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I Want You!

I Want You!: The Evolution of the All-Volunteer Force

Copyright Date: 2006
Edition: 1
Published by: RAND Corporation
Pages: 832
  • Book Info
    I Want You!
    Book Description:

    As U.S. military forces appear overcommitted and some ponder a possible return to the draft, the timing is ideal for a review of how the American military transformed itself over the past five decades, from a poorly disciplined force of conscripts and draft-motivated "volunteers" to a force of professionals revered throughout the world. Starting in the early 1960s, this account runs through the current war in Iraq, with alternating chapters on the history of the all-volunteer force and the analytic background that supported decisionmaking. The author participated as an analyst and government policymaker in many of the events covered in this book. His insider status and access offer a behind-the-scenes look at decisionmaking within the Pentagon and White House. The book includes a foreword by former Secretary of Defense Melvin R. Laird. The accompanying DVD contains more than 1,700 primary-source documents-government memoranda, Presidential memos and letters, staff papers, and reports-linked directly from citations in the electronic version of the book. This unique technology presents a treasure trove of materials for specialists, researchers, and students of military history, public administration, and government affairs to draw upon.

    eISBN: 978-0-8330-4068-8
    Subjects: Political Science, Management & Organizational Behavior

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. Author Preface
    (pp. iii-vi)
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-xviii)
  4. Figures
    (pp. xix-xx)
  5. Tables
    (pp. xxi-xxii)
  6. Foreword
    (pp. xxiii-xxiv)
    Melvin R. Laird

    In September 2003, it was my privilege to participate in a two-day conference at the National Defense University. The occasion was the 30th anniversary of the all-volunteer force. Those assembled included some who were present at the start of the all-volunteer force and others who shared responsibility for the future all-volunteer force and for national security policy. I noted then the importance of such an event. We would remind ourselves of where and how the all-volunteer force started, of the successes and difficulties of the all-volunteer force through the ensuing three decades, and of what needs to be done to...

  7. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xxv-xxxii)
    Bernard Rostker
  8. CHAPTER ONE What Have We Done? A Summary of Then and Now (1960–2006)
    (pp. 1-14)

    As this was being written, in spring 2006, 157,000 American service members were at war: 137,000 in Iraq and 20,000 in Afghanistan. All were volunteers. While some worry about the resiliency of the all-volunteer force during periods of prolonged stress and long-term commitment, and others decry the perceived lack of social representativeness of the all-volunteer force, no one can deny that it is the finest fighting force the United States has ever fielded.

    Looking back, there are at least five reasons that the United States moved to an all-volunteer force in 1973. First, the norm throughout American history has been...

  9. CHAPTER TWO The Coming of the All-Volunteer Force (1960–1968)
    (pp. 15-42)

    In their comprehensive history,Ending of the Draft,Gus Lee and Geoffrey Parker attributed the early success of the all-volunteer force to nine “conditions” (1977, pp. 524–526). The first was the “establishment of the rational, intellectual basis for the volunteer force.” If this is so, the father of that “rational, intellectual basis” was economist Professor Milton Friedman of the University of Chicago. But, if he was the father, who was the mother? Senator Sam Nunn of Georgia (D-Georgia) would suggest that the mother of the all-volunteer force was the Vietnam War.³ “The All-Volunteer Force is to a large extent...

  10. CHAPTER THREE The Coming of the All-Volunteer Force: Analytic Studies (1960–1968)
    (pp. 43-60)

    The debate concerning the draft and the feasibility of an all-volunteer force resulted in a number of studies, both inside the government and at universities. The common view was that the system of conscription had to be changed. Even after the increased draft calls associated with the escalation of the conflict in Vietnam, the system of delays, exemptions, and deferments was no longer creditable in the eyes of most Americans. Lawrence M. Baskir and William A. Strauss wrote the most definitive empirical study of inequities during the Vietnam period. Although published five years after the last person was drafted, it...

  11. CHAPTER FOUR The President’s Commission on an All-Volunteer Armed Force—the Gates Commission—and Selective Service Reform (1969–1970)
    (pp. 61-108)

    Richard Nixon was elected President on November 5, 1968. He immediately set up a transition team that included distinguished economist Arthur Burns, assisted by Martin Anderson.² Burns and Anderson were both from Columbia University and both had been part of Nixon’s campaign organization. By one account, W. Allen Wallis,³ President of the University of Rochester, approached Burns in December and reminded him of the President-elect’s pledge to end the draft. According to Walter Oi, who had moved to the University of Rochester by then, this is what happened:

    Burns said that if Wallis could show how the draft could be...

  12. CHAPTER FIVE The Studies of the All-Volunteer Armed Force (1969–1970)
    (pp. 109-142)

    The studies by the Gates Commission staff were done against the background of a number of other study efforts that were under way or had already been completed. Most noteworthy were the National Security Council’s force sizing study, known as National Security Study Memorandum 3 (NSSM-3), and the Hubbell pay study.

    Early in the Nixon administration, the National Security Council undertook a study of alternative force structures and strategies that would provide the goal, e.g., the “required” number of military personnel, the Gates Commission worked toward. NSSM-3,²Alternative Military Strategies and Budgets,reviewed a number of post-Vietnam alternatives ranging from...

  13. CHAPTER SIX The Pentagon’s Response: The Laird and Kelley Years (1969–1972)
    (pp. 143-196)

    Concurrent with the activities of the Gates Commission, DoD undertook its own planning studies. On April 10, 1969, Secretary of Defense Melvin Laird established the Project Volunteer Committee to develop “a comprehensive action program for moving toward a volunteer force” (Laird, 1969a). Roger Kelley, the new Assistant Secretary of Defense for Manpower and Reserve Affairs,² was appointed chairman. Other members of the committee were the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Systems Analysis, the Assistant Secretaries of the Military Departments for Manpower and Reserve Affairs, the Deputy Chiefs of Staff for Personnel from the Military Services, and the Joint Staff Director...

  14. CHAPTER SEVEN Analytic Studies During the Initial Transition Period (1969–1972)
    (pp. 197-222)

    One of the most troubling analytic problems the 1964 Pentagon draft study team and the Gates Commission staff faced was how to estimate how the draft affected enlistments. Moreover, during the transition to the all-volunteer force, the proportion of true volunteers in each month’s accession cohort would be the most important indicator of how well the incentives and program changes were working.

    Fortunately, the implementation of the lottery system by Selective Service in 1970 provided a clear indicator of the number of true volunteers. The first-ever random lottery was held on December 1, 1969, to determine the order of selection...

  15. CHAPTER EIGHT Looking Toward the Future: A New Research Agenda (1969–1972)
    (pp. 223-264)

    Rigorous and sophisticated research is one of the hallmarks of the all-volunteer force. The questions being asked—Is it feasible to have an all-volunteer force in the middle of a war? What will it cost to introduce an all-volunteer force?—were unprecedented. Almost immediately, even before the Gates Commission reported its recommendations, DoD started to expand its research and analysis capabilities. When the “in-house” and traditional research communities initially proved inadequate to the challenge, the federally funded research centers became the major sources for analytic support. The story of how this came about, with examples of the some of the...

  16. CHAPTER NINE The Second Inning (1973–1976)
    (pp. 265-312)

    At the end of 1972, and with a change of leadership at the Pentagon imminent, the prospects for an all-volunteer force looked bright.² So bright, in fact, that within weeks of the New Year—January 27, 1973—the departing Secretary of Defense, Melvin Laird, announced that the draft had ended (1973). Unfortunately, this optimism would soon turn sour amidst charges that the Army was sabotaging the all-volunteer force. Here is what happened.

    In fall 1972 the Central All-Volunteer Force Task Force pressed forward on its study of “quality.” Like the Gates Commission before it, the task force concluded that the...

  17. CHAPTER TEN The Second Inning: Analytic Studies (1973–1976)
    (pp. 313-362)

    The “second inning” of the all-volunteer force saw the increased use of analysis toinformmanagers and decisionmakers in DoD, as well as Congress. By the end of the Ford administration, the investments in manpower research that had began in the early 1970s started to pay off with a steady flow of studies and analysis. Research focused on reducing the demand for medical personnel while increasing the supply of doctors and the development of more-efficient compensation systems helped OSD and the services address all-volunteer force cost issues. There was a new focus on the value of paid advertising for recruiting...

  18. CHAPTER ELEVEN The Carter Years: The All-Volunteer Force in Distress (1977–1980)
    (pp. 363-416)

    For proponents of the all-volunteer force, the years of the Carter presidency were ones of frustration. When President Carter replaced President Ford in January 20, 1977, the prevailing view was optimism, as reflected in Bill Brehm’s final assessment to Congress in 1976 that “we expect to be able to maintain our peacetime force on a volunteer basis” (Brehm, 1976, p. 34). By the time President Reagan replaced President Carter in 1981, the prevailing view was one of pessimism, as reflected in President’s Nixon’s published statement that our military forces had sharply deteriorated in quality under Carter and that he saw...

  19. CHAPTER TWELVE The Selective Service Sideshow (1979–1980)
    (pp. 417-462)

    One of the more bizarre episodes in the history of the all-volunteer force was the machination that surrounded the debate about the status of the Selective Service System and the call for the resumption of draft registration. Ostensibly, the issue was the ability of the nation to mobilize its manpower for a major conflict with the Soviet Union. The hidden agenda, however, for those who opposed the all-volunteer force, was a return to the draft. Those opposed to the all-volunteer force saw the lack of a credible emergency induction system, especially since the original report of the Gates Commission had...

  20. CHAPTER THIRTEEN The Carter Years: Analytic Studies (1977–1980)
    (pp. 463-500)

    The renaissance in analytic studies that Bill Brehm had started paid dividends during the Carter years. Early in the administration, Assistant Secretary John White used Richard Cooper’s report extensively to defend the all-volunteer force with Congress. Reducing attrition was a major goal of the new administration. While White and Deputy Secretary Charles Duncan pressed the services to look at their internal policies and procedures, the major focus of the services was trying to screen out groups with a high propensity not to complete training or their first terms of service. The Navy extensively used the work of Bob Lockman from...

  21. CHAPTER FOURTEEN Sustaining the All-Volunteer Force: The Reagan-Bush Years (1981–1992)
    (pp. 501-558)

    If the Carter administration had inherited an all-volunteer force that was not as robust as public pronouncement at the time suggested, it left an all-volunteer force that was not as moribund as had been portrayed in the campaign of 1980. Just days after the Reagan administration took office, the first report on the status of the all-volunteer force was surprisingly positive. Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for Manpower, Reserve Affairs and Logistics Robert Stone announced that the military services had “achieved 101% of the DoD-wide recruiting objective for the first quarter of FY 1981 (October–December) as compared to 96%...

  22. CHAPTER FIFTEEN The Role of Women in the All-Volunteer Force
    (pp. 559-590)

    Arguably the single group most responsible for the success of the all-volunteer force has been women. Much has been written on the increasingly large number of women who have volunteered for service in the armed forces. At the beginning of FY 2005, 15.4 percent of active duty enlisted personnel and 14.8 percent of active-duty officers were women. The success of the all-volunteer force may, however, be even more attributable to the support that spouses, largely women, give to their service members.² At the beginning of FY 2005, almost half of all enlisted personnel were married (49.8 percent), and 69 percent...

  23. CHAPTER SIXTEEN The Reagan-Bush Years: Analytic Studies (1981–1992)
    (pp. 591-652)

    The research agenda of the 1980s in support of the all-volunteer force was all about “finding the levers to pull.” It was dominated by the ASVAB misnorming and the assessment of many of the recruiting-related incentive programs initiated in the late 1970s, including joint advertising, educational incentives, and monetary bonuses. The two issues reflect the continuing dialogue concerningsupplyof anddemandfor personnel that managers of the all-volunteer force faced from the very beginning.

    On the demand side, the requirement for “quality” people was a topic the Gates Commission (1970), the Central All-Volunteer Force Task Force (1972), and congress,...

  24. CHAPTER SEVENTEEN Pax Americana and the New World Order: The Clinton and Bush Years (1992–2004)
    (pp. 653-712)

    The war in Iraq is the latest and, in some ways, the severest test of the all-volunteer force. It is a test that actually started with the end of the Cold War, during the administration of the first President Bush. The first Gulf War seemed to definitively answer the question of the efficacy of the all-volunteer force. Together, the decision to end conscription and the policies of the 1980s produced a military capable of defeating a large enemy army and air force using Soviet equipment and employing Soviet tactics. While the fight took place on the sands of the Middle...

  25. CHAPTER EIGHTEEN Reaping What You Sow: Analytic Studies of the Clinton and Bush Years (1992–2004)
    (pp. 713-744)

    Since 1964, personnel managers have used research to help develop, implement, and sustain the all-volunteer force. The research has been a balance of empirical studies and basic research on the very nature of decisionmaking as young men and women decide to join or not to join the military and as serving members decide to stay or leave. The research has been policy-relevant and has drawn on aspectrumof behavioral models and empirical techniques, often extending theory and method in innovative ways. The design of field experiments of enlistment incentives was essential. The mixture of different disciplines—psychology, social psychology,...

  26. CHAPTER NINETEEN Why Has the All-Volunteer Force Been a Success?
    (pp. 745-758)

    When the United States moved to an all-volunteer force in 1973, it marked the culmination of years of public debate about how the United States should procure its military manpower—continue conscription or institute a volunteer force. The dominant theme of the debate was summed up in the title of a 1966 landmark study by the Presidential Advisory Commission on Selective Service:In Pursuit of Equity: Who Serves When Not All Serve?Indeed, the major theme of the President’s Commission on an All-Volunteer Armed Force in 1970, which provided the final push toward an all-volunteer force, was that the draft...

  27. Index
    (pp. 759-800)