Good evening, and welcome to The Advocates.
I'm Marilyn Berger. Tonight we ask whether every young American—male and
female—should incur an obligation of service to the nation. The proposal
we're considering is one introduced in Congress by Representative Paul
McCloskey. Tonight he will be its advocate. Under this plan, every American
would be compelled to register in a local placement center at the age of
seventeen. Failure to register could mean two years in prison. At the age of
eighteen, every person would have to go in one of four directions. First, he
could sign up for the military, serving 24 months of active duty and get 36
months of educational benefits in return. Second, could sign up for six
months of active military duty and five and a half years of Reserve. This
would earn nine months of educational benefits or sign up for 12 months of
approved civilian service at subsistence wage with something like VISTA or
some private, non-profit employer. Or, if willing to give two years, the
Peace Corps. There would be no educational benefits. If the young person
doesn't volunteer, he or she would enter a military lottery, like the one
used at the end of the Vietnam War; and if a draft became necessary, would
serve 24 months of active duty and four years with the Reserves. This option
would earn 18 months of educational benefits.
Hearings will be held in Congress this spring on this and on
other bills reinstating some form of peacetime conscription. So, our
question: "Should we have this kind of compulsory system of national service
for all young Americans?" Congressman McCloskey Republican from California,
Thank you. Ladies and gentlemen, we're confronted with a
grim reality. In the time of peace, our volunteer army concept is not
attracting sufficient numbers of qualified young people. It costs too much;
and most importantly, today it is not a combat-ready armed force. Unless we
substantially increase the defense budget in the Congress, we're going to
have to consider some form of conscription. If we have to have a draft, a
number of us in the Congress think that the fairest alternative is the
National Youth Service Program that Miss Berger has described. With me
tonight to tell us why the volunteer army is not working is Robin Beard,
Republican Congressman from Tennessee; and to tell us why our proposed
voluntary National Youth Service plan is the fairest answer is a former
Peace Corps director and servant to President Kennedy, Harris Wofford.
We think that our proposed National Youth Service system is
not necessarily compulsory. Only if there are insufficient volunteers for
the army, would a person be subject to military service. We think it's a
privilege to be Americans. We think it's a privilege to serve the country.
We think we need to restore our faith in ourselves as a nation, and we need
to join the idealism, the motivation, the commitment of our young people
with a system whereby they can serve the country. Thank you.
Advocate Lew Crampton, Senior Analyst with the
Arthur D. Little Company, is against the proposal.
Compulsory national service is one of those ideas whose
time has not come. Oh, on the surface, it sounds patriotic and seems to help
solve some pressing national problems. But, believe me, it will not do this.
With me tonight to argue against this unfortunate proposal are Congressman
James Weaver of Oregon, one of the nation's most persuasive voices in
opposition to compulsory national service, and Barry Lynn, one of the
country's leading authorities on the draft and military law.
The all-pervasive defect in this proposal is encompassed in
a single word. It is "compulsory." Having a compulsory, as opposed to a
voluntary program, is wrong for the following reasons: 1) Individual rights
of free choice in a democratic society will be violated. 2) A huge, costly
and unworkable bureaucracy will be spawned to find useful work and pay
stipends to some 3.6 million eligible young people a year. 3) Because it's
compulsory, it will imbue many young people, not with a spirit of
patriotism, but with a spirit of resentment, giving rise to perfunctory and
sometimes even antisocial performance on the job. 4) Is the totally
inefficient way to go about meeting the nation's military needs,
particularly when, as we shall show tonight with the help of the Defense
Department, the all-voluntary force is working.
In order for compulsory national service to work
efficiently, coercion must be used. And eventually, some people will have to
go to jail. When that happens, all of the golden, patriotic rhetoric and
good intentions will have come to nothing. Thank you.
Thank you. The McCloskey Proposal is the most
comprehensive of the bills before Congress. One thing, however, that's
common to all of them is registration for the draft in some form. While we
will be referring to the McCloskey bill frequently in this debate, we will
be discussing other ideas as well. Now to the cases. Mr. McCloskey the floor
Thank you. I call Congressman Robin Beard of
Mr. Beard, welcome to The Advocates.
Robin, you serve on the House Armed Services Committee;
you're a major in the Marine Corps Reserve. I think you're the only member
of Congress that goes on active duty in the Reserve each year. You just
issued a report on the status of the all volunteer army, which is recognized
as perhaps the finest service that has been rendered to the Congress in the
past year. You're the acknowledged expert in the House of Representatives on
this subject. Can you tell this audience what your study consisted of to
determine whether the all volunteer army is working?
Well, first of all, let me say that we didn't go to the
bean counters in the Department of Defense who sit in their ivory towers and
play with numbers. We went out in the field. We went over to Europe. We went
out to Fort Campbell, to Fort Knox, to Fort Bragg. We talked to the young
enlisted men, men who came into the system, the all volunteer system. We
talked to the non-commissioned officers. We talked to the gunny sergeants,
the lieutenants, the captains, the colonels, the people charged with making
it work and providing a combat-ready force; and we found that it was a total
Robin, Secretary of the Army Alexander says the all
volunteer concept is working. What did you find?
Well, first of all, I think that indicates he's totally
out of touch with reality inasmuch as every chief of staff for all branches
of the services in the last two weeks have come out finally, after following
the party line of the all volunteer services working, and finally come out
and said it's not working, and we need to examine some form of the draft. I
think it only fair to point out that when we started the all volunteer
service, it was with the concept of a total force concept. We would have the
active duty force. We would—, a smaller active duty force supplemented by
larger, more effective Reserve, active Reserve, and then we would have a
large, effective Individual Ready Reserve. As a matter of fact, that total
force concept is not working.
Now, what are the numbers involved? You say that the
Reserve is not up to strength. What are the numbers we're talking
Well, not only the Reserves are not up to strength. For
the first time since the all volunteer began, the Army, the Navy, and the
Air Force were not able to make their numbers. The Army and Marine Corps
never have been able to make their numbers. There's not a single unit in the
Army today, active duty, that is up to strength. Active Reserves—over five
hundred thousand men short today. Individual Ready Reserve—we've gone from
over one million men in the Individual Ready Reserve to less than one
hundred thousand in the last four years.
Now, what about the quality of the people that make up the
volunteer army? What did you find as to quality?
Well, you'll hear witnesses tonight probably say, as many
of the bureaucrats have said, the quality of the all volunteer army is great
because we're getting more high school graduates. Well, that's an absolute
lie. It's a cover-up. As a matter of fact, when they're saying we're getting
more high school graduates and the quality is great, the Army fails to tell
us that, by the way, the Army is presently rewriting all their training
manuals, downgrading the reading level from the eleventh grade to the eighth
grade and putting them out in the form of comic books. They fail to tell us
that up to 30 percent of the young people joining the military today can
either not read or only read up to the fifth grade level; and as a result of
that, the Army this year has had to establish remedial reading
Who is serving in the Army today? What kind of people are
we able to attract?
We're attracting many of the young people who don't get
out of high school, who do get out of high school, who looked around at a
college, who looked at General Motors and find they have nowhere else to go
and are experiencing some form of conscription through poverty.
In other words, the least educated and the poorest are the
people that can be talked into joining the so-called volunteer
And the records show it. The recruiters, the recruiters we
talked to said, "We're getting the young man and woman that has nowhere else
Now, Mr. Beard—. Excuse me, Mr. Beard, in a time when we
have to be combat-ready because of the Soviet threat, what does it mean to
combat-readiness when we're half a million people short in the Reserve and a
million short in the Individual Ready Reserve? What does that mean as to
meet the Soviet threat?
Well, first of all, it means we're not combat-prepared.
When we're over five hundred thousand men short the day that hostilities
break open, when you've got an army where 40 percent of the young men and
women are quitting before their first tour of duty, and seven out of ten of
the Reservists are quitting before their first tour of duty, it means that
we cannot produce a combat-ready force in the outbreak against a Soviet
In other words, if we didn't have a Reserve, it would be
an almost invitation to the Soviets to attack because they knew within 60
days we couldn't furnish the manpower.
Our active forces cannot move without a active, effective,
trained Reser—, Reserve force; and we don't have that now.
Now, if that is so, what is the option for the Congress?
What must we must consider?
Well, I think it's an option that's uh—, we have to start
considering alternatives. We have to look at a possible draft for the
Individual Ready Reserve, a possible draft for the Active Reserve, a
possible lottery draft, as we had known it with no exemptions. Or, we have
to look at a large-scale universal service program, such as you've
In other words, to maintain a combat-ready force as a
deterrent to those who would otherwise test us, we're going to have to
consider some form of military conscription.
Unless we're prepared to be backed into a nuclear
And when you say "nuclear corner," what do you
Well, if we don't have conventional means to offset Soviet
threats, then that leaves us only a nuclear retaliation; and I don't think
this country is prepared to do that.
A nuclear retal—
I don't want to step in at this point, but it's Mr.
—to cross-examine. And we can get back to you in a
Congressman, you paint a., a pretty bleak picture of our
army out there. You're asking people to go over to Germany, undergo all
sorts of hardships, to do things in various forts and places around this
country. Do you suppose that's really an accurate reflection as you propose
Your question doesn't really make that much sense. I don't
The question is—. The question is that you took a study, a
study where one of your staff people went out and interviewed people all
around the country and in Europe; and basically what that person did was he
talked to folks. Now what do GI’s do when they talk to folks? They
No. As a matter of fact—
Your study is a summary of gripes.
No, as a matter of fact, you're totally off base inasmuch
as every, every number that I have in my report came from the Army
themselves in reports that they had not released to the American people or
Then why is it that every number that I have, and I have
numbers relative to the quality, relative to the manning levels, and
relative to the costs this army is run by, why is it that every number that
I have differs from yours?
I'll tell you why. Because every number that says the
numbers that I've been referring to is classified secret and top secret
right down the line. It is a matter of fact the members of Congress can't
even get to it.
So, you're saying that, you're saying that these official
—and these hearings before the Congress of the United
—are actually all lies. That when the Army says that it's
making its quotas, when the Army says that its quality is perfectly all
right, when the Rand Corporation-does a study—
—which says that the military has the highest level of
intelligence of anywhere in the world, that's all a lie?
No. As a matter of fact, no, it's not all a lie. The Army
did say, as a matter of fact, just yesterday, in the Senate hearings, yes,
if hostilities were to break open in NATO tomorrow, we'd be over five
hundred thousand men short. Within 90 days, we'd be over a million men
short. As a matter of fact, yes, if we were to have an outbreak of
hostilities, we would be less than 43 percent manned in doctors, less than
25 percent manned in nurses, less than 40 percent manned in infantry and
armor. So, all of these things have come from the Army.
Congressman, you're talking about a situation that has
taken place in the Reserves, not the active force.
Oh no, I'm talking about also active duty.
Let me finish. The active force has been at 2.0, 2.1
million persons per year every year, just like Congress has asked them to
be. So, the question of active force is something else. The question of
Reserves, there is a short fall in Reserves.
But you propose—
What happens is that—
What you propose to deal with that is a return to the
draft. There are a number of things that can be done with the Reserves to
make those work more effectively, short of a draft.
Is that not the case?
No, it's not the case. Because they've tried everything
through bonuses to educational benefits, and there's no young man or woman
that's going to join the Reserve without some threat of the draft. As a
matter of fact—
What about professional inquiry?
—let's also say that there is no way our active duty
forces can be successful in combat-readiness if the Reserves are not up to
strength. So, it does involve the active duty forces; so, you can't separate
Listen, it's a general tenet of Congressional practice
before you make a law as far reaching and as broad and as effective as this
one, you undertake an inquiry. Have you undertaken an inqu—, an inquiry to
look at the Reserve situation in the Congress? Have you examined that in
Well, it's quite obvious you are not aware of Rogar II,
the report on the Reserve and National Guards. You're not aware of the
defense audit on the medical capabilities. It's quite obvious you haven't,
you haven't looked into those situations.
I am aware because those studies talk about: 1) increased
early manning of early deploying forces—that's an action you can take early.
They talk about the delayed entry program-
—and using it better.
You're not talking about the same report.
They talk about two-year enlistments for the combat arms.
In other words, there are a whole bunch of things that can be done in the
Reserves. Let's agree to disagree about that point and move on.
Sir, you're a conservative Republican. Your ADA rating has
been a flat zero for the last several years. Your American Conservative
Union rating has been up there in the stratosphere somewhere. I'm a
And I've continued to get elected with 76 percent of the
vote. It's great.
It's tough just to really… That's not my point. I'm a
little—, I'm a little confused, though—
I'm a little confused that you would get behind a
program—. I'm a little confused that you'd get behind a program like this,
where, after all, we're talking about a large bureaucracy; we're talking
about Big Brother; we're talking about less emphasis on the private sector.
How does that accord with your tenets as a conservative
I'm talking about a strong national defense to where our,
my thirteen-year-old boy and my eight-year-old girl won't have to worry
about our shores being invaded or the fact of seeing this country diminish
in national power.
And I'm saying we've—
Excuse me, Mr. Crampton.
—already got a strong national defense.
Mr. Crampton, excuse me. I promised Mr. McCloskey
another turn. Would you have any further questions?
Just one. Robin, Mr. Crampton, Colonel Crampton, thinks
that we can remedy the Reserve in some way. For a Reserve to become that
ready, they have to be able to go into combat on 24 hours' notice. Do you
know any reasonable young person today that will volunteer to serve in the
Reserve if he's told he's going to have to train in the jungles and in the
desert in the summer, in the Arctic in the winter, and he's going to have to
be cold, wet, and miserable most of his time in the Reserve?
As a matter of fact, I don't. As a matter of fact, those
kids who do see some glamour in the Reserves that are going in, seven out of
those ten are quitting before their first tour of duty. And so, in the
campuses I've spoken to, I have yet to find anybody that really is prepared
to go into the military under today's circumstances.
Thank you very much, Congressman Beard. Thanks very
much for joining us on
Mr. Crampton, would you call your first witness in
Yes, I call Congressman Weaver to the stand, please.
Mr. Weaver, welcome to The Advocates.
Congressman, you served in World War II, did you
Yes, I enlisted when I was seventeen.
And you have a strong belief in a powerful military? You
are a Congressman; you are one of the people charged with our national
I—. In this world, and it's the only world we have,
a strong military is absolutely essential.
Excellent. In your opinion, do we have a strong army right
now—with respect to its numbers?
We—. The volunteer force is working and working
well. We have the strongest military in this, in the entire world. You know
I—, when Robin says this stuff, he brings out secret information—that kind
of sort of thing in a debate just doesn't hold up. Les Aspen, another
Congressman on the Armed Services Committee, went out and interviewed
military people in the field, too. And he came to a captain commanding a
company. The captain says, "Congressman, our all volunteer force isn't
working very well." And, gee, Les thought he'd really find out why from this
field commander. And he said, "How do you know that?" The captain said, "I
read it in the papers."
All right. All right.
Now, we have, we have the highest percent of "high
school graduates in our all volunteer force today than we've ever
We've got—. We've met our Congressional levels of,
of manpower—never less than 1 1/2 percent.
What about discipline? What about court-martials? What
Disciplinary problems are diminishing.
The numbers of times people have to go up are
going down all the time. This force is getting to be mean and taut the way
we want it to.
The Army has no need to recruit any additional people for
the active force-
No, not at all. They're coming in. Enlistments
have actually been up in January.
Now, the Army has said that it needs some seventy-five to
a hundred thousand people a year for the Reserve. And this, for this,
obviously/ people would have to be drafted. Isn't the imposition of a draft
to provide seventy-five to a hundred thousand people a year for the Reserves
a rather bizarre way to go about stocking the Reserve?
This is the peacetime, and we must bring these
people in as volunteers to maintain a peacetime strong, mean, taut
Are there not ways to improve the Reserve, short of a
That—. That's what we should be doing. We should
be, for instance, making shorter enlistments to get, realize more Reserves.
We can allocate between the selective and the Independent Ready Reserve,
Individual Ready Reserves better. The Army really hasn't come to grips with
the Reserve problem, but they are now. And they're going to solve
Now, Congressman McCloskey and Congressman Beard have
painted a rather hoary picture of the danger that awaits us from the forces
of the Soviet Union rolling across the border. Is that a really likely
alternative, do you think? I mean, do you think that a land war in the
Soviet Union is going to go on for three, four, or five months before we
finally get our Reserves over there?
No. It's obvious all military experts say first of
all that a NATO-Warsaw Pact confrontation with the Russian tanks moving
across into Germany is remotely likely. We would begin using nuclear weapons
almost immediately because of the magnitude of that act of the Soviet Union.
I really think that what, that Robin is thinking about, and the DOD is
thinking about the land war in Europe, but they're preparing for a land war
in the Middle East—
—and I say, are we going to send our boys to die
in the Middle East so we can continue to preserve our wasteful, gas-guzzling
Congressman, our opponents, particularly Representative
McCloskey, have said that the draft is going to pass this year; and,
therefore, all of us folks in this room ought to get behind his proposal for
voluntary, or rather, his compulsory national service. Now, really, is that
basic assumption of his case likely to come to pass? Will we have Congress
pass a draft this year?
The draft is a momentous thing involving all the
young people, their parents, this whole nation. It will not pass this year.
This will take much more national debate. But, they're going to try to slip
registration and classification through, and that scares me.
What does that mean?
That means, to my mind, leading to—. I would like
to say first that—
—the Congressional Budget Office estimates 85
percent of those eligible can be contacted in, and, within five days. And if
our nation faces real peril, our young people will be there to serve. We do
not need to classify them, register them, find out where they are, put the
police state in, the garrison state. That's smacks of 1984; we must gird
ourselves against that threat.
Mr. Crampton, you'll have to ask a very brief
And finally, Congressman, what about this homogenized
ideal of patriotism, these great, golden words of service. What kind of
service do you actually think we get from a bunch of young people compelled
to go in, go out and do civilian services, civilian jobs?
Not quite the same kind of service that the
Russians get by sending people to Siberia. But, but compulsory service is
not the inner dedication young people have. They want to volunteer and feel
they're doing good to society, not forced to go out and empty bedpans, not
forced to go out and clean up our rivers. They want to do it of themselves,
and we must let them do that. Thank you.
Thank you. Mr. McCloskey would you like to
cross-examine Mr. Weaver?
Yes. Mr. Weaver, you also have a fine conservative
record, and you would like to balance the national budget this year, I
believe, would you not?
Yes, sir. Yes, Pete, I would, very much.
And you're familiar with the fact that today, in order to
have a volunteer army, we increased about 4 1/2 billion a year to pay the
sums to attract people into that volunteer army, did we not?
And you're also familiar with the fact that the Army has
come to us this year and said, "Congress, if we're going to maintain a
volunteer army, we're going to have to pay billions more to attract
volunteers, and by 1983, we're going to have to pay 8 billion more for
I think it will cost more money, Pete; yes, but
not the nine to twenty-three billion that your plan is going to
That would really bankrupt us.
Well, from a defense, let's—. You're not—. You're, you're
referring to the civilian part that might cost more money, but you're not
suggesting that to return to the conscription, a limited draft would cost
more money. That would save 4 1/2 billion a year, would it not?
Well, Pete, as a matter of fact—
—I voted against some of these holocaust weapons
that I think are leading to Armageddon, and I have always said I'll vote
money to get a strong, mean, taut personnel. Troops win these, these, these
wars, and I want—
Well, but that's—
—our troops to be the best troops in the
Yes, but if you're going to attract qualified volunteers
today, you only have two choices. You have to pay them more, or you have to
go to some form of conscription. Isn't that the two choices?
Exactly you’ve got to pay them more. Would you
You're willing to p—
Would you pay them less, Pete?
You're willing to pay more.
I'm certainly willing to pay them what is
necessary to get them in there. Would you pay—. Would you lower their pay
rates so that they—
Absolutely. I think that the—
—concept of volunteerism means subsistence pay, but we
balance that by college benefits of four years for two years of service. But
let me go to the cost question. At the present time, we're paying 55 percent
of our defense budget for manpower. The Soviets pay 23 percent.
Do they have pensions, too?
That means—. Let me continue the question. That means
that they have 77 percent of their defense budget, the same as ours, for
weapons systems. We have only 45 percent. You project that over 10 or 20
years, and there is no way that we can retain a defensive parity with a
Soviet if we're going to pay more for manpower costs for the luxury of an
all volunteer army. Now, under those circumstances, if we want to maintain
parity, if we want to balance the budget, aren't we going to have to go to a
cheaper means of having young people serve in the military?
Pete, first of all, your 53 percent—you really
shouldn't use that because that includes all the pension programs, letting a
person out at the age of thirty-nine and paying him 50 percent of his pay
for the rest of his life. Most of us—
It is a true fact, though, isn't it?
We are paying 55 percent of our defense budget for
manpower as opposed-
—to 23 percent of the Soviets?
—if we include 15 percent for all the pension
programs when you're talking about paying our soldiers, we're down almost,
not quite, of course, to the Soviets, because we treat our people better;
and I hope we always do, but I'll tell you this-'-I'd like to ask you, Pete,
why you fought against the Renegotiation Board on the floor of the House the
other day to keep excess profits away from large defense industries.
Let, let, let's go back to the debate.
If you want to balance the budget—
We, we convinced the majority of our colleagues on that,
did we not?
Not, not yet. We haven't voted.
Gentlemen, can I call you back to the subject at
Let me go to this question of volunteer service. You
don't think there's any lack of idealism in our young people today—
No, I think they're—
—they can serve on the forest service, some conservation
work, to assist elderly people—
—have to work one-on-one with a retarded child.
I think they're—. I think they're very
They're looking and they're searching for national
objectives stated by our leadership to fulfill this obj—, this
Then you—. You don't—
And they're not getting any national
You don't object if we set up a national youth system
that was not compulsory that gave a mechanism for this voluntary
Always supported the Peace Corps, and VISTA—you
So, you don't object to the civilian side of this
program. It's only the military conscription.
No, only I do object to its compulsory nature
because your program is compulsory—
It doesn't, it doesn't require anybody—^
And I want a volunteer program.
It doesn't require anybody to volunteer for civilian
If they do volunteer, they can avoid the draft.
—everyone to do something.
No, it doesn't. I think you're mistaken.
Jim, what is, what is compulsory about this bill? Have
you read the bill?
Can anybody opt out completely and be absolutely
free of it, Pete?
Can somebody say, "1 don't want any part of this
at all"; can they do that?
Don't you think the privilege—
Can they do that, Pete?
. Yes. They can.
They go to jail then.
No; if, if they're, if they're, if they are a
conscientious objector and do not choose to serve, they have that privilege;
and they've had that during every war that we've ever fought.
Yes, in the last war 80 percent of them had to—,
were turned down.
Let me ask this final question. If we are to maintain a
combat-ready force in peacetime, do you know any reasonable young people
that will volunteer for the training regime to be combat-ready so that you
have a chance to survive?
Now, your question again will be a
Do you know—, do you know any reasonable young men or
women in peace time who, if you tell them the training they have to undergo
to be ready to go into combat on 24 hours' notice,—
We've got to get a—
—are going to volunteer for that kind of training?
Why, certainly, there's got to be some incentive
and bonus for them to do that—education. Women, Pete, I want to point out,
you've never really tapped—we've not really tapped—women as a great source
Partic—, particularly, as they affect
Reserves—intelligence specialists, communications specialists. We're—, we've
got a double standard with women, and we're, we're, the requirements are
much higher than men. We should use them—
Congressman, I'm going to have to cut in-
—on a voluntary basis,
Congressman Weaver, thanks very much for joining
us on The Advocates. For, for those of you who may have joined us late, our
question this evening is, "Should we have a compulsory system of national
service for all young Americans?" Advocate Pete McCloskey has presented one
witness in favor of the proposition, and that was Representative Robin
Advocate Lew Crampton has presented one witness
against—Congressman James Weaver. Mr. Crampton, I believe you do have
I call Barry Lynn.
Mr. Lynn, welcome to The Advocates.
Mr. Lynn, you're an authority on the draft. You're a
lawyer. I'd like to ask you first of all whether this, or not this proposal,
this particular proposal for compulsory military service and compulsory
civilian service is constitutionally permissible?
No, Mr. McCloskey's bill is clearly
unconstitutional. The Thirteenth Amendment prohibits involuntary servitude.
Now the Supreme Court has made some very narrow exceptions. In a national
military emergency, they have said that it is possible to conscript people
for military use.
For military use.
For military use. To extend that narrow exception
into the area of peace time—
—military service or civilian service of picking up
litter or tutoring children is constitutionally impermissible. And I don't
care whether you do it directly or indirectly.
Well, let me ask you, do the so-called ersatz
alternatives in the McCloskey plan, do they make it any better? Does it make
it voluntary really?
I've been taught that if it quacks and it waddles
like a duck, it probably is a duck. And the fact that there are few
alternatives in Mr. McCloskey's plan don't salvage its constitutionality. If
you refuse to participate, you go to jail for two years. Under McCloskey's
proposal, if in fact you choose civilian service and the Pentagon decides
they need you anyway, they can get you right out of your civilian
Wait a minute. Wait a minute. Are you saying that if a
person goes in for the civilian option and goes into the lottery and his
little number is called, and he thinks he's going to be heading into the
civilian option, are you telling me that the military can stop that from
happening and run you right into their ranks?
That is one of the provisions of this proposal and
every proposal like it. It is conscription. It's the draft. Let's talk about
it that way.
That's incredible. If this program were constitutional,
would such a plan actually work?
No, it, it couldn't possibly work. You'd be creating
a giant multibillion dollar bureaucratic nightmare. To try to take even a
small percentage of the four million men and women who turn eighteen each
year, register them, classify them, test them, train them, place them, fund
them—this is going to cost anywhere, or somewhere up to 23 billion dollars
We can't afford that.
And all for what? I mean, I know we're going to get
people up here later on who will say what a great and wonderful thing this
is going to be for all you young people in the country. How great it would
be to have a program like this. Isn't that right? Well, how good is it for
these young people?
Well, it's not going to make anyone patriotic. I'll
tell you. When you reduce the enlisted man's salary to $192 per month—that's
1/25 of what a member of Congress receives today—I don't think you—, you're
not going to create patriotism; and you're not going to make that person
anything but resentful. And similarly in civilian programs, if you force a
person into a civilian program, then throw him or throw her out on the
street into a job-glutted economy where he can't, where he can't find any
meaningful work after he's done his civilian stint at subsistence wages,
that person is going to be more resentful than when he went in, and rightly
Let me press you a little bit. There are, after all,
considerable numbers of unmet needs in this country—
—social programs/ housing, community action, what have
you. And there are, after all, some 3.6 million young people scattered
around the universe of the United States who are not actually involved in
those programs. Isn't it, isn't this program good for young people? Isn't
that program good for the U.S.A.?
The only thing that's good is a genuinely voluntary
program—not this program. I worry very much about the quality of service
that we would get out of conscriptees. I wonder how many people would want
their sick child or their aged parents in a nursing home cared for, not by
people who had voluntary commitment, but by people who were solely there
because they wanted to avoid the draft lottery or they wanted to avoid the
military. I think the service would be terrible, and it would be of no help
to the intended beneficiaries of this program.
That's correct. And we're talking about a program, now,
that may involve billions of dollars and millions of people; and yet these
people over here, these great social planners, want to rush right into it
right away- writ large- all of a piece. They want this program with no
testing, no nothing. Does that make sense to you?
It makes no sense at all. We can solve the problems
of the all volunteer force without going to these drastic means. We don't
need to undercut the prevailing wage rates. We don't need to go through the
total, total abrogation of personal freedom that the draft has always
represented and that Mr. McCloskey's bill would represent now if it were
Thank you, Mr. Crampton. Mr. McCloskey, I take it
you might like to cross-examine.
Mr. Lynn, you and I have debated this issue before. You
start from a position that you don't believe there should be the need for a
combat-ready army. Isn't that correct?
No, I think we do need a, a combat-ready army, I
think we have one right now, as much as any military force is ever
combat-ready in peace time.
You heard, you heard Mr. Beard's statement that according
to the Army, they're a million and a half short of the Ready Reserve; and
with the Ready Reserve unavailable, they are not combat-ready. Do you
dispute that contention?
Yes, because we've always had—, overemphasized the
numbers of people necessary in the Reserves. What we need to do with the
Reserves are have better incentive programs and secondly deploy them
differently. We have whole Reserve units in this country whose sole purpose
in life is to have a functioning military government in occupied war zones,
which is an idea right out of the Second World War or earlier. It has no
possible importance in 1979, yet the Defense Department says even those
kinds of unnecessary units must be up to full strength upon mobilization.
I, I quite agree with you on that point, what I'm
concerned about is the million and a half combat infantry soldiers that
unlike World War II, where we had months and years to become combat-ready,
unlike Vietnam, where there was ample time to train, the situation like
Korea, where in 1950 President Truman made the decision to commit troops in
a U.N. cause, and we had four divisions in Japan that suffered 50 percent
casualties in the first 60 days because they were not combat-ready. Now, to
try to train a Ready Reserve today to go into combat on 24 hours notice,
what do you think we would have to pay such an individual to be combat-ready
on 24 hours notice?
We're now talking about pay raises and incentives
that can get people to be, again, as combat-ready as any peace time military
But you heard—
—But your analogy about Korea is completely
incorrect. You're changing history.
But you're not answering my question, sir. My question
is, "What do you think we would have to pay a young person to go through the
training to be combat-ready?
I'm saying that with modest, very modest incentives,
those persons in the present military force, the volunteer force, are
combat-ready and can be made combat-ready. And the fact that we
Yes, but you're not answering my question.
—so many people in Korea was not because of the fact
that they were per se not combat-ready; it was because they were
conscriptees who didn't want to be there. That's the official reason that
the history of the Army in Korea that the Defense Department finally got
around to writing, indicates that and a lack of communication.
Let me tell you my own experience. I volunteered, also,
when I was seventeen. I was on my way to join the Reserve unit in 1950 when
it was called to Korea with about six weeks notice and suffered 50 percent
casualties, were literally butchered because they were not combat-ready. I
want to ask you again, in order to have a million and a half young
eighteen-year-olds combat-ready so they have a chance to survive in combat,
what in your judgment are we going to have to pay them? What are we talking
It is not—. It is not—
~8 billion? 10 billion?
I'm, I'm saying—. I can't come up with a figure like
that, but I'm—, what I can say is it's not cost effective to draft people
and force them to be combat-ready. It's more cost effective to take the
people who at least want to have some connection with the military and
induce them to be as combat-ready as necessary. Combat-readiness is
Mr. Lynn, are there any young people in your church, in
any college, in any high school in the nation, who want to volunteer to be
combat-ready Reserves? That's, sir, very possible.
Some of them are in fact there already. And
combat-readiness is a term with absolutely no precise—
If any. Can I ask you the question?
Pre—. It has no precise—. It has no precise meaning.
You throw it around. It has absolutely no precise meaning.
Well, let me be precise for you.
The Defense Department claims that it, we
Let me be precise what combat-readiness means.
It means the ability to run 20 miles in a day. It means
the ability to climb a rope 50 feet five times a day. It means the ability
to survive in the Arctic and the desert and the jungle. It's not an easy
thing to be combat-ready. And for a troop commander to go into combat with
troops that aren't ready is a disgrace to this nation, I want to ask you
again, what do you think we'll have to pay to have a million and a half
young people, eighteen-year-olds, combat-ready today in order to try to
deter war? Hopefully, they'll never have to pay.
You're going—. You're going to more likely get them
to be combat-ready by paying them what you pay them now than if you
How much? How much, Mr. Lynn?
—and pay them virtually nothing.
How much is the Congress going to have to pay to build a
million and a half Ready Reserves?
If we have to draft dollars—. If we have to draft
dollars in order to get people to be what you claim is combat-ready, then we
should do that. We should—
—not be drafting men and women to do that.
Isn't the answer is that—. Isn't the answer that you
don't know how much it will cost?
I'm saying the estimates go any—, anywhere up to 8
billion dollars; and all of those estimates are based on the assumption that
we need as large a force as we need today, which I've always questioned.
And, of course, we could cut the defense budget in some other areas. We have
7,000 tactical nuclear weapons in Europe. You know it costs $500 million
every year just to maintain them, just to maintain them. I think we ought to
cut them, not talk about cutting the pay of enlisted men and returning the
pay levels to the—, what was a national scandal for enlisted men during the
Vietnam War. I don't want to go back to that.
Excuse me. Excuse me, Mr. Crampton, do you have
any further questions?
Yes. Mr. Lynn, I'd like to underline that last point. For
you folks here in the military, by the way, Congressman McCloskey's bill has
a very interesting feature—and that would be to cut every GI's pay back to
pre-Vietnam levels. Some of you may well have remembered there were stories
about GI's on welfare and food stamps. What other kinds of problems could a,
a silly proposal like this create?
Look, if the all volunteer force were as
combat-inefficient as Mr. McCloskey claims, as incapable of the defense of
this country as Mr. Beard claims, then I'm surprised that Soviet tanks
didn't enter Cambridge, Massachusetts, yesterday and take us all over. Of
course, we're prepared. We're prepared to meet the legitimate defense needs
of the United States, to meet our international commitments abroad. We're
not, perhaps, prepared for adventurism; and I don't think we ought to
prepare for that.
Thank you very much, Mr. Lynn. Thank you very much for joining us on
The Advocates. Mr. McCloskey, would you please call your witness in
Thank you. I'd like to call Harris Wofford.
Mr. Wofford, welcome to The Advocates.
Mr. Wofford, you've served as an associate director of
the Peace Corps, you've been president of Bryn Mawr College, you've served
President Kennedy in several capacities involving civil rights; and you've
been co-chairman of the study of national service to try to join the
idealism of young Americans with the needs that this country has. Why, in
your judgment, do you feel it's a benefit of this nation to have all of our
young people serve some term—a year or two—of service to this nation in
either a civilian or a military capacity?
A number of us spent a year and a half looking at that
question hard. And aside from the question of the military draft, though we
were disturbed by the, the degree to which the military draft was becoming,
the all volunteer armed forces was becoming, an armed forced that was for
the fighting army, enlisted army, increasingly black and minority and poor.
We decided not to judge that but to look at the case for voluntary service,
and we concluded that for the educational reasons of what it should mean to
grow up in America today, that a period of volunteer service after leaving
high school was something that not only does the country need/ but young
people need it today.
Mr. Wofford, I thought we were talking about two
different bills as I listened to the other witnesses who described that
somehow there was compulsion in forcing young people to work in these
civilian capacities. What degree of compulsion is in this bill that we're
Well, I start with an agreement with our, some of our
colleagues on the other side that the spirit of this, of volunteerism and of
service is what we need to tap and to restore and that we want the minimum
compulsion possible. And our study in fact concluded that the goal of a
period of volunteer service can be established the way the goal of finishing
high school is established without any compulsion at all. It seems to me
that your bill, which is not something our committee has looked at because
we didn't try to appraise bills, your bill is an ingenious combination of a
carrot and the stick, with a very minimal element of coercion. The only real
compulsion in your bill I—, the only universal compulsion is registration.
And the opportunity for young people at that point to learn about and to
indicate their reaction to a variety of options, including military service,
but a great variety of non-military options. There is in your bill, of
course, the potential threat of a draft, but our friends have it turned
upside down, because if we can move toward a system in which the idea of
voluntary service becomes the common expectation so that parents ask, "When
are you going to do it?" and employers ask, "Why haven't you done some
national service?" But most of all, so young people feel that this is what
it means to be a citizen in this country--that you do this. If you get that,
you won't have to have any draft at all; so that your bill, it seems to me,
personally, your bill would be a big push toward a voluntary national
Mr. Wofford, let's take an eighteen-year-old who has to
make one of these elections, has to choose two years of military service but
gets four years of college benefits, chooses six months of Reserve duty with
5 years of Ready Reserve, or can choose a year or two of civilian service.
Can you describe to the audience the kinds of civilian service that young
people are doing today—the programs that we already have of voluntary
service? Are they oversubscribed? Are they popular? Do our young people
indicate they do want to serve mankind?
There are more people trying to get into the limited
opportunities there are in the Peace Corps, in VISTA, in the Young Adult
Conservation Corps for our forests, and in a few other such national
volunteer programs; and I think in many of the private programs, there are
more people trying to get in than there are today opportunities. Indeed,
there are. I think everyone listening to this program and thinking about it
could list the priorities, the needs, the human needs in this country that
are going unmet, met. We would need to single out those needs that young
people can make the most difference by addressing themselves to. Uh, car—,
Let's talk about the—
Caring for the very old, who can't care for themselves,
caring for the very young in day-care centers, caring for the retarded,
working in our forests at national lands, and on reconstructing and
rehabilitating the—, some of our inner cities, or—, would be some of my
Let's take the cost of this system. We haven't discussed
that much, but there have been some figures thrown around about cost and
bureaucracy. If a young eighteen-year-old, for example, wanted to work in
his or her local hospital for a year, a 40-hour week, five-hour day, the
kind of service that we now have highly paid nurses doing; if that young
person wanted to do that at a subsistence wage for a year, would you see any
bureaucracy required at all, say the certification by the head of the
"hospital that he or she had done that work?
I think the best model was the old, original post-war GI
Bill of Rights, in which young people got a stipend that they could take to
any certified college or university; and if admitted, they got their living
allowance, they got their educational, education paid for. And it seems to
me, that would be the basic model for this system so that a young person
would have a wide range of such programs to choose from that had gotten
certified by the national system, as within the concept of national
You've been a college president for 12 years. Is there an
educational case for national service?
You know, everybody in education, I think, says that the,
the generation that came in after taking a break from the lock step, the
break into, the terrible kind of national service of World War II, was the
most exciting, the best period in American education. They came back from
that experience out in the world ready for books, ready for theory, ready to
learn; and I think for many, many people, this kind of an experience,
whether in non-military service or those who might choose the military,
would be a, a wonderful lift to the education, to—; it'll, it'll produce the
motivation. It'll give them grist for the academic mill.
Thank you. I'd like to-
—go on to Mr. Crampton. Do you have—, would you
like to cross-examine Mr. Wofford?
Yes, I would, very much so. Sir, I liked that elegant
rationale you used to evade the consequences of your proposal. I think I
recall it as being "minimum compulsion possible." Isn’t that like, like
being a little bit pregnant?
No, I. You know, I really—. I do believe my prediction
is, is—. You have to do what Einstein did when he said, he got his greatest
invention by saying I—, "If I rode out on a beam of light, what would the
world look like?" And I think if we're to stretch our imagination to deal
with this problem, which is a mounting one on all sides, we have to say,
"What would it be like if, in fact, the goal of a period of national service
was accepted in this country the way going to high school is?" The Army
would have all the volunteers it needs. And some of our human needs would be
met on an economical basis.
Sir, you have an ally sitting at that table there with
you, Congressman Beard, who, if he could, would draft every working
son-of-a-gun who got in that Army. And it's a fact—, we're in that national
service program. And it's a fact that in that national service program, if
the Army supposedly isn't meeting its needs, folks will be compelled to be
drafted. Is that something you support?
Congressman Beard will have to speak for himself.
What about you?
My—. What my ears heard Congressman Beard say was,
Unless we develop some kind of a national service system that will meet the
military manpower problems, we will have to go to the form of draft, some
form of draft, either the old draft or a new draft. Father Hesburgh, who is
one of the president of Notre Dame, who is one of the founders of the all
volunteer armed forces—
Sir, I'm sorry—
You've—, you've evaded my question. I'm talking about a
specific part of McCloskey’s proposal, which is that you go into the
military if the military manpower levels aren't high enough. Now, do you
Congressman McCloskey and that bill are not producing the
case for the draft. The case for the draft, the country's going to have to
think about. The, the, the ingenuity of his bill is that if you, if you
develop a system of national voluntary service, no one will need to be
drafted. And that's why what I wanted to say about Father
Sir, we're talking about a system.
Excuse me, may I—.
We're talking about a system, where if you
May I finish, Miss Berger, may I finish?
Wait. You're saying that it would not—
I just want to say that a, the founder of the all
volunteer armed forces on our study committee, the national service, Father
Hesburgh, believes that the way to save the all volunteer armed forces is to
go forward, not back to a draft, but forward to a large scale voluntary
national service system.
A voluntary national service system?
We have no problem with a voluntary national system.
We're talking about a compulsory system. Congressman McCloskey's bill
mentions a little four-letter word called "jail" - j-a-i-l. Is that
something you support? Suppose I didn't want to register in this program.
Suppose I said, "Hell, no, I don't want to register." I'd go to jail—just
because I didn't want to cooperate with you.
The sanction of jail for non-registering in a, in a draft
is not a new idea of Congressman McCloskey.
Compulsory program of national service-
Wait a minute. If—
That's what we're talking about.
No, you're not—, you're—
And jail is an alternative.
Excuse me, can I—
Wait, I think there's a, a little—
Let's get the program exactly clear. You register
at the age of 17-
And that is compulsory.
And then you have a choice of three possible roads
to follow, or-
If you don't register-
—signing up for a—
Provision, Provision 1—
If you don't register—. If you don't register, you go to
May I read? Provision 1 of the bill that citizens of the
United States are asked to perform a year or two of either military or
civilian service, but no one is to be required to serve except to the extent
that the needs of the military require military service. And my
Yeah, but my point—. My point is that draft, some form of
meeting the military needs by draft seems to be in the wind. And at that
point, I suspect that all of my colleagues here would be favoring
non-military options if a draft is brought back. And as a constitutional law
teacher, I don't think there's any question that non-military options would
All right, you don't want to argue the McCloskey bill any
No, I may ask you this—
I want to ask you this. I want to ask you the basic
question. Do you support a system of compulsory, with a big "C," national
service—yes or no?
You, you, you are misstating his bill. I've just read the
I'm not arguing his bill anymore. I'm asking you the
question about compulsory national service.
No, no I do not.
I favor the McCloskey bill, which is an alternative. The
McCloskey bill is an alternative of returning to the draft that is an
imaginative way to move forward to voluntary universal national
Let's talk about some of the hard realities of this
program. And you mentioned the example, I think, or someone mentioned the
example of a nurse. Suppose some subsistence-wage person went to a hospital
and took a job that a nurse was, was fulfilling. What kind of a displacement
effect on people who already had jobs, on unions,—
One, one of the—
We're going to have to get a quick question here
and a quick answer.
One, one of the first principles of a national service
proposal that we made in the study that we did and in the bill, the bill
specifically provides for it, is that in, in assigning, in working out
assignments of national service, number 1, you do not displace anyone, and
number—, the other side of that is that you find the kind of work which
nobody is prepared to pay for now, nobody is doing, and which young people
could help the nation meet some needs that are not being met.
Excuse me, Mr. Crampton, we can't take any more
Three point six million people—
Mr. Wofford, thanks very much for joining us on
The Advocates. Now, now let's go to the closing arguments. Representative
McCloskey have one minute.
Thank you. Ladies and Gentlemen, I think we're all seared
by the Vietnam experience. We perceived the draft in the time of Vietnam as
the evil that led us into that War. I think it's a bum rap. I think we need
in time of peace, more than in war even, a combat-ready armed force. It is
the lack of a combat-ready armed force that forces us to consider a national
youth service program. The opponents in this case would almost say, "Let's
go back to the straight draft," rather than have this system; because we're
going to face the draft, the kind which the United States constitutionally
must provide for the common defense. We have seen that the danger of war is
greater if you're not ready to fight. And we keep an armed force in
readiness, not to fight, but to be in the position where we may never have
to fight. I think young people will voluntarily perform that function. They
may not want to fight in Vietnam. None of us did. And it was a tragic
mistake. But combat-readiness is a national essential to preserve our
Thank you very much. Mr. Crampton. Mr. Crampton,
you have one minute.
I'd like to direct my remarks to the young people here in
this audience and out there on television. Once again, you're about to be
victimized by somebody else's idea of what's good for you. And in this case,
as we've shown tonight, compulsory service does not work. Certainly some of
you would find a voluntary program of this kind attractive. But will you
agree to a compulsory program in peacetime? I doubt it. Compulsory national
service is the ultimate in paternalism. They want to make better men and
women of you. They want to force feed you with idealism and patriotism. But
they don't understand that these qualities have to be developed from free
choice, not from coercion. I believe, and many others do, too, that you're
capable of making your own choices, that you already are making tremendous
efforts to solve national problems, that, if given the opportunity, and not
coerced into it, many of you would participate willingly in a voluntary
program of national service. But a compulsory program where you might even
have to go to jail if you don't cooperate with the state? Don't vote "No."
Vote "Hell, No!"
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Now, we do hope
we'll hear from you in our audience. How do you feel about the question,
"Should we have a compulsory system of national service for all young
Americans?" Send us your comments and your vote—"Yes" or "No" on a postcard
to The Advocates, Box 1979, Boston 02134.
This program brings us to the mid-point of our season. In
future weeks we'll be debating questions such as curtailing veterans'
preference in hiring to provide more opportunities for women. We'll look at
the status of Puerto Rico—should it become a state? To ease the burden of
local property taxes, should we have statewide funding of schools? Should
Congress cut off funds for the Tennessee Tombigbee Waterway?
Should President Carter de-regulate oil prices? And, we'd
like to hear from you. What issues do you think we should debate? Send us
your comment along with your vote, and we hope you'll join us next week.
Thank you, Representative McCloskey. Thank you, Mr. Crampton, and your
witnesses, and thanks to the Kennedy School of Government here at