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Sustaining The Quality Of The All Volunteer Force: A Cost Effective Approach

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Technical Report,05 Jul 2015,26 May 2016

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US Army School for Advanced Military Studies Fort Leavenworth United States

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Since the inception of the All-Volunteer Force, following a Presidents Commission in February of 1970, the United States military has demonstrated that it can fight wars without implementing a draft, creating a strong paradigm among both policymakers and the populace. Fighting wars without a draft was not the recommendation of the commission, instead the commission intended that the All-Volunteer Force provide peacetime manpower, while Selective Service would support the mobilization for war. Political realities essentially preclude the draft, consequently resulting in detrimental effects, both fiscally and morally, to the US Army. For example, to prevent fracturing the All-Volunteer Force while fighting two protracted wars simultaneously, Army leadership lowered standards from FY 2005-2008, while swelling pay and benefit packages. As a result, first term attrition appreciated by 3.4 percent, costing the Army at least 13.7 billion dollars over six years. This monograph discovers that the US Army possesses the tools to avoid similar unintended consequences in the future, at a reasonable cost, while supporting the current strategy and preserving the All-Volunteer Force.

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