Friday, April 08, 2005



The All Volunteer Army is strained to the max bigtime. When I first started talking about restoring the draft or mainly to have some kind of AllServe, I didn't think we stood a chance for really seeing the return of it. Now, I'm not so sure. The non genius Secretary of Defense's plan of transforming the military into a high tech mobile force simply has lost so much credibility that we are close to crisis. Rumsfeld, if anything, is stubborn; failed policies in Iraq, a tenure marked by one misstep after another. He's invulnerable, however, it appears, so living with him is a given. However, forces beyond his control seem to be shaping up. The Volunteer Army keeps dwindling.
Early on, I said that to bring back a semblance of the draft, American kids had to quit volunteering and it appears they are. Attempts by the military to offer greater incentives and appeals to patriotism don't seem to be hacking it.

The draft ended in 1973 and seemed to be assigned to the trashpile of history. Maybe not! The Marines have missed their recruiting goals for the last two months and the Army can't fill it's ranks of 500,000 and the National Guard and Army Reserve is way down. They are trying to buck up but the goals keep going south. For the first time of recent note, the military bureaucrats are admitting they have a problem


A friend of mine calls what the military is doing now is something business often does. In a sales organization, a style of management that doesn't work usually is to bring in some manager with a whip and tell the galley slaves to row harder: sell more, do more cold calling. Whip. Whip--the movie, Glengarry, Glenross approach. These guys in the movie are selling swampland in Florida with a motto of lie, cheat, steal...all in a day's work. Translated to the military, it shakes out to be more recruiters, get your quota, pull them in at any cost.
How this translates is for the military to lower standards or in one ploy: uping the age to join up. If you are 39, you can still join the Reserves or Guards. Please! The military at the fighting level is a young man's game. It would be like putting some aged football type into the backfiedof the Greenbay Packers and expecting him to perform like a 22 year old. Galley Slave approach: bring in a new advertising agency.
But, at the bottom line, parents and potential soldiers are realizing, "this ain't no game." I can be told anything by a recruiter but my next step may be Iraq. I think not.

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