Review – The All-Volunteer Force
Throughout most of the twentieth century, American military personnel were drafted into service. A conscripted force served the nation in both world wars, in Korea, and in Vietnam. But in the late 1960s, the draft came under intense scrutiny as the American public viewed it with growing dissatisfaction and a sense of inequity. After much debate over the feasibility and affordability of a volunteer military, the draft was abolished, and in 1973 the all-volunteer force (AVF) was born. It was perhaps the most important transformation of the US military in the past century.
The All-Volunteer Force: Thirty Years of Service is the result of a high-level conference commemorating the thirtieth anniversary of the AVF. It begins with reflections by several of the Gates Commission members on the beginnings of the AVF and its many successes over the years. The balance of the volume is devoted to the challenges the Department of Defense will face in sustaining the AVF in the future in light of recent US troop commitments around the globe. Topics addressed include recruiting and retention in the future, reser4ve component contributions to the AVF, and transformation in military manpower and personnel policy. Its contributors include Donald H. Rumsfeld (who provide the foreword), Paul Wolfowitz, Melvin R. Laird, John W. Vessey Jr., John P. White, Martin Anderson, Walter Y Oi, Bernard D. Rostker, Rudy de Leon, Ed Dorn, and David S. C. Chu.
This is an incredibly rich resource of information, commentaries, and statistics which help analyze and support the effectiveness of the All-Volunteer Force as it reshapes the face of the US Military.
The All-Volunteer Force, Thirty Years of Service edited by Barbara A. Bicksler, Curtis L. Gilroy, and John R. Warner with a foreword by Donald H. Rumsfeld
Book cover lists its price as $27.00. I bought my copy at an overstock store for three dollars. One of the more famous on-line bookstores lists used copies at $2.63 with new copies at $3.99.
Published by Brassey’s Inc.
22841 Quicksilver Drive
Dulles, Virginia 20166
I tell you, if you have a strong magnifying glass (teeny-tiny font), this is everything you would need to know about the thirty years of the All-Volunteer Force. If you have a question about the influence of the AVF on tomorrow’s wars, the answer will probably be inside this book.
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