Blogs > Cliopatria > Beth Bailey: To Be All You Can Be? Recruiting the All-Volunteer Army

Jan 14, 2006 10:31 am

Beth Bailey: To Be All You Can Be? Recruiting the All-Volunteer Army

Beth Bailey is a professor of history at Temple University.

She was interviewed by HNN's Rick Shenkman at the annual meeting of the American Historical Association on January 6, 2006.

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George Robert Gaston - 4/13/2007

Some notes:

1. While National Guard and reserve figures are down, the regular army is not having trouble recruiting. Also reenlistments are up.

2. Until the first Iraq war in the 1980s some army guard and reserve units around large urban areas were becoming extensions of welfare programs. These people were shocked when they were called on for deployments.

3. The Army is in the process of re-segregating itself. Infantry and armor maneuver elements are becoming increasingly white. This is something the pentagon is concerned about, but will not talk about.

4. It is ironic that if the United States pulls out of Iraq, and it is perceived to have lost the war, an all volunteer force will aid the Democratic Party. Twenty years later there will not be seven million late middle aged Iraq veterans still holding a bit of a grudge. If you don’t think this is important, ask John Kerry.

5. On its worse day in the 1970s the U.S. Army was held in higher regard than the U.S. Congress.