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Posted: 5/25/2005 4:07:17 PM EDT
The guy has to be a liberal.
At least he gets the 8 year commitment right.

May 30, 2005

A 15-month enlistment? Check the fine print

By DeWayne Wickham

Faced with the biggest recruitment shortfall since the draft was abolished in 1973, the Army has come up with what it thinks is a good idea. The nation’s largest military force will allow new enlistees the option of serving just 15 months on active duty.

That’s a lot less time spent in uniform than was required of most of the men who were drafted into the Army during the Vietnam War. And it’s considerably less than the three- and four-year active-duty service options that most of the men and women now in uniform were given when they enlisted.

But before anyone bellies up to a recruitment center to take advantage of this offer, he should read the fine print in the enlistment contract and an appeals court ruling that was issued a day after the Army’s announcement.

While one year and three months might not sound like a long time to serve this country in a time of war, those who take advantage of the Army’s offer should know that their actual commitment to Uncle Sam will be at least eight years — not 15 months. Everyone who enters the all-volunteer military incurs a total service obligation of eight years, a portion of which is spent on active duty.

For the remainder of this time, the enlistee can be called back into uniform at the government’s discretion. That’s true for the new enlistment option, too.

Now this small detail shouldn’t cause a buckling of the knees among those who are moved by patriotism to accept the Army’s offer. But anyone who sees the Army’s mini-tour as a quick way to earn some GI benefits and then retreat back into private life could be in for a big surprise.

There’s more.

Since the Bush administration launched its war on terrorism, enlistments in the Army have fallen sharply. Initially, the Army’s use of stop-loss authority — an emergency-use authority that keeps soldiers in service past their dates to get out — was seen as a way of keeping highly trained people as fighting raged in Iraq and Afghanistan and the nation’s military was stretched thin by the deployment of troops to other hot spots. But as the war in Iraq started taking a steady toll on American lives, the Army’s use of its stop-loss power seems to be intended more to keep the ranks of its units filled as enlistments continue to decline.

Now if that isn’t enough of a rude awakening, a ruling by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals might make the Army’s latest recruitment offer look even less inviting. A three-judge panel ruled May 13 that the Army can use its stop-loss authority to keep people in the service even beyond their full eight-year military obligation.

“We do not minimize the disruption, hardship and risk that extension of his enlistment is causing,” the appeals court said of Sgt. Emiliano Santiago, an Oregon Army National Guardsman who sued to keep from being forced to stay on active duty beyond the eight-year period. “… However, we conclude that the application of the stop-loss order did not breach his enlistment contract.”

Other soldiers have mounted legal challenges to the stop-loss policy, but it’s not likely that they will prevail where Santiago failed. In times of national emergency — and the fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan qualifies as that — the nation’s all-volunteer Army has the power to involuntarily extend the time soldiers have to spend on active duty.

But such a practice, while not illegal, is a serious breach of faith. It is also compelling evidence of the need for this nation to return to a military conscription, which would give the Army a steady flow of inductees to fill its ranks. By offering new recruits a 15-month tour of duty, the Army has effectively gutted its own argument against a draft that the longer enlistments of the all-volunteer force are needed to produce better-trained soldiers.

The 15-month enlistment is an act of desperation. The Army, and the nation, would be better served by a return to the draft.
Link Posted: 5/25/2005 4:11:32 PM EDT
Let me pay for and take home all my shit (BDU's, vest, small arms), and all the shit I find (small arms, knives..that kind of BS), and I'll sign tomorrow.
Link Posted: 5/25/2005 4:15:19 PM EDT
<threadjack> What do people think of the draft? I support it but that is because I am having such a hard time enlisting due to my...uhm..colorful past. </threadjack>
Link Posted: 5/25/2005 4:33:55 PM EDT
Dont read the fine print ToughSh*t.
Link Posted: 5/25/2005 4:43:35 PM EDT
Glad my IRR time was up September 2001.
Link Posted: 5/25/2005 4:44:27 PM EDT
HOw is that finer rpint? Read the contract, it's typed on the paper. It's always been 4x4, or 6x2, or 3x5, etc, and just cause some whino didn't read the big print, he's gonna whine. Sheesh, everybody want 100's of thousands in gov help for free. As to the draft, we don't want draftees. They're bad for moral, and pose a danger to themselves and those around them.
Link Posted: 5/25/2005 4:45:46 PM EDT

Originally Posted By distributor_of_pain:
Let me pay for and take home all my shit (BDU's, vest, small arms), and all the shit I find (small arms, knives..that kind of BS), and I'll sign tomorrow.

$15K for a 6 yr, buy yourself a RDIAS or RR and have enough to get all sorts of goodies
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