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Jonathan Davis

So what is so pragmatistic about being Jonathan Davis?

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Update on a previous post

To update a previous post the US Army missed its recruiting goals by 42 percent in the month of April. That is a huge jump from its miss of 27 percent in February. (Thanks Sue)

I heard from quite a few angry people offline who said I was completely missing the real reason for the shortage of recruits. The real reason, they contend, is the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have too many people opposing the military.

Let me give my rebuttal quickly, because I’ve also heard from people about the length of my previous post. History shows that during wartime, recruitment generally goes up, not down. If this were a pre-Vietnam war, recruitment would not be nearly as large of a problem. However, since Vietnam, minds and hearts have changed, so we now have the current predicament.

I wonder, by how far will the military miss its recruitment goals before politicians try to create another law establishing a draft? More importantly though, how far will this go, before the rest of Washington really gets behind the idea? My guess is that once it reaches 20 percent for the year (it is currently at 16 percent) the noise will again begin, when it reaches 27 percent, CNN will devote an entire day to the draft as politicians try to make a decision. Who wants odds?

Getting back to the article, while I wouldn’t normally admit this Bill Maher is, in my opinion, correct. He was a little harsh about this, but I do think that the military has recruited all of the “easy” targets, and must now find a new way to recruit more people who wouldn’t currently be willing to sign on the dotted line.

One new idea the Army has put into action is a very short enlistment option. Rather than the usual 4 year enlistment the

Army will allow a recruit to signup for 15 months.

A quick aside…

For those that don’t know, when a person signs a contract in the military, no matter how many years they sign up for, that person is signing an eight year contract. If I were to signup tomorrow for 2 years, my contract would make it clear that I was signing up for 2 years of Active Duty and then 6 years of Inactive Duty, during which time I could be called back into Active Duty. Is that clear as mud? I haven’t heard a single reporter cover this aspect when they bitched complained about people having to stay in Iraq even though their Active Duty contract was up.

Another aspect to consider is the fact that the 15 month hitch will only replace the grunts, ground pounders, and any other, unskilled soldier. A four year commitment is required for any technical or skilled trade within the military. What the Army now needs to figure out is: how are they going to keep their skilled soldiers, to whom the warming economy, and better chances of living, will begin to call away?


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