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Availability: Reserve units have few openings at present for new enlistees, though men with technical skills will get preference.
General description: Approximately 250 colleges offer ROTC programs to college students who take military science courses, participate in drills, and go to one summer training camp during their four years in college. Interested students can join the program as juniors by going to an extra summer camp after their sophomore year. The commission of Second Lieutenant or Ensign is awarded at college graduation.
ARMY, NAVY, AND AIR FORCE ROTC
Minimum active duty: Army: 2 years, with subsequent two-year active reserve commitment; Navy:3 years; Air Force : 4 years.
Service scholarships: The Army, Navy, and Air Force each provide 1000 scholarships (tuition, books, lab costs) per year for highly qualified high school graduates. Scholarship holders participate in regular ROTC programs but must serve four years active duty.
Comment: ROTC programs provide more leisurely officer training than the crash programs each service offers. They do, however, take up as many as 20 semester hours in a four-year term.
Marine Platoon Leader Corps: Officer training program for college students. Two college-vacation summer camps, but no other drills or college courses required. Three-year obligation.
OFFICER CANDIDATE SCHOOLS
Army: Minimum active duty, 2 years, 23 weeks ; length of training, 23 weeks.
Comment: Tough and long. Real military commitment advisable. Short active duty with active reserve obligation.
Navy: Minimum active duty, 3 years, 18 weeks; length of training, 18 weeks.
Comment: Less harassment than at Army school, but more demanding academic course.
Air Force: Minimum active duty, 4 years, 12 weeks; length of training, 12 weeks.
Comment: Less technical than Navy school. Won't be accepting new applicants until July, 1966.
Marine Corps : Minimum active duty, 3 years, 10 weeks; length of training, 10 weeks.
Comment: Short and sweet. Quick commission after grinding course. Additional tough training after commission.
Coast Guard : Minimum active duty, 3 years, 17 weeks; length of training, 17 weeks.
Comment: Similar to Navy programs, but less chance of combat duty.
General requirements for OCS: College diploma, plus qualifying test and physical. If you fail the course : 2 years as enlisted man, minus time spent in school.
(From the Washington Post, Sunday, Oct. 16, 1966) MIDDLE CLASS IS BEARING BRUNT OF THE DRAFT, THE UNEDUCATED POOR ARE
WEEDED OUT AND THE WEALTHY ARE ABLE TO HIDE IN THE “CATACOMBS” OF COLLEGE
(By Richard Harwood) It is a political axiom in the United States that the draft is unfair.
Actor George Hamilton, secure in a draft exempt status, courts the President's daughter in the night clubs of Hollywood and New York. At the same time, poor Negro boys-in Adam Clayton Powell's words-are “packed off to Vietnam to be killed."
"Your status in society in my district," says Rep. Alvin O'Konski (R-Wis.), “is now determined by what your draft status is. If you are 1-A, you are a nobody, you are one of those who happened to get caught because you didn't know any better. If you are not 1-A, you have status in society ... That systems nauseates me ... This is a poor man's war."
It appears that way to an increasing number of Americans, as the public opinion polls indicate. But like so many pieces of conventional wisdom, the “poor man's war” theory is not supported by all the facts.
The least likely candidate for the military services today is the slum child of Harlem or Watts. The rejection rate among Negro conscripts is the highest of any group in society-about 75 per cent.
The lowest rejection rate is among the well-scrubbed boys of the middle class who go off to college with high hopes and a freshman beanie but fail to stay the course. Fully 60 per cent of the college dropouts are claimed by the military services.
This is not to say that wealth and brains are unrelated to exemption from the draft. Pentagon studies show that boys with the financial and intelectual resources to get an uninterrupted college education—and perhaps a graduate degree or two-enjoy a distinct advantage. Only 40 per cent of the college graduates enter service, as against 50 per cent of the high school dropouts and 57 per cent of the high school graduates who don't go on to college.
The longer the scholar hides away in “the endless catacombs of formal education,” as Yale President Kingman Brewster has put it, the less likely that he will have to hide in a foxhole in Vietnam.
CULLING A SURPLUS
Nevertheless, it remains true that the main source of manpower for the military services is the economic and educational middle class and not the poor. Twothirds of the soldiers, sailors and airmen taken by the Pentagon each year hare had the benefit of either a high school education or some exposure to a college classroom.
This is partly a result of the haphazard and inconsistent workings of a Selertive Service system that has given actor Hamilton an economic "hardship" deferment (as the sole support of his mother, although he earns more than the President of the United States. But it is even more a result of policies made by the military establishment.
The generals and admirals are confronted with a huge manpower surplus. For every man they need, more than ten are theoretically available. And this surplus is constantly expanding because of postwar birth rates that are producing nearly two million 18-year-olds each year.
The military establishment is thus able to pick and choose very carefully, with the result that fewer than half of the draft age men are ever called on to serve. The prospect is that by 1974, only one in three will be called.
14 PER CENT FIGHTERS Rep. Powell, in attacking the inequities of the present system, has spoken of the Pentagon's need for “cannon fodder.” But “cannon fodder" is the least of the military's needs.
Only 14 per cent of three million men under arms are trained for ground combat duties. The other 86 per cent are noncombatant clerks, mechanics, technicians and men skilled in various trades and services.
To fill these spots, the military establishment, as it informed Congress last summer, wants "Highly trained and trainable men capable of manning and operating ... increasingly complex weapons systems.” It also wants well-behared young men who will not "adversely (affect) the image of American troops, particularly in overseas areas."
A high school graduate who is physically fit and who scores at least 16 on the Armed Forces Qualification Test is taken into the service. A high school dropout who scores almost twice as high is rejected unless he can pass additional tests. The reason is simply that the Pentagon doesn't want high school dropouts.
HIGH IN THE SOUTH
Since poverty and poor education go hand in hand, the effect of these standards is to bar disproportionate numbers of the poor from military service. White Southerners and Negroes are primarily affected. The rejection rate in the District of Columbia in 1965 was 62.6 per cent; in Georgia, 63.1 per cent : in South Carolina, 61.6 per cent; in Alabama, 59.8 per cent, and in Mississippi, 59 per cent.
In the Midwest, on the other hand, the rejection rates ranged from 24 per cent in Iowa to about 30 per cent in Kansas, Wisconsin and South Dakota.
One of the ironies of this situation is that the very people who find it most difficult to enter the military services are often the most anxious to serve. The
South produces 40 per cent more volunteers proportionately than the Nation as a whole and the highest reenlistment rates are among Negro servicemen, who find that a military career offers more opportunities than civilian society for equality and the good life.
Along with its vast vocational training program, the military establishment offers superior fringe benefits under hot and cold war GI Bills, veterans' preference laws, pensions and the like. But under the present policies, those most in need of such training are the least likely to get it.
About 250,000 potential draftees are rejected each year solely for failing to pass the Pentagon's written tests. And when those with the least skills are accepted, they are far more likely to be assigned to the relatively unskilled combat functions.
Negroes, for example, represent 11 per cent of the population and 11 per cent of the armed forces. But they fill 20 per cent of the combat jobs and account for 22 per cent of the casualties in Vietnam.
College graduates, oddly enough, have somewhat the same experience. Most of them enter the officer corps and roughly 50 per cent are assigned to combat units.
It can be argued that a rough kind of balance emerges in the end, with each educational class sharing in different ways the burdens of war and defense. The middle class supplies the bulk of the manpower. The poorly and highly educated supply a disproportionate number of the fighting men and bear a disproportionate share of the risks.
But that argument is obviously unsatisfactory.
SYSTEM UNDER REVIEW President Johnson has appointed a national committee under the chairmanship of Burke Marshall to review the workings of the draft, Defense Secretary Robert McNamara recently ordered the services to take in 40,000 undereducated youths each year for job training.
Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) has attracted wide support for his proposal for selection by lottery, under which every 1-A would have an equal chance to be drafted whether he was a Yale freshman or a Harlem dropout. Others have proposed on all-professional army, national deferment standards for local draft boards and even universal training for all men.
But there is no expectation in the Government that the system will undergo any radical change. The cost of an all-professional defense establishment is considered prohibitive by the Pentagon-an extra $5 billion to $16.6 billion a year—and the generals do not want an aging career service. Universal training is unpalatable to Congress and probably to the country.
Finally, whether and however the system is changed will have little effect on the basic problem. So long as the manpower surplus continues, some boys will serve and some will stay home. No one has devised a simple way to determine fairly who shall do which.
[From the New York Times Magazine, Nov. 20, 1966)
THE DRAFT Is HERE TO STAY, BUT IT SHOULD BE CHANGED
(By Hanson W. Baldwin) Is the draft necessary? If not, what-if anything—should be substituted for it?
Between now and next June 30, when the current draft law expires, a Presidential commission studying the draft, the Pentagon, the White House and Congress must answer these questionsmand in answering them influence the future of generations still to come of age.
National interest in the draft-more intensive because of Vietnam, its emotional frictions and its demands for manpower than at any time since the Korean War-will foster the public demand for change in the draft law during the next seven months. The stakes are high; they involve nothing less than the combat effectiveness of the nation's armed forces during a "time of troubles," and the shape of our society.
The choices are few : abolition of the draft; universal military training; national service (i.e., a kind of modern Civilian Conservation Corps); or altera
tions and modifications-varying from slight to major-in the present Selective Service Act.
Any discussion of the draft must start with the rationale for it. Throughout its history the draft has been—and still is intended for one purpose and one only: to supply sufficient manpower to meet the needs of the armed forces. If this purpose is changed, the draft will be fundamentally changed; it will no longer be the draft.
The choices that lie ahead concerning the draft must be measured squarely against the primary need-military manpower. What are the needs of the military in the foreseeable future?
The Defense Department summary of its draft study presented to Congress last June predicated a need during the next decade of a minimum armed forces strength of about 2,700,000 men--the pre-Vietnam level. This is a conservative figure. A more realistic assessment of manpower needs in the decade to come must start with a figure of about 3,000,000 for all the armed services, a base level about 230,000 under the current strength.
The maintenance of an armed force of 3,000,000 men will requireif past experience is a guide-an annual average input of more than 700,000 men.
However, the population explosion has greatly increased the potential pool of military manpower; the number of men reaching 18 in 1965 was 50 per cent higher (1,720,000) than it was in 1955 (1,150,000). By 1974, this figure will have reached 2,120,000, an 84 per cent increase in less than 20 years. The nation's total military age manpower pool is now about 33,000,000 men (aged 18 to 44) as compared to only 28,000,000 at the end of World War II.
These, then, are the needs—the prospective requirements for military manpower in the next decade-set against the nation's human resources: armed forces of about 3,000,000 men out of a total military age population of more than 33,000,000; 700,000 young men needed each year out of about 2,000,000 annually coming of age.
There is plenty of manpower; the problem is how best to recruit it, and whom to exclude.
ABOLISHING THE DRAFT IN FAVOR OF 'ALL-VOLUNTEER' SERVICES The arguments for this course of action are many :
The draft is “un-American," smacking of the conscription system of Europe from which so many of our immigrant forefathers fled to make a new life in the United States.
The draft is wasteful of the nation's human resources; required military seryice interrupts education and careers and diverts national energies from social and economic improvement.
A long-term professional army would reduce greatly the tremendous turnover and the continuous training cycle under way in the services today.
A professional army would mean that the readiness and the expertise of our armed forces—in an age when military technology has made highly trained expert forces essential to survival-would be greatly improved.
Volunteers normally should have greater motivation and better morale than men compelled to serve against their wills.
But the arguments against abolition of the draft are even more compelling:
A professional force particularly one as large as 3,000,000 men, larger than our nation has ever maintained before in so-called peacetime—might grow apart from the people and the social mores it was organized to defend, with consequent dangers of militarism.
The obverse of this is that a purely professional force could become narrowly secular and technologically backward.
There appears to be no prospect that purely voluntary recruiting can supply the manpower for a 3,000,000-man force, despite the population increase, given a continuation of present material and psychic rewards for military service. In other words, the inducements for career professionalism in the armed forces are inadequate to persuade the requisite number of Americans to become soldiers, sailors, airmen or marines.
Nor is any purely voluntary system of recruitment capable of meeting the widely fluctuating needs for manpower dictated by the course of international events. Recruitment might be geared-with the proper inducements-to meet the normal needs of a 3,000,000-man force, but how could it meet the sudden greatly increased demands of a Korea or a Vietnam? Mobilization of the
Reserves might provide part of the answer, but abolition of the draft would inevitably reduce their strength and readiness, as well as that of the Regulars.
The Defense Department draft study pointed out that the draft is responsible not only for the approximately one-third of the men who enter the armed forces for the first time each year. Its "hot breath" also induces a large number of the ostensible "volunteers" to enter the service of their choice. The survey indicated that 71 per cent of Reserve enlistees (men who enlisted in the Reserves for four to six months' training followed by service in the Reserves) ; 41 per cent of the officers serving their first active duty tour, and 38 per cent of the first-term enlisteesall volunteered because of the draft.
Elimination of the draft, therefore, would probably almost immediately reduce the input of military manpower by 50 to 60 per cent. Put another way, the maximum size regular force that could be maintained in the nineteen-seventies (assuming a 4 per cent unemployment rate, the Pentagon study stated) would be about 2,000,000 men; "even greater deficits would emerge in the Reserve forces.”
The elimination of the draft would almost certainly affect quality as well as quantity. The higher motivation and improved morale of the volunteer would be offset by the lowered quality of the recruits available. The draft gives the seryices the capability of picking and choosing; actually only youths in the higher categories of intelligence, emotional stability and physical fitness are now inducted. Without compulsion, the qualitative standards would almost certainly have to be lowered; there would be a much smaller manpower pool from which to choose; many who are now rejected would have to be accepted.
The conclusion of the Pentagon draft study was that "the cost of sustaining an adequate all-volunteer force would be prohibitive."
It would cost, the study indicated, in increased service pay and other material emoluments, a minimum of $4-billion (based on a 5.5 per cent unemployment rate), a maximum of $17-billion (based on a 4 per cent unemployment rate) to maintain an armed force of 2.7-million men. A 3,000,000-man all-voluntary armed force might cost the nation anywhere from $4.5-billion to $19- to $20-billion annually, a percentage increase over the present defense budget of from 7 to 31 per cent.
The Defense Department studies, though persuasive and important, are not conclusive. There appears to have been an inadequate attempt to equate the savings (from reduced turnover, reduced training cycle, greater effectiveness, elimination of the draft apparatus) of an all-volunteer force against the costs (the increased pay, fringe benefits, and reduced quality).
However, the conclusion must be that it would be extremely difficult—though perhaps not impossible to maintain an all-volunteer professional force of the size we require. In any event, the enlistment and maintenance of such an allvolunteer professional force would require a complete change of philosophy in Washington an far greater emphasis upon the professional responsibility of the military officer than he is now permitted under the extremely centralized management Secretary of Defense McNamara has built up in the Pentagon. Also, the concept of a professional army is out of step-and thence unlikely of achievement—with the psychological sensitivity to and light political control of military operations in recent Administrations.
UNIVERSAL MILITARY TRAINING
This option, much debated after World War II, and endorsed by General of the Army George C. Marshall, President Eisenhower and others, would eliminate the present inequities of the draft by requiring all young men, at age 18, to don the uniform for a period (varying, dependent upon the advocates) of four months to a year. Universal and military are the implementing words. This program would imply no exemptions—or virtually none, unless an 18-year-old were blind, one-legged or incompetent.
U.M.T. has usually been viewed by its advocates as a means of strengthening the nation—in a broad sense, not merely militarily. They have held—and with some reason that the discipline, sense of civic consciousness ånd patriotism instilled in each new generation would benefit the country, and that a vast trained manpower pool would be created for tapping in a military emergency.
But these advantages are offset by liabilities. U.M.T. is geared to the age of mass armies, but not to the age of rockets, supersonic planes and atomic weap