Cassi Creek: Today is the anniversary of George Washington’s birth. Washington fought the American Revolution using poorly paid volunteers. From the Revolution to the Civil War all our soldiers, sailors, and Marines were volunteers.
The Civil War ushered in Conscription and subsequent riots. However, conscripts could actually buy their way out of the war by paying someone else to take their place in the army.
Following the Civil War, the military was once again an all-voluntary force which absorbed many immigrants who needed jobs and found them in the army and navy of a nation still expanding internally and imperially as a result of land conquests, purchase, and acquisitions via the Spanish American War.
The onset of WWI brought about a draft to meet the sudden need in men in uniform. WWII required even larger scale conscription. VietNam began with the Cold War draft and ended with a lottery that was intended to alleviate resistance to the universal obligation for national service for all male citizens.
The end of the VietNam War brought about the “All Volunteer Armed Forces. There remain many arguments for and against such a force. The great leveling effect of mandatory national service remains unequalled. While the proponents of the all-volunteer force claim that the internal make up mirrors the demographics of the nation at large, there are major problem that concern me.
The growth of mercenary armies for hire, composed of former members of the U.S. forces deeply concerns me, as does our government’s use of such ‘’’private contractors” to round out the active duty forces. Concomitant to “private contractors” is the disturbing evangelical makeup of some of the Army and Air Force units, including their service academies. I have heard and read too many times about the concept of our armed forces fighting for Christianity. If for no other reasons than to eliminate those situations, I think that, a national service requirement for all citizens should be reinstated.
“Summer time done come and gone, my, oh. my!