Sunday, January 29, 2012

What's needed: A national youth service for a military we no longer know - Tampa Bay Times

"America no longer knows its military, and the U.S. military no longer knows America", retiring Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen said last year. The career "volunteer" army lives in isolation on bases here and around the world. Soldiers like my young cousin are facing a fourth deployment to a war zone. Russ Hoyle discusses the dilemma: we no longer demand national service via the draft. We have turned the military into a job. And that has turned our military into a warrior caste increasingly culturally isolated.  Hoyle suggests that mandatory national youth public service - with military a favored option - could help integrate the military and those it serves - the American people. Ted Kennedy long favored such a course, but little support is voiced today. - GWC
What's needed: A national youth service for a military we no longer know - Tampa Bay Times:
by Russ Hoyle
"As U.S. forces come home from Iraq after nine years at war, the nation is about to come face to face with professional troops sufficiently bruised and isolated from American society that some defense experts are whispering that major changes in military education and even a conscription-based national youth service program may be needed to reboot our fighting forces....
To reduce the military's isolation from civilian life, the Pentagon should begin by implementing deep cuts in manpower and supporting renewed conscription in the form of a three-year mandatory national service program (which would include civilian energy, education, infrastructure, environmental and urban service options) for all Americans between 18 and 25, with special benefits for military service.
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