15 October 2008


One of the things in the news today is Obama's statement that if we return to the draft to fill our military ranks, we should also conscript females.
McCain disagrees.
I agree with Obama... sorta.

I have always felt we should adopt a system similar to the Israelis'...
Everyone serves.
Now I'll admit I'm no expert on the Israeli system, other than the fact that men and women serve. I believe they still exclude women from certain combat positions. But by going through basic training, women are trained in infantry tactics, and are trained for and would be expected to jump into a foxhole with a rifle next to a man should their position be overrun.

For me, "equal rights" has always been the crux of the matter. When I was in Viet Nam, one of the first female helicopter pilots in the U.S. ARMY came to our battalion. She wore the same rank on her collar as me. Her paycheck had the same figure behind the dollar sign as mine. But she COULD NOT perform my job...
Restricted by regulation, she couldn't be exposed to combat.
Equal pay for equal work/responsibility? Hardly. So it was hard to swallow...
But it wasn't her fault.

Discussion about women filling combat positions goes 'way above my pay grade. But I have always wondered...
Why not draft EVERYONE?
Upon completion of High School or College, why not require two years military service from all citizens... men, women, homosexuals, able-bodied and wheelchair-bound.
Two years of service to the country would emphasize and illustrate many things. Two that quickly come to mind are:
It would instill the idea that there are more important things in life than "self".
Testing for aptitude, training someone for a job, then giving them nearly two years experience in that skill would give all conscripts a civilian-marketable job history. There are plenty of rear-area jobs that could be, (and in some cases are), filled by wheelchair-bound civilians already.

So to John McCain-
I would like for you to rethink your attitude toward this Obama idea and take it one step further.
So long as it is fair... so long as EVERYONE is expected to serve... a universal draft might not be such a bad idea.
Consider it.


cj said...

Personally, I'm with you on this. I think the idea of having everyone serve at least two years is a good idea - as long as they are no deferments.

The 'me' generation that I'm dealing with now is one of the most self-centered, selfish group I've ever dealt with. They don't believe that anything is bigger then themselves and they are unwilling to even consider the greater good. Everything is 'what's in it for me?' It makes me tired.


The Old Man said...

Mandatory won't feed the bulldog or protect the Republic. I was RA when there were still USs and it wasn't WW2. But a system like Rico's* Federation where citizenship is earned through voluntary service would be a more equitable system. I'm not sure if we have to go all the way to the Lysistrata Corps but the choice would be each adult's.

* Lt Juan Rico, MI

Anonymous said...

I agree with Greybeard... sorta.

Both candidates have proposed throughout their campaigns that they will promote national service. But national service can come in many forms. There are many things an individual can do to give back. I think people should do good for the sake of doing good but if the need an extra incentive like college money then fine. Heck that's why some people join the military these days.

Andrea Shea King said...

Be very careful what you wish for...

In Barack Obama's July 2, 2008 speech calling America to national service, Obama proposed "a civilian national security force that's just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded" as our military... This has prompted some in the blogosphere to raise the specter of a huge new domestic paramilitary organization. Others suggest that he may have been talking about our "current non-military security agencies...

He said: "We cannot continue to rely only on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives that we've set. We've got to have a civilian national security force that's just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded."

Curiously, the official transcript of the speech omitted those last two sentences.

Add an Obama paramilitary force to his campaign's attempts to suppress criticism and I can't help but recall 1933 Germany.

Think the new Internal Security Force plans to use Obama's distinctive logo on their armbands?