26 November 2002
Now if you really want a compelling case for reinstating the draft, I suggest this rant by Kim du Toit. And this bit I want to emphasize:
The maturing process... is accelerated. I've never spoken to a single person who did not admit that, one way or another, they grew up quickly in the Armed Forces. Once you have been subjected to the harshness of military life, you are less likely to complain about trivial bullshit once you are back in civilian life. You don't have to experience combat, by the way, for this to occur.
No argument from me. About a third of our BCT company, back in 1972, had come in through the draft, and for about the first week they pissed and moaned about the horribleness of it all. By week 7 they were practically indistinguishable from the volunteers.
The small-l libertarian side of me applauds the all-volunteer army on a purely philosophical basis, and I have no plans to pester my Congressman to reactivate Selective Service, but I refuse to believe that somehow we are a Better Place because we don't currently have a draft.
I don't have all my DA Forms 3686 from those days, but apparently once I made the lofty grade of E-2 I was pulling down the princely sum of $320.70 a month. Then again, it wasn't like I had a whole lot of expenses, and in the thirty years intervening, I have rediscovered the lost art of complaining about trivial BS.