In class last week we discussed the draft and whether it should be implemented to help waning recruit numbers in the military. Although most people probably disagree with the draft, is there no other option than the current plan which is basically throwing money at the problem? In Charles Moskos’s article Saving the All Volunteer Force he states that there is another option to improve military recruitment and that is a 15 month short-term enlistment.
With this option, short-term soldiers would serve in jobs that the incredibly taxed Army Reserves are doing now. These jobs would require only short-term or on the job training. Moskos gives the example of Military Police officers that could be trained in a 14 week period. And it just so happens that MP’s are a highly needed occupation in Iraq now.
One of the benefits of short-term enlistment is that it uses a previously untapped pool of qualified recruits: college students and recent graduates. A recent survey done at local universities found that 23% of college students would consider going into the military for a 15 month service, where as only 2% would consider it for the full four years. Short-term enlistment would offer soldiers $15,000 in educational benefits. This would allow the student the chance to pay back their student loans and it gives those who may not be exactly sure what they want to do right out of college more time to think about their career path.
Finally, by targeting college graduates and graduate-level students the army is no longer praying on the underprivileged. And it is giving the chance for more people to have a rewarding military experience that they can share in the civilian sector.
It makes me want to adorn myself in camoflauge and strap on some combat boots, what about you all?