« PreviousContinue »
tion. We do know that a fairly small fraction of the 700,000 men rejected for medical reasons, in fact, are poor.
I will provide for your record the precise or the percentage we estimate of the 700,000 who would fall into the poverty groups and attempt also to have some statement of the implications of having been in the poverty group for those medical rejected conditions.
We do propose this year a program to screen and treat children who are in poverty for handicapping conditions and we estimate that if this treatment takes place and this program passes, about 30 percent of the conditions of this particular group can be treated and cared for before they reach the stage of selective service examination. (The information referred to above will be found in the files of the subcommittee.)
Senator KENNEDY of Massachusetts. I understand that you were the Executive Secretary of the Defense Department study of the draft in 1964, and that the Defense Department has revealed to the Armed Services Committee in the House the statistics and other backup data of that report. Am I not correct?
Mr. GORHAM. Yes, sir.
Senator KENNEDY of Massachusetts. But they have not released the recommendations of the report itself. I wonder whether you could give us some idea as to the recommendations contained in that report? Mr. GORHAM. I think the recommendations of that report coincide, for the things which relate strictly to the Department of Defense, precisely with the things which have been taking place in the Department of Defense within the last 2 years, and these are the lowering of standards to enter service, the expansion of the use of civilians in jobs which didn't have to be done by military personnel and a number of other measures aimed at improving the attractiveness of service with respect to volunteers.
Those are all within the context of the Department of Defense.
With respect to those recommendations about the operation of the Selective Service System itself, we strongly urge the consideration of switching the order of call to the youngest eligible class first, rather than the oldest, and we recommended some form of a lottery since once you make that switch, you would have a larger age class than your needs; therefore, you would have to have some system of selecting among this age class.
They encompass the major recommendations of that study.
Senator KENNEDY of Massachusetts. Why do you feel the random selection of the lottery is the most equitable system? Haven't there been those that have suggested that it is a giant crap game, Russian roulette? What is your response to that?
Mr. GORHAM. I think comparing it with the present system, it is enormously more reputable. Right now we have a system where an individual by a series of actions can decide whether he will or will not serve his country. He can choose
Senator KENNEDY of Massachusetts. That is not so true about the working boy in apprenticeship training.
Mr. GORHAM. That is precisely right. In other words, a certain segment of the population can make this set of choices, but another segment can't. That is the current system and the question really is Is a random selection, an impartial selection among too large a
group, preferable to this system and I think there is no question that
If you need half of an eligible age class, you can have a group of wise men who decide which half should serve. I would prefer to take my chances on chance.
I think the first 10 percent chosen, perhaps you would get wide agreement they should not serve for reasons of hardship or national need, but after the first 10 percent when you try to find the other 40 percent, you increasingly get into areas of where you could hardly get widespread consensus that this was the proper choice.
What I am suggesting is if we took 90 percent of an age class, we could live with the current system because the judgment factor on the upper 10 percent is easily made. If you are only taking half of an age class, you have run out of good sorts on which half should serve and, therefore, relying on an impartial lottery of some form makes
Senator KENNEDY of Massachusetts. We used the lottery in the First World War, and also in the Civil War. Questions have been raised before this committee as to why we have not been able to devise a more fair and equitable system in the last hundred years than fishbowl selection? Have you any answer?
Mr. GORHAM. I would say it is a function of the numbers of people who have to serve relative to those who are available and I think, say where that is a small fraction, or let's say 30 to 50 percent, we have not devised more equitable ways than random selection.
Senator KENNEDY of Massachusetts. What other ways were suggested, at least in theory, in your study?
Mr. GORHAM. Well, there was some consideration to a birthday selection within the 19-year-old age class, where you would start with those born the first of the year and take as many as you had to and then end it, which really meant that those born in the latter part of the year would never have to serve.
It is another form of lottery, it is a lottery that your parents engaged in.
Senator KENNEDY of Massachusetts. Were there any other proposals which were dismissed?
Mr. GORHAM. With respect to selection systems, I would suggest that those were the principal things considered. The Marshall Commission spent a great deal of time subsequently refining the way in which this lottery would work.
Senator KENNEDY of Massachusetts. Did your Defense Department studies also cover a voluntary army?
Mr. GORHAM. In fact, the study had a principal focus, to see whether we could bring together through one means or another enough volunteers to meet our needs and, as I mentioned at the outset of my testimony, we estimated that under present conditions you probably couldn't have more than 2 million men in a volunteer force.
If you went up to about 2.6 million, you would have to very substantially raise the levels of pay involving parhaps what you assume about the employment rate of the country, $8 to $20 billion more in military compensation. We are paying very, very large amounts of money to get each new increment of individual to volunteer.
Senator KENNEDY of Massachusetts. What about universal military training?
Mr. GORHAM. I think we felt that the arguments for UMP were not military and you couldn't justify training everyone for military reasons; therefore, they would have to be based on civilian, nonmilitary reasons, and we did not find sufficiently persuasive nonmilitary reasons to have everyone serve, to incur the costs that universal service would entail.
Senator KENNEDY of Massachusetts. And the concept of national service; did you evaluate that?
Mr. GORHAM. Well, we spent a good deal of time on the concept of national service, principally the context of whether individuals who entered one form or another of the national service or alternative service should be granted an exemption from military service, and I think we ended out with as long as there is a shooting war going on, that it would be difficult to justify nonmilitary service as a sufficient and proper alternative to military service.
Senator KENNEDY of Massachusetts. Would you call Vietnam a shooting war?
Mr. GORHAM. Yes.
Senator KENNEDY of Massachusetts. In the context of national service, we have had a number of different proposals made. One that Mr. Eberly has suggested would permit 19-year-old boys to serve in the Peace Corps or VISTA, as an alternative to military service.
There have also been those who have suggested that the Army ought to take those who volunteer, and the necessary number of inductees, but those who are rejected because of some defect but nonetheless have a capacity to serve in other ways should have an opportunity-and an obligation-to do so.
I think there is a valid distinction there, and didn't your earlier remarks relate to an alternative national service as a substitute for military service?
Mr. GORHAM. Yes, I think personally I can give you now my personal view and not the results of a study I conducted at the Department of Defense. I am personally against national service, because I am personally against compulsion and feel that we should resort to compulsion only when the national security is involved and then with great circumspection and reconsidering the need for it frequently. National service, which has as its goal doing a great deal of good things in a society, has as a means something which I reject-forcing young people to spend their lives in a particular way. It is not an absolute position, obviously, because we do have laws with respect to school attendance.
Senator KENNEDY of Massachusetts. I wonder about the case of a boy who turns 19 and knows he has about a 1-in-7 chance of being selected under the random selection system. Therefore, he says, "I still want to go in the VISTA program, so I will go, though I know that I will be called if things get worse, perhaps even in a limited war situation." Under this situation, military service is not completely excluded. What about that type?
Mr. GORHAM. I think that is probably a reasonable sort of a situation. That is not a full national service system where every single
young man in the country must serve, but where those who do choose a civilian voluntary service of some kind, have some change in the nature of their military commitment.
What that change would be, which would be equitable, I don't know. But that seems to be an alternative to me.
Senator KENNEDY of Massachusetts. Mr. Gorham, I want to thank you very much for your appearance here. I might have some additional questions. The Republicans have indicated that they do have some. I would like to submit them to you and get your response to those questions.
Mr. GORHAM. Thank you very much.
Senator KENNEDY of Massachusetts. Our next witness will be Mr. Burke Marshall. Before we hear from Mr. Marshall, the subcommitee will stand in recess for 5 minutes.
(Whereupon, a brief recess was taken.)
Senator KENNEDY of Massachusetts. Our second witness today is Mr. Burke Marshall, who has served as the Chairman of the National Advisory Commission on the Selective Service.
Mr. Marshall is also a former Assistant Attorney General of the United States. The report of his Commission has excited wide attention, and rightly so: It has highlighted the urgent need for reform by focusing on the outdated procedures and discriminatory policies of our present draft laws. I am sure that we will all want to have Mr. Marshall's views on educational deferments, as the Commission recommended entry into service at the end of the sophomore year.
We want to welcome you, Mr. Marshall, to the subcommittee. There perhaps will be no one who appears before the subcommittee who will have a better grasp and understanding of the nature of the problems of the draft, and we appreciate your making the mutual efforts to be with us here today and I want to welcome you to the committee.
We have your statement here, and you may like to proceed with that.
STATEMENT OF BURKE MARSHALL, CHAIRMAN, NATIONAL ADVISORY COMMISSION ON SELECTIVE SERVICE, ACCOMPANIED BY BRADLEY PATTERSON, STAFF DIRECTOR, NATIONAL ADVISORY COMMISSION ON SELECTIVE SERVICE
Mr. MARSHALL. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
It is a pleasure to be able to respond to your invitation to speak to the manpower and employment implications for youth.
Senator KENNEDY of Massachusetts. Excuse me, Mr. Marshall, would you, for the record, introduce Mr. Bradley Patterson?
Mr. MARSHALL. Yes. Mr. Patterson was the Staff Director of the Commission and was of great assistance in organizing our work and finally got a report out.
I was going to speak to the manpower and employment implications for youth that seemed to me to flow from the recommendations of the National Advisory Commission on Selective Service, of which I have had the honor to be Chairman.
The armed services of course are a very large employer of the Nation's manpower. There are now some 33 million men and women in the Active Forces.
In fiscal year 1966, they took in 882,000 men: 348,000 by induction and 534,000 by enlistment. As the subcommittee knows, the detailed Defense Department studies conducted in 1964 and 1965 established that many or most enlistees were motivated by the existence of the induction authority.
Accordingly, the main mechanism by which the Armed Forces divert this many men from civilian to military employment is the Selective Service System, operating under the authority of the Universal Military Training and Service Act of 1951, which is essentially the same law that has existed since 1941.
Last July the President, by Executive Order 11289, established the National Advisory Commission on Selective Service on which I had the honor to serve as Chairman, to consider the past, present, and prospective functioning of selective service and other systems of national service in the light of the following factors:
(1) Fairness to all citizens;
(2) Military manpower requirements;
(3) The objective of minimizing uncertainty and interference with individual careers and education;
(4) Social, economic, and employment conditions and goals; (5) Budgetary and administrative considerations; and
(6) Any other factors that the Commission might deem relevant. I shall very briefly summarize the Commission's recommendations that are particularly relevant to the manpower and employment factors with which the committee is concerned.
These seem to me to be three in number.
The first is the matter of order of call in terms of age. The Commission, as well as every other group that has recently examined the problem, concluded that the order of call should be youngest first, instead of the reverse.
The other two major issues are inseparably connected to the first. One is the need for finding a fair and impartial method of selection. from among a pool of young men which is far greater each year than the normal military manpower requirements.
The other is the matter of student deferments-the major deferment classification of importance to our 19-year-old male population. Senator KENNEDY of Massachusetts. May I ask you, Mr. Marshall, how you reached the conclusion that the youngest should be brought into the Armed Forces first? What was the reasoning for this?
Mr. MARSHALL. Well the main reasoning, Senator, was that it was in their own interest. The major complaint that was made about the Selective Service System and the way that it works, in the survey that was taken by the Defense Department in 1964 and 1965, was that the order of call from oldest first, downward, created a period of uncertainty and that interfered with the planning and the family life and the employment opportunities particularly of the young men who were subject to call.
In my judgment it also increased greatly the pressure on these young men to devise ways of avoiding the draft and it led to the sort of cynical planning by young men with the draft primarily in mind, so I think there were those two reasons.
Also, the Defense Department informed the Commission, and it has said publicly, and I guess it has testified before this committee, that