Restarting the military draft after more than four decades of an all-volunteer force would be complicated.
But it could be done.
One plan calls for young conscripts to have a choice: two years on active duty or six years in the reserves.
Either way, they’d first have to undergo basic training and job training.
If draftees want to go to college first, they must participate in a Reserve Officer Training Corps program and then serve.
If they fail or quit ROTC, they must then enlist.
Whichever option they choose, their obligation is fulfilled with a single combat deployment.
Those are some of the details proposed by retired Army Maj. Gen. Dennis Laich, one of the nation’s most aggressive advocates of abandoning the all-volunteer force in favor of a return to the draft.
He and others believe that current wars have stretched the military to its breaking point. More than a decade’s worth of bonuses and expanding benefits has brought personnel funding to its limits. Civilians are more disconnected from the military than at any time in history.
The retired two-star and his group, the All Volunteer Force Forum is asking: Is it time to end the more than four-decade experiment of the all-volunteer armed forces and reinstate conscription?
But key critics in military ranks and academia say today’s volunteer force is better educated, more diverse, more professional and capable than the military has ever been.