppose the draft was based on a cross section of socio-economic status, would that proportion significantly change?

    • What someone considers “fair”, might not seem “fair” to another, which is one way of interpreting part of your post, and that is an absolute reality… No one sees the same thing as someone else does… So making things seem “fair” to everyone can be difficult…

      In the case of the “lottery”, altho’ initiated to be “fair”, even if it had been strictly enforced, some draftees would still have been (and were) immediately assigned to ground combat units, while others who had the same/similar educational-physical backgrounds, for example, would not be assigned to ground combat units… That created problems among some… If a draft were re-instituted, more attention to those assignments would have to paid in order to make them “fairer”, however difficult that could be…

      Currently the “Volunteer Army” is stretched too thin, with too many ground combat soldiers dying, with fewer and fewer wanting to enlist, with too many long combat tours, and too many additional combat tours… Since “Shock and Awe”, some members of ground combat units have served 5 tours and more, having to be in harm’s way too many times, with their families suffering through too many separations… And the more times a ground combat soldier serves a combat tour, the greater the chances are that the soldier will die in the process before too long. They can’t beat the odds so many times…

      That is a major reason for my bringing up for discussion the subject of a military draft, although America is not yet ready for a draft again, and maybe never again will it be.

      [The exchanges of views with several have been beneficially enlightening.]

  3. Your response is appreciated…
    The observations of the person(s) who saw the “draftee(s)” in Vietnam in a negative light were honest conclusions, I’m sure…

    But a special point to consider might be (the quote), “A military draft, much more fairly administered than has been done historically,..”.

    During the Vietnam Confict in many more than just a few cases (from people’s personal observations, as well as from some reportedly objective analyses), the Draft was not fairly administered… Some were permitted to enroll in the Reserves and were kept home, others not… Some were easily given “deferments, others not… Some were drafted and immediately placed in combat units, others not…

    More specifically, during the Vietnam Conflict, reportedly significant numbers of those from certain “privileged” classes in America were not drafted, neither were the ones from “politically connected” ones, but others from the not so privileged classes, with no family political clout, were.

    In addition, if we consider other data, including that there was a great national struggle for civil rights in America during the Vietnam Conflict(with quite a degree of societal unrest), and if we put all the other considerations together with this one, it is reasonable to see that there would be problems with some who were drafted…

    But, let’s also remember that there were countless draftees in Vietnam who performed admirably,… and let us not forget, of course, that in World War ll, most combat soldiers were probably draftees — and what a fantastic job they seem to have done…

    “A military draft, much more fairly administered than has been done historically,…”, might be worth considering down the line, with great emphasis on “fairly administered”, so as to avoid the problems caused by some draftees to which you refer …

  4. I agree with KaraLoraine. Time has shown that a volunteer Army produces a better motivated soldier, sailor, marine, airmen, and coastguardman. My family has served in every war since WWI as volunteers. My cousins who returned from Vietnam stated draftees were dangerous and would rarely fire their weapons in combat and if they did they wouldn’t aim. It’s better to have a well trained and financed Professional Army like we have Police and Fire Departments.

  5. I am a Vietnam vet, so let me tell you my story. Following my 1966 high school graduation, I knew the draft was soon upon me. My answer to that was enlist for 4 years and avoid at least one year in a rice paddy. Simple enough, but there’s more. As with any war, there are casualities and I knew many of them didn’t want to there. It was my respect for those who never came back or came back in a box, to serve. They gave me the inspiration to follow, they gave me strengh as an Air Force Corpman, stationed in Cam Ranh Bay to deal with what I have seen. Those 4 years, of service, at home and abroad taught me lessons which are still with me today. Do I support military action, no. What I do support is sacrifice and commitment to our country. Note that I was in a combat arena, but never in any actual combat, but I still carry an emotional burden. I am unable to visit any Vietnam memorial, however, because of what I did, everyone who’s name is on the wall is still with me today. Every one of them is my friend!

    • Your poignant comments are remarkable and moving… As an Air Force corpman you saw first hand the casualties of war in all its gore, and military personnel from all branches are surely grateful for what you all did… The “grunts” and others suffered the bulk of the battle casualties, and many of them who flew off from the “land of the free” returned as you say, in boxes, unable to once again see the American skyline; but the corpmen and doctors and nurses themselves who dealt with the carnage lived through their own hell and carry their own burdens… I identify with your expressions…

  6. Thank you for your personally sensitive and pensive perspective expressed so eloquently.

  7. As a daughter, sister, ex-girlfriend, and best friend of soldiers, I do not support a military draft. The last thing I want is for the lives of my father, brother, and friends to be in the hands of someone who never wanted to be in the military to begin with and therefore isn’t willing to die for their country or brothers & sisters in arms. As someone who has strongly considered the military, I wouldn’t want to put my own life in that position either.

    The military isn’t for everyone — be it as active duty or as someone back home. That’s the harsh reality. You have to be strong to join and you have to be strong to love someone who has. I’m not the type of girl who mopes & complains daily about so-and-so being deployed… I’m not the type of girl who screams, cries, throws fits, and runs after the bus when you’re saying goodbye… but that doesn’t mean deployments are easy for me. I wouldn’t wish them on anyone.

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