Monday, April 10, 2006

Young Officers Leaving Army at a High Rate

The nation needs a serious debate about military manpower. The current efforts to stem the flood of young officers opting to leave the military are no more than a few fingers in the dike. The flood continues, as do recruiting woes for the enlisted ranks. While the restoration of a draft is political poison, there remains a strong argument that required national service would restore ideological balance to the military as well as imbue young Americans with a sense of pride in service to their country. The reality is that the army, in paricular, is stetched far to thin. It is simply too small to do all that is demanded of it, notwithstanding the unpersuasive denials of Donald Rumsfeld.

Young Officers Leaving Army at a High Rate - New York Times: "It was the second year in a row of worsening retention numbers, apparently marking the end of a burst of patriotic fervor during which junior officers chose continued military service at unusually high rates.
Mirroring the problem among West Pointers, graduates of reserve officer training programs at universities are also increasingly leaving the service at the end of the four-year stint in uniform that follows their commissioning."

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