Cover: The All-Volunteer Force — The Emerging National Debate

The All-Volunteer Force — The Emerging National Debate

Published 1977

by Richard V.L. Cooper


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Examines the all-volunteer force in the context of the national debate about military manpower procurement. The debate has raised a number of specific issues — one is whether the military services can attract a sufficient number of volunteers. In addition, there are questions about the cost of the all-volunteer force, quality of new recruits, social representation without the draft, and mobilization potential. Despite these concerns, the first few years of the volunteer force have shown that the military services can attract a socially representative mix of the desired quantity and quality without draft pressure and at a lesser cost than assumed. Thus, most concerns raised thus far are unfounded or misplaced. In many instances, the debate has been factually incorrect; there has been a tendency to take issues out of context, and a failure to distinguish general manpower problems from those specifically related to the volunteer force.

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