Tuesday, December 3, 2013


A personal question to Mr. David Milbank, author of this article "Save America: Restore the Draft" - Sir: what are the details of YOUR honorable military service? - S.L.

Way back when I was a private in the 82d Airborne, one of the NCOs I looked up to & respected explained it this way: "Draftees? Oh HELL no! There is no way in this business do I want people next to me who do not want to be here!"

I carried that sentiment forward with me everywhere I went. Whenever I felt my personal moral slipping, I'd remind myself I was a three-time volunteer even before I became a Green Beret: Army - Infantry - Airborne. There was one occasion we had a guy who was bad mouthing the organization, kept saying he wanted out of there. I was newly assigned to the team but not new to SF by any means. Been in SF long enough to know that "Hard Times Don't Last but Hard Men Do."

I'd been there about a month, long enough to be accepted, past the "dog-sniffing stage." One morning after a particularly grueling PT thrash session, Mister Malovent was mouthing off as usual.

I just turned to him and said, "You want out of here? Come with me, I can get you out of here!"

He said, "You can? How?"

I said, "Easy! If you really don't want to be here, there's always a way out of an outfit like this! If you don't want to be here, I sure as hell don't want you next to me when the excrement hits the rotating ventilator! Let's go to the Chaplain's office!"

That shut him up, quick smart. Never heard another peep about him wanting out of there. I think I got through to him, because he turned out to be a good troop, went on to bigger and better things and I'm still in touch with him to this day.

America has the most capable professional military since the Roman Legions. The sentiment should be to keep it that way, not turn the clock back to the days of the draft.



  1. The PURPOSE of a draft would be two-fold; a welfare program for people who don't want to work, and a dis-incentive to ever need to use drafted soldiers in any military function.

  2. I favor a return of the draft. We had the draft for a long time, and there were draftees in my recruit training platoon at Parris Island in 1971. In my opinion the issue is not whether the all volunteer force is sufficient; it's about having an obligation to serve one's country and to understand the necessity of having a military. As the WW2 generation passes, an increasingly large percentage of Americans have never served. I think this trend is dangerous and should be reversed.

  3. I have to agree with 'Hawk1776'... I served with draftee's in Vietnam on all my tours and they worked just fine. Most of them had the attitude that hey only had 18 months to go by the time they got in-country. The draft served the United States and the United States Military just fine for many, many years.

    It should be qualified that if the draft was re-enacted it should be for ALL; male, female and handicapped. Some could serve by 'riding a desk' for a couple of years... but then they can say they served as well.

  4. Nope. NOT in favor of the draft - there were waaay too many ways to avoid it (look at how the favored few got out of it up north during the War of Northern Aggression - or slick willy for that matter).
    What should be done is a form of universal military training - everyone and I do mean everyone serves. Even the physically or mentally incapable, they can serve as community service workers of some sort. The analogy regarding the Roman Legions was particularly true during the early days when all males served. It started falling apart when the empire came about and exceptions/exemptions became available.
    UMT means that everyone has skin in the game. Period.

    OTB MCPO sends.

    1. I could potentially get behind an idea like this. Everyone, no exceptions beyond serious and indisputable handicap, goes through basic training and then an MOS training (do they still call it MOS?). Methods can be developed for sorting people to branches and jobs within branches.

      When you finish if you want to volunteer to join the active service, simply walk over there to the recruiters office and work out the contract details. If you do not wish to serve, adios until such time as there is a real need for every last mother's son and daughter upon which you will be called upon and retrained.

  5. I agree with your sentiment,the last thing you need is someone who really doesn't want to be there,how could they be relied on if any shit kicks off!
    If there is a need to draft people to keep them off the streets then they should be placed in strictly non combat rolls if there is any doubt about their commitment.
    The article you link to claims that military service will make better people of everyone,not so,some are totally unsuited to military life,all they would do is make things considerably tougher for those who do serve their country well,those in congress who have served undoubtedly see things differently,but having everyone do military service won't necessarily improve the views of congress,if all those people hated their time once they were drafted then they will not think like soldiers once in congress....I think you're born a good soldier and no amount of training can force that onto someone who isn't!
    That congress is short of good ex servicemen is more probably a reflection on your countries politics at the moment.
    ......or have I missed the point?!

  6. Could we just announce the draft long enough to for all the riff-raff to flee to Canada?

    My best memories from my Army days were the people I served with. I know I wouldn't be able to say that if there had been draftees in the ranks.