RN Ends the Draft: The Creation of the All-Volunteer Force

Uploaded by NixonFoundation on 20.01.2012

Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen
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which has been here 21 years.
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distinction of not only helping us
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also of going
to Whittier College with President Nixon
and sitting on the bench with
him during football, though Hubert
says he played, he was quarterback,
but I don't believe it.
Thank you Hubert for coming.
A couple of other people. Longtime Nixon
aide, who was with him
almost from the very
beginning of his political career
and traveled the world with
him at his side, Marge Acker.
Marge, where are you?
Is Loie with you?
Is Loie there?
Yes, and Loie Gaunt,
to the same...
She started with President Nixon
when he was Senator Nixon.
Even before that.
Loie Gaunt.
Longtime friends of the family both.
And I am delighted to
introduce the man who
coordinates these very successful
series of Nixon Legacy Forums.
We've had about 14 of them, we've had them all over the country.
We continue them, we're accelerating
the program, the next one is
February 1 at Stanford University,
where we join with former
Secretary of State George Schultz,
who, in the Nixon White House,
was instrumental in implementing the
President's plan to desegregate the schools in the South.
And he will participate with
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on February 1 at the
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record of the wonderful things the President did.
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foreign affairs in China.
And indeed those were extraordinary
accomplishments, but in addition
to that was an incredible
record in domestic affairs,
which gets little note, until Geoff
Shepard came along and said,
"Why don't we start doing something about this?"
Geoff himself was a
Whittier College Nixon Scholar
years ago.
Richard Nixon gave him the check.
He later went to
Harvard Law and after
that he became a White House Fellow.
And after that he went to
work at the White House
as Deputy Director of the Domestic Council staff.
And our Nixon Legacy forums for
the last two years have focused on domestic affairs.
We're going to start branching out
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but I thank the
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Nixon Legacy Forums, a good
friend, and a great admirer
and loyalist to the 37th
President of the United
States, ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Geoff Shepard.
Thank you Sandy.
Hello and welcome to our Legacy Forum.
As Sandy has indicated, I've
had the pleasure of helping
produce these for a
little over two years, and it
brings together the people who
generated the documents to talk
about the documents that are
here for researchers, so we have
a group of people today
who have done other forums
and we're thrilled with this one.
And I am thrilled with this one
in particular, this has to
do with ending the draft and
going to the all-volunteer force, because
I have very clear memories of
what was going on and
just to remind you of those days.
There's a group of men who
were born in the 1940s
and they and the women
they loved remember everything,
every decision they made when
they came of age to key
off the effect on the draft.
You had to register when you
were 18. I remember there
was a rumor of a kid
in my high school, Long Beach
Wilson, who hadn't registered.
And word like that gets around.
I went to Whittier College.
One of my roommates, didn't
like the idea of serving, went to Canada.
He's still there.
I went from college to Harvard
Law School and I joined Harvard's ROTC unit.
It was thrown off campus in
1968 because of a vote of the faculty.
And none of the college
kids were in the
ROTC unit, it was all
graduate students because you
were more subject to the
draft if you were in graduate school.
And then of course when I
graduated from law school,
mine was the first class to
get J.D.s, doctorates of law.
Before that is was always
a Bachelor of Laws. But
some draft boards took the
position that you already
had a Bachelor's degree from
college, a B.A., so
if you were going for a second
Bachelor's degree you weren't making satisfactory progress.
Now, we had plenty of
people who volunteered to
go in the service and served very honorably.
We had plenty of people who
didn't know what to do then,
but the idea of taking a
year off beyond college,
before you went to graduate school, that was a non-starter
because you wouldn't be making satisfactory process.
The idea of switching and going for two masters degrees.
At one point if you
were married, you had an automatic deferment.
And then a little bit later on you had to have a kid.
And so you have this
group of people going through life
where every social decision
there were making kind of keyed
off the effect of the draft board
and some draft boards had more people than others.
So you had an unfair situation on top of everything.
That's what makes today's forum so
interesting, because these are the
people who were there
at the time who helped the
President to end the draft.
I mean, as he was ending the
war the need for
people came down dramatically,
but the draft still hung over everybody's head.
And it was from age 18 to age 26.
And then they switched
from that to the all-volunteer force.
And here to moderate that
transition, we couldn't have
a better individual, Dr. Bernard
Rostker, who was head of
the Selective Service later on
in 79 to 81.
Served in the Army
and the Navy in manpower positions,
and then finally as Undersecretary of
Defense for Personnel and Readiness. He's
written, and we'll hear about
this during the course of the
presentation, the definitive book
on ending the draft and going to the all-volunteer force,
"I Want You: The Evolution of the All-Volunteer Force."
So, it gives me great personal
pleasure and great personal interest
to introduce to you today
Bernie Rostker, who will introduce our panel.
It's good to see you.
Bring the panel out with you.
Is the panel coming out now?
I have become kind
of the self-appointed historian of this period.
My involvement really comes after,
in terms of managing what
these folks brought forward.
In today's presentation.
I'm going to set the
stage as to the
coming of the all-volunteer
force and the campaign
of Richard Nixon, and
then I'll have a few words
to say about the
beginning of the movement
to the All-Volunteer Force during the
administration of President Nixon,
and then at the end I'll
come back and talk a
bit about what happened
after this period
in terms of the success
of the all-volunteer force.
Looking back, there were
probably five reasons that
the country was right to
move to an
all-volunteer force in the early 1970s.
First, the norm through American
history was a volunteer force.
Previously we had
had a federal draft only
during the Civil War, World War
I, World War II,
and then during the early
years of the Cold War. The second
was the size of the
population had grown so
substantially that there
were very many more people
people who were in the pool
of eligibles than the
country needed and that
led to a great dilemma and
was caught in
the title of one of
several commissions that reviewed
the status of selective service in the draft,
and they had a report which
was titled "Who Serves When Not All Serve?"
Third was the Vietnam
War, which had grown very
unpopular and because
of the increased draft calls during
the war, the draft which
many men had been
able to avoid now
became an essential feature of their lives.
Fourth was what one
historian had called a
rational and intellectual basis
for a volunteer force, and
that was provided by the economist Milton Friedman,
who told the American
population that it was
morally correct not to
serve. And finally,
because of Vietnam, the Army
had lost faith in
the draft and was ready
for a change.
So, let me give you a sense
of, before Vietnam how
the draft had really
become less of a
problem for most Americans. In
1962, we drafted only
seventy-six thousand young men.
We had four hundred and thirty
thousand draft-eligible men
who had education or occupational
deferments, and additionally there was 1.3
million who had
been deferred because of paternity.
On September 10, 1962, President
Kennedy extended those deferments
to anyone who was married.
There was strong support for selective service.
It was reauthorized every four years.
But in
presidential candidate Barry Goldwater
expressed his intention to eliminate the draft.
President Johnson responded with
a DOD study, a Defense
Department study, on the draft
and before that could come
out, the Vietnam War
heated up and the Defense
Department took a strong position
that a volunteer force was unfeasible
and the cost would be prohibitive.
In 1967, Richard Nixon,
then a candidate for the Republican
nomination for President, named Martin
Anderson, who at the
time was an associate professor of
Business at Columbia University, as his director of research.
And in April, Martin
sent Nixon a memorandum arguing
for an all-volunteer force.
He prepared a more extensive memorandum in July.
It was entitled: An Analysis
of the Factors Involved in Moving
to an All-Volunteer Force.
And we have to discuss that
campaign, that memorandum, Martin
and his wife Annelise.
And I turn it over to you.
I will return at the
end of the discussion of the
campaign to set the
stage for the administration and then
return at the end
of the discussion to talk about
what happened after 1973.
Thank you Bernie.
In December '66 it really all began.
Martin was teaching at Columbia
University at the
business school, and he and
I were invited as guests
of another faculty member
at the business school, and another
of their guests was George
Anderek and his wife.
George Anderek was a
young man who had been
hired by Nixon's law firm.
And during the dinner, Marty and
George Anderek got into discussions of politics.
Marty was arguing, as I
recall, that Richard Nixon
would be the best Republican candidate
to be nominated and win the
election in '68 and George Anderek
said, "Well with views like that,
you ought to be working for
Nixon himself, for my boss."
And we left the dinner
and nothing happened for a
few days and then Len Garment,
who was a partner in Nixon's
law firm, called Martin.
Martin got this telephone call
and Leonard Garment said, "Why
don't you come down and talk about this?
We've heard that you're
a professor at Columbia
and that you have some views
that are consistent with those of Richard Nixon."
So Martin was intrigued
and he took the subway
down to Wall Street and started
meeting with a group that
included Len Garment and
Pat Buchanan, John Sears,
Ray Price, and Alan Greenspan.
And they would meet about once
a week at the law firm
and talk about the issues
and the policies that Nixon
ought to be focusing on as he
developed plans for his
presidential campaign, which hadn't really even begun.
In 1967, March 1967,
at one of this group's regular
meetings, they brought
up the issue of the military draft
and what position Nixon might take on this.
What should his position be in the campaign?
Should he stay with the idea
of universal military training?
That's what Eisenhower had been
for and Nixon had supported
that position, or should
he propose changes to the
current draft system, which was getting
extremely unpopular, given Vietnam
and the seven year window of
vulnerability under which it placed people.
And Martin was familiar with
the debate about the draft and
had just finished reading an
article by Milton Friedman that
summed up the arguments in favor of ending the draft.
And so nobody thought,
that sat
around that group, that universal military training
was a particularly attractive idea
to present in a campaign,
but Nixon obviously needed
something new if he was
not going to support the
position that he'd been supporting for 15 years.
So Martin offered to put
together a paper on ending the draft.
The group was skeptical.
They didn't think this was such
a great idea, but a few
weeks later the paper was
finished and then a more
detailed paper,
July 4, 1967, was
presented to Nixon,
giving the pros and cons of ending the draft.
Nixon read it, he said
it was very interesting, and nothing happened.
A while later, it turned
out that Nixon had
been very interested in this
and had sent out about
30 copies for comment to his
friends in the military and political world.
And during the four months
following July, he got comments were coming back.
Still, Martin didn't hear anything.
And then on November 17,
1967, Nixon was returning
to New York City from Washington
on an Eastern Airlines shuttle
and Marty was with him,
he had been on that trip, and
the other person who was with
him was Robert Semple, who
was a young reporter from
the New York Times who had
been assigned to Nixon's campaign,
which wasn't considered real top priority then.
So Robert Semple was a
relatively junior reporter and he
and Marty switched seats so he
could sit next to
Richard Nixon on a plane
and started asking him questions,
went through all kinds of issues,
and then said, "Well, what do you think,
what would you do about the military draft?"
And Nixon smiled
and said, "I think we should
eliminate the draft
and move to an all-volunteer force."
Nixon proceeded to elaborate
that idea and that was
the conclusion of the paper
that Martin had presented to him.
And there he was, making that
public, and the story
ran on the front page of the New York Times,
that Nixon held this
position on the military draft,
and he elaborated it and
explained why he favored doing so.
And it had taken four months, but there it was.
During the campaign, Nixon did
not make the draft a
major issue. He didn't
give a major speech on it,
at least not until October.
And by the time October 1968
came, the polls
were showing that Nixon and Hubert
Humphrey, who had received
the nomination after Johnson withdrew,
were extremely close, and
Nixon decided on a policy
blitzkrieg and he called
a staff meeting and announced
that he intended to make ten
policy speeches, one a
day for ten days, on new issues,
and they would be on the radio and he asked for suggestions.
And the staff is
pretty tired at this point
and it was hard to come
up with ten new things to do.
And after a few suggestions,
Martin said, "Why don't we do one on the draft?"
And Nixon looked around
and said, "Do I hear any objections?
Is that all right?" And
nobody said anything and so he said,
"Fine, let's do it.
Next issue."
And so on October 17th, Nixon
gave a CBS radio address,
nationwide, on the draft.
And that's in, it was
later published in a
book that he put out of his speeches
that he very much wanted to
put out during the campaign.
And so that, that was
really the major
public communication of the idea.
Ray Price wrote the draft and he and Martin worked on it,
Nixon edited it
and worked on it also,
and early in the speech
Nixon said, "We have lived
with the draft so long that
too many of us now accept it as normal
and necessary.
I say it's time we took
a new look at the draft,
at the question of permanent
conscription in a free society."
And he ended the speech with
these lines: "So I say
it's time we looked to our consciences.
Let's show our commitment to
freedom by preparing to
assure our young people theirs."
So that's basically the campaign story.
Let me just add a couple of things.
Because there were a lot of things that happened.
One of the fascinating things
was that he was
the only one who wanted to do it.
Well, I had a lot of friends and really good people at what they were doing.
But they took one look at
what I was doing and what
the President was doing and they didn't want to do it.
And we just watched that coming along.
And then toward the end, it
was very close at that time.
People haven't paid much attention
to it, but he was
very very quiet.
In fact, he probably thought he was going to lose.
And they kept going back, and then
the interesting thing that came
out there was, "I'll say one
here I'll pass this around."
One of the things that
he did, he stood
up and he said, "You know, I've
been doing the right thing, I've
been doing things that no one
has said to me was really
terrible." And I
talked to him and said,
"Well, you know we should look at the service and what we want to do."

And he said, "Yes, that's exactly what I want to do.
I want to see if anyone can tell them what we have been doing.
We've been doing wonderful things."
And Annelise went to get
this and you were...and two other people if I remember right.
And what they had
done, they only had
about 15 times .
It was all over.
This book came done. They,
this book filled by ten years...
Well, there are in
this, what Nixon asked for,
he said, "I want a book
that summarizes my position on the issues."
And he said, "I have taken positions on over 200 issues."
So we had the
research staff, oh
200, we know what the assignment is.
When he took them, he waited.
It was 7 days,
which is amazing that
he had written the whole thing in that time.
He got the book.
We obviously used excerpts from things he had said before.
We weren't writing any new positions.
This was Nixon's book, Nixon's words.
So, we have foreign, domestic
policy, all together, something
like 227 issues, including something on the military draft.
Except for one thing.
Then he said alright when
he heard about it, it was good.
And we brought it in with him.
And he looked around
and he took one look at it and said, "That's terrific.
It's exactly what I've done
and we will do that."
And he told me to put
it on, put it on top of everybody that was using it.
"Drop it on them," he said, "
Okay, go ahead." And these people were after him.
They were going after him because
he couldn't do it.
He took one look and they looked at it and it went very quiet.
So the press, the press all got a copy.
The press walked away,
and they only had about twenty, how
much time was it now?
It was very close.
Well, it came out on October
17th or 18th was
when the press got it. We had
only had the assignment for about five or six days.

So it was done very quickly.
Then what he did, he was
sitting there, he said, "Alright, that's terrific.
I want to do another
one." And we nearly
died on that one because we
were supposed to do it again
and he did it again
and this is the other book he did before everything happened.
Before the election.
And this is major speeches,
including the speech on
the military draft that he gave
on October 17th on CBS radio.
So those are... and that
basically stopped the press, which
was claiming that he hadn't
taken any positions on any issues.
And we knew he had and so did he.
We knew that, but we
didn't know how he was going
to do because he was very quiet.
And all I can
remember now is that on
31, he won and so did the other people.
And it was dead front.
He just barely made it.
And he did.
And just as he won the whole little thing.
Then it became us and
we can talk about that,
but that was one of the
main things that he did
when he came in, he was going to do it.
And what we found out, rapidly,
a lot of people didn't want to do it.
They did not want him to go out, they didn't want him to be there.
He shouldn't do it.
Stop it.
And the one person that hadn't was him.
And basically what he said
was, "Look," he said,
"This is what I'm going to
do." And everybody just looked down.
Now what happened to this place
when nobody paid much attention to it?
He talked to him, I talked
to him, and we had
done everything except there was
nobody that wanted to do
And he said that, you know,
and basically what he said
was, and I was talking
to him, that he couldn't get people to do it.
So he ordered this idea
that what he will do, he will try to do it.
We'll have a book for him.
And we put in.
We get fifteen people, that'll work
for him and will take him
there, the whole idea.
Let me set the stage then
for this transition to...
By the way, he knows it
better then any one in many ways. Go ahead.
Let me set the stage then for this transition.
So Richard Nixon is elected
president on November 5th.
And five days
after the inauguration, January
25, 1969, there's
a meeting of the National Security Council.
And as part
of that meeting, the major
part of the meeting was the Vietnam War,
but as part of that meeting,
there's a discussion about two issues that are interrelated.
One is the reform of
the Selective Service system, the
draft, and the
other was the possibility
of moving to an all-volunteer force.
The Administration, in effect,
was selecting a dual strategy.
They would try to reform
Selective Service and if
the final decision was not
to go to an all-volunteer force,
they would have that.
And they would set the
groundwork for an all-volunteer
force that could replace
selective service and the draft.
So President Nixon directed
Secretary of Defense Melvin
Laird to begin immediately,
and I'm quoting from a memorandum,
"To begin immediately to plan
a special commission to develop
a detailed plan of action
for ending the draft."
I would say Laird was
less than enthusiastic about
doing this.
He felt that he had
a war to win and that this
could be a distraction. And so he
sent back to the President
a memorandum which said, well,
this is a good idea, but
Defense had started to study it
and he'd let the President
know what the results
of that DOD study
would be when it was
finished in about a year.
Could I ask one more question on this subject.
That's a fascinating one.
He told Reagan...Nixon.
He did not want to do it.
He wanted to get it
done and he wanted those fifteen to go on.
We did something that no
one had ever done, we said
that fifteen of the people
were really good.
They wanted to do it.
The other fifteen said, "No.
We don't wanna do it."
Five in fact.
It was 15 altogether.
In there was that we don't
know what we're going to do.
And they went on for 1
year and they went
back and forth and they argued back
and forth and they did the damnedest thing,
as to what they
were doing and how they were
gonna do it and where we're
gonna do it and then,
at the end, he won.
Well, let me set that
stage. So on February
6, Nixon again wrote
to Laird and he
said he was going to
set up a commission, which Martin
will talk about in some more detail.
And that became the Gates Commission.
And he would be
happy to have Secretary Laird read
and advise him after the
commission was over as
to what his views on the commission were.
In other words, he told Secretary Laird,
if you don't want to do it,
I'll do it myself, and I'll
take it out of your hands.
And so that's how it progressed,
but there was another part to
this and that
was the issue of the draft.
And so the second part
of reforming selective service fell
to the staff.
A major consideration was how
to deal with the long serving
Director of Selective Service,
General Lewis Hershey.
And that fell to Jonathan
Rose who was on the
White House staff and Jonathan
will talk about that dual
strategy and how he
and his colleagues addressed the
reform of selective service, and
then the replacement of General
Hershey, all of
this occurring in 1969, 1970, 71.
And then I
come along at the end
of the decade and actually
became the Director of Selective
Service responsible for building
a standby draft, which was
one of the mechanisms that was
recommended by the Gates Commission.
So why don't we talk about the.
Why don't I. Okay, good.
Pitch in on the year
of '69 because Marty was
the keeper of the flame to
get the all-volunteer force
done, get the commission
appointed, give Nixon ownership
of it, and Nixon and
Marty drove that through.
Marty is also right that there
was a whole group in the
White House and in the
Congress and in the
Selective Service that thought, A,
this was a distraction; B,
they weren't sure they were
for a volunteer force at
all, and C, they kinda
like things the way they were.
And that's where we kind of
came in April of
that year. You'd wonder
why Pete Flanigan, who
was the deputy campaign manager,
ends up with Selective
Service reform on his plate.
Well, it was an office
I used to call of the
miscellaneous because we had
White House high level personnel
appointments and we had also
things ranging from NASA to
the Federal Communications Commission to Selective
Service, and this was sort
of the first up problem that we had.
And obviously people realized
that the first job
was to see what you
could do with regard to reforming
Selective Service because Nixon
also saw that as
a short-range matter, the long-range
goal was to get rid of this entire system,
but the short-range goal
was if you're going to have
it, at least have a system
that seemed fair to people
and equitable and not as
capricious and arbitrary with
deferments and some people
serving, some people not, and
no particular rationale as to
why some were chosen and not others.
And that rapidly led
that same National Security
Council meeting where they decided
to go for the volunteer force,
they also adopted as an
interim measure the goals of
the Marshall Commission that
Johnson had appointed to get
rid of the deferment system,
students, fathers, all of
the kind of patchwork set
of deferments and to have
a national lottery that would
expose people for one
year at a fairly
early stage so they
could determine whether they
were going to be drafted or
not and then get on
with their lives, because the fact
was the system as it
was constituted was turning up
about four times as
many people as was needed
and the way the Hershey
regime got rid of them
was to give them deferments and,
on any kind of a basis,
basically excuse people, whereas
Nixon's idea was that we
ought to let the people
know who were going
to have to serve and on
a rational basis, let the
people know who weren't going to
have to serve. And that
let us into a series of
things in '69, while Marty
was pushing through the consensus
of the Gates Commission on the
volunteer force, which is a whole story in and of itself,
we were having to deal with
the fact of... First, Kissenger
and Al Haig, who were very
much in the center of the national security scene,
and Laird, all were
somewhat suspicious and worried
about exactly how all this
was going to work, but finally
Laird came back with the
notion that you're not
going to really get anything done here
unless you push for
it, Mr. President, all out.
And this was before
he could get the volunteer
Army, he had to get his
draft reform, and in
order to do that he had
to get legislation from Congress because
they had put in the draft
law by this time that
you couldn't go to a national lottery,
that the President couldn't implement
that without specific congressional
authorization. And Hershey tried
to muck up the situation
by saying, well yeah,
we can come up with a
more random way of doing
this, but it would've
been just a different, equally
confused system and the
more he tried to explain it,
the less any of us could understand it.
And at the same
time, there was this
sense among the White House
staff and Laird himself that
the Defense Department was getting
stuck with Hershey's image and
the whole Selective Service
System was being viewed as
an arm of DOD, when in
fact it was being run by Hershey rather independently.
And he, of course,
had a great relationship with
a bunch of characters that people here probably don't remember,
but Mendel Rivers, Eddie Abear,
who were leaders in the House
Armed Services Committee, and Senator
John Stennis, Richard Russell
in the Senate, and Margaret
Chase Smith was another one.
All of whom had severe
doubts about, there were
a group of Republicans that thought
a volunteer force was a
great idea, but these other
people thought the volunteer force
probably was not such a great idea.
And also, draft reform was
a questionable thing in their minds.
So it took a lot of
pushing, and Laird, I
think, has to be given a
fair amount of credit for getting
the legislation through in
the fall of 1969 that
permitted us to go to
a lottery, but that was
to be administered still by
Mr. Hershey.
Hershey was another problem, which
was a separate problem, and
in the middle of that whole legislative
fight, Bryce Harlow, who
was the head of the legislative unit
in the White House said to
me, "Well, John, you got a
perfectly simple problem here, all
you have to do is remove Louis Hershey."
And I thought well that was akin
to firing J. Edgar Hoover
or something of that sort and about as equally simple.
And I happened to
be out in San Clemente and I
was told I should tell
this story, but I was
in a men's room out in
the Western White House, standing
next to Bob Haldeman, and
I said, "Bob, you know Bryce
Harlowe's solution for
solving this whole problem of
getting the lottery implemented is
just to fire Louis Hershey.
He said, "Well you know, Johnny, you
should tell Bryce that's a
great idea and he should
implement it."
And it took, it actually
took us from October, when a
meeting was held with the
President and Pete Flanigan
and General Hershey in which
he was told he was going
to be promoted to
Manpower Mobilization Advisor and
removed as Director of the
Selective Service, til the following
February to get him
actually, in fact, removed.
And it also cost Secretary
Laird a fourth star, and
he and the Army nearly gagged
over that, giving General
Hershey a fourth star, but
he was finally removed.
And I also found, simultaneously, at
the same time, a man
named Bill Hopkins, who probably
none of you have heard of,
but he was in the
White House since Calvin Coolidge's time.
He came up and showed
me a memorandum from Jack
Valente to Lyndon Johnson, and
it was called RE: Removal of General Louis B. Hershey.
And the suggestion was, what
you have to do is
appoint him to a high
powered advisory post and give him a fourth star.
So this was not
a new idea apparently, but
in any event it did
get implemented, the legislation got passed,
and then that winter,
December 1st, I think,
1969, we had the lottery.
And contrary to the
ideas of a lot of
people who wanted a truly
random lottery to be
held, Hershey insisted that
what we had to do was go
back to World War II and
have the huge fishbowls out
there with balls in them,
and the balls would be drawn out
for the particular months and days
that were going to be
drafted in the order in which people would be drafted.
Well, it turned out that
the drawing was
held, but it was
rapidly proven by a
lot of statisticians that the
drawing was not random because
the balls had not been inserted
randomly, and the fact
of stirring them around a
few times with a paddle didn't make them random.
So we got, kind of
laughed out of the park
for the way we had
run the lottery to start with.
And then the lottery itself
got superimposed on this entire
Selective Service System that
General Hershey presided over of
local boards, which some
of you may remember, where each local
board ended up with
a quota of people it had to
deliver each month.
And for the first month or so
while we were trying to
figure out, sort of
shellshocked, what was going
on, we had local boards drafting
people from number one to
number 360 depending on
who they had available to go.
They didn't pay any attention to
the fact that drafting somebody
at 360 in the first month
of the year made the
idea of a lottery look
ludicrous, so we had a
public relations problem and a
a general problem of administration,
which we only managed to solve
by virtue of the
National Security Council getting into it with us.
And we finally with defense, got a system established.
Whereby, we got a team
of people over to Selective Service.
to figure out what was going on.
And then we established national ceilings
of numbers that could be
called and got the agreement
of the Defense Department to except
the fact that they were going
to get under deliveries in particular
months, because we would
only go to number 10
in February say, and nobody
above that could be drafted
by any board and that's
kind of how we solved that problem.
And meantime Marty was
working with the Gates
Commission and he can tell you about that.
Yeah Let me just say that
what they have said is
really tremendous, as to how often it happened.
The main person that did it is Reagan... Nixon!
He's the one who did it.
It wasn't me and it wasn't these other people.
We had different ways of doing it and I was doing.
He is the one that wanted gun.
And towards the end, they
didn't say a word, they just
went ahead and they did it.
Now one of the things
that happened, I'm looking back on it now, what 40 years.
And virtually everyone love it
now, the people who are doing it.
Yeah, I think that
a significant part of the
Gates Commission was the way
Martin advised Nixon to set
it up so there were five
people for the draft, five
opposed, and five who were neutral.
And we had some very strong people
like Milton Friedman and Alan
Greenspan who were opposed
to the draft and had written
articles about it and
spoken about it and so forth.
A couple of generals, Lewis
Norstad and Gunther, I
think his name was, who were
very definitely opposed to the draft.
There were other people who were
considered people of integrity
and thoughtfulness, who
were good analysts, but who
were neutral on this issue, and hadn't decided.
Mel Laird - after
Nixon told Mel Laird
that this commission would report
to Richard Nixon, to the
President, and not to the Secretary of Defense.
But he asked Mel Laird who he thought ought to be chairman
and Tom Gates was
one of the people at the
top of Laird's list, according to Bernie's history.
And we did just one thing.
We actually did this.
So we'll pass this around.
But this is what everybody got.
That came out after the commission
and it was widely published.
There was also a paperback.
So, Nixon and
Marty and Gates met, and Gates said,
Gates had been Secretary
of Defense and Nixon wanted him to chair this commission,
and he said, "Mr. President,
you don't want me. I'm
not a supporter of the
all-volunteer force, I'm opposed to it."
And Nixon said, "Tom, that's
exactly why I want you, because I
know that if you decide it's
a good idea, that then it really will be a good idea."
And so this Commission went to
work and there was a lot of opposition.
There's one famous exchange in
which one of the generals
who was opposed to...
You shouldn't tell them that one.
Well, I guess not.
I think though Bernie says
it's in the paper so, that
actually there are
minutes of these things.
Go ahead, go ahead.
And so, the general says to
Milton Friedman, "I don't want
to have to fight a war with your mercenaries."
And Milton Friedman comes back
and says, "Well, General, I
don't want to fight a
war with your slaves." And so
this is sort of the
conflict that an all-volunteer
force would be mercenaries, of
course many of them were already
volunteers, and that otherwise
they were unjustly forced to
serve the United States through conscription.
And finally, in February
1970 this group reported,
we have a picture and I
think that there's a picture
of the group reporting with Alan
Greenspan and the generals
and all the rest of
them and Marty's there in the
background right against the window there.
And Nixon already had underway, the
report of the commission
was unanimous in favor
of an all-volunteer military, and
the report to the
Congress was already
being written because that was
what Nixon wanted to do,
and of course, he knew what they were going to advise him.
And so they proceeded to
do it, and it took,
the Vietnam War was
winding down, which had been one of Nixon's purposes.
The number of people
drafted declined steadily
and draft calls reached zero
in January 1973, and in
July 1, 1973, the authority
to draft, induction authority expired.
And there was no more draft,
and there hasn't been since then,
we've had an all-volunteer military.
The vehicle for bringing forth
the all-volunteer force was a series of pay increases.
The Gates Commission had analyzed
the labor market and had
determined that they believed
it was feasible within reasonable
budgetary costs to increase
wages, first term pay,
and that this would be the
basis for the all-volunteer force.
And so as, between 1970
and 1973 there were a
series of pay increases and it
was the response to the
pay increases that allowed
the increase in accessions, and
six months before the draft
was to expire, it was
clear that they were making
their numbers, and for
the last six months no one was called.
So, the notion was
that people would respond
to a fair and equitable
wage and would find
this acceptable and that
that's in fact what happened.
I would be less
than candid to tell you
that it was all smooth
sailing It was not.
A volunteer force is very
It requires a great deal of attention.
And I served in the
Carter administration in the
late 1970s and the
situation became very precarious,
so that by the end
of the the 1970s
President Nixon actually
wrote, "Now, seven
years later, I have reluctantly
concluded that we should
reintroduce the draft.
The volunteer army has failed
to provide enough personnel at the caliber we needed."
And that was Mr. Nixon's judgement in 1980.
Within ten years, concerted effort
by the Reagan administration, several
pay raises that went into
effect at the end of
the Carter administration, but took
their effect during the Reagan
administration, resulted in
a volunteer military that went
to war in the Gulf.
And the performance of the
military in war
in the Gulf was so superb
that almost no one who
had argued for a continuation
of the draft just a decade
earlier would make that argument.
The generals and admirals to
a man became great supporters
of the all-volunteer force.
The harshest critic in the
Congress was Senator Sam Nunn,
and he became a supporter of the all-volunteer force.
Now, the next great test of
the volunteer force came after
911 when we went to war in Iraq.
One of the members of the
Gates Commission, Tom Curtis had
written to the chairman, Mr. Gates
at the time, and said "I'm
now convinced you could have
a volunteer force in peace time.
But I can never imagine that we
could have a volunteer force
going to war." And that's
why in the succeeding
years, it was important to have
a standby draft, which I
was charged with building and managing
in 1979 and 1980.
Well, we in
fact went to war, two
wars, and we've been
in those wars for longer
than any military conflict
in our history, and the
superb performance of our
military is directly related to the volunteer force.
I will tell you as the
end of the Clinton
administration, I was the Undersecretary
of Defense for Personnel.
And I will tell you that the quality
of the force is better
than we ever had it before.
We don't necessarily have the
top of the top, but
those were the people who got
deferments in previous years.
We truncated the bottom.
We'd take effectively no
one who's not a high school
graduate, no one
who does not score roughly
a 90 IQ or
above, it is a cut
above the American population
as a whole, but representative racially
and regionally of the broad
middle class. Vietnam, we
had a retention rate of
about 15% of first-termers decided to stay.
Today, we have a retention
rate that is between fifty and sixty percent.
It is a career oriented force.
We've reduced training costs, but
we have paying more because they are careerists.
And it is the most professional
force that exists in the
world today, or has ever
existed as a volunteer force.
So, the efforts that these gentlemen
started have come,
now, to fruition in a
military that you can
be proud of and our
solders are proud of,
and you can see it
in their decisions to
reenlist and to stay.
So we can look
back now over 40 years
of great accomplishment that really
started with President Nixon's
personal commitment to move
the country to an all-volunteer force.
He's right.
So, I think we have time for questions.
Sure, go ahead.
I really appreciate your candor.
I was a member of
the armed forces in the late seventies, and it was pretty bad.
And one thing I noticed that was common,
and it was kind of
a back door draft in a
way, is a lot
of guys who would like have problems
with criminal records, and the
judge will give the choice: "You can go in the military."
So I was serving with some
people who might have ended up
in jail if they hadn't served, and
that was no good for the force.
In the late seventies, we had
a technical problem, which was
we had a screening test that was wrong.
I was in the administration at the time.
We thought we were bringing in
quality and we really weren't.
And the cost of
the volunteer force had risen
so that during the
inflation after Vietnam,
President Carter was trying
to hold the budget and we let wages slip.
By the end of his
administration, he finally agreed
to increase wages.
There were two large wage increases that
went into effect, one at
the end of the Carter administration, one
at the beginning of the Reagan
administration, and that
carried the Reagan administration through
an inability to increase quality
at the same time as we were trying to rebuild the force.
And the fruits of
that are seen in
1990 during the first Gulf War.
But you're exactly right. It was
a... We didn't plan on
building an inferior force,
but it was an inferior force,
and we recognize that now in hindsight.
And we improved the GI Bill
with the Montgomery GI bill.
We brought that back as
a major factor to improve
the quality of our people. You are exactly right.
I think that Ronald Regan also,
and his Secretary of
Defense Cap Weinberger, had an
extremely strong commitment to the all-volunteer force,
and not only were willing
to go to Congress and get
the pay raises, but also
the morale of the
armed services because
Reagan was so supportive
of their role and what
they were doing and it made a difference. I think it makes a difference.
Nixon made difference in his
commitment to what he
wanted and to seeing it
through and to effectively
strategizing it, and so
did Ronald Reagan and Cap Weinberger. A little story that goes with that,
one of the people who was
most negative during your period
of time was Alexander Haig,
who was a aide
to Henry Kissinger, and Kissinger was not in favor of it.
During the Reagan administration, Haig is
now Secretary of Defense and
went around the country bad-mouthing the all-volunteer force.
And when that got back to
Secretary Weinberger, he wrote
a handwritten note to Secretary
Haig, first of all
a handwritten note in Washington
is a big trumpet.
You're saying something in capitals.
And it said, "Here are the
facts, and by the
way, if you have anything more
to say about the all-volunteer force,
why don't you talk to me first?"
Which was a way of
telling Haig to shut up.
We've got a question over here
and we should get to it,
but I wanted to add on the... just tell
you what Marty was facing in
the Nixon administration. I
would go down to talk to
Al Haig at night a
lot about our problems with
Hershey and the lottery and
the draft, and Kissinger really
didn't know me, nor did
he really seem to know
who Marty was because he kept
confusing me with Marty Anderson.
That's true.
And every time I would
go down to the basement to
go the the NSC to
talk to Haig, Kissinger would
walk by and say, "Oh,
here comes the volunteer Army again."
So that gives you some idea of the attitude he was facing.
Go ahead, sir, you.
Sir, maam, I served
during the Vietnam War as a commissioned officer.
I was not drafted, but I
had ample experience in
serving with drafted men under
both Presidents Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon.
Today, as a veteran,
I function as a service
officer for my American
Legion post and I
come into contact with the
needs and issues of
many members of the
volunteer armed services. I
certainly do not disagree that
the volunteer force is extremely
well trained, perhaps the best
military we've ever put in the field.
And with the fifty percent retention rate, that is remarkable.
But my question to you sir
is, I want to
follow up on a comment
that Secretary of Defense
Gates made last year
when he retired. And Secretary
Gates said, "The burden
of war is upheld
by one percent of the United States population."
That is, only one percent
of the American public participates
in our armed services.
Considering, considering that statistic,
and considering the redeployment
of our troops four, five,
and I've met some even
more times than that,
to the war zones of Iraq
and Afghanistan. Okay, what is your question?
The question is, do you
not think the United States
would be better served if all
of our youth had the opportunity, were
given the opportunity to serve
in the armed services, that is
bring back the draft.
Let me answer that because
it's kind of contemporary and I
had to deal with that as Undersecretary.
First of all, all of American
youth have the opportunity to serve as volunteers.
Second, I would not
have much of an
objection if we had
universal service as we really had in World War II.
But our requirement is so
low that any
form of conscription becomes a crapshoot, a lottery.
It's not equal sacrifice.
It's not equal service. It's like
going to Las Vegas and taking a gamble.
And I don't know how, I
was the director of Selective
Service, how to
explain to a young man that
his life is in danger because
of a lottery number, not equal
service to his compatriots,
his friends who stay at home.
So that's one answer.
The second answer is, those
who went 4 and 5 and
6 times, were all volunteers.
They reenlisted to go.
Our reenlistment rates in Army
units were 110, 120%
of goals.
They could have gone home if
they wanted to, but they
are professional soldiers and
going to war is what
they did and what
they do and they choose
to stay, they are not forced to stay.
If we had a volunteer force,
it would be a high turnover
force, it would be
a much more expensive force in
terms of training, but it
also would be an inferior
force in terms of experience,
because the soldier who goes
twice and three and four
times is much more
expert in his tasks
than the soldier who is going
for the first time, and has
to learn and often learning
is cause, is the result
of increased mortality.
So I appreciate the
argument, but the
math doesn't work, given
where we are and the size
of our population today and
the technical nature of the
military today.
I'd just like to
mention also that one of the things
that's very important in supporting our
volunteer military are our
reserve units and
the National Guard, so that
they are what are trained
and are ready to go when
the number of people who are
actually on duty at
the time, isn't that right
Bernie, are not adequate, and
we've used a lot of reserves
and National Guard in the last several years.
A lot of pressure on them.
In the last ten years we
have integrated the National Guard
and the reserves into the normal rotations.
You're right.
The old argument was, they join
the National Guard and now you're
surprising them that they have to go to war.
There isn't a person in the
National Guard today that
that argument holds for.
Might have hold in 1990.
It didn't hold in 2000,
certainly doesn't hold today.
You don't join the National
Guard without the expectations
that you will go to war.
You've chosen to go to
war in a occupational
structure that brings you home,
and you stay at home for
a number of years, and you
go back to work. They are all volunteers.
We have built a true total
force of part-time soldiers and full-time soldiers
that are fully integrated. You
also haven't mentioned the women
that have been added to
the... We are the... That's
a good point ...huge
employer of women. That's true, absolutely.
Twenty percent of the force today are made up of women.
If there's any category that
has made the all-volunteer force
work, it is women and women support it in two ways.
They support it both as members
and they support it as spouses
to members and women
and the family-friendly
nature of the military
today, compared to what
it was before, is
quite a remarkable transition.
Go ahead.
I like this man's concern. It's
based on Bob Gates and his experience.
And my experience is like
Long Beach Wilson over here,
Whittier kid, who also was avoiding the draft.
I graduated from high school
in '64, avoided the draft with two S
college and then National Guard
service. And my friends,
who most of them went
to Vietnam, came home, helped
to end the war, veterans,
because they saw the imperial
presidency of Lyndon Johnson, mostly.
Just putting theses kids into a
meat grinder. And so
there is an aspect that
I understand he's saying that
takes away the private army
of a President if you
have a forced draft, but
obviously I love the
interchange, I've never heard the
quote, Gates to Friedman?
Was that the quote?
No, it wasn't Gates, it's a different general.
It was a different general.
It's a different general.
I never heard that.
I don't know right now which one it was.
But nonetheless, I don't want
your mercenary force fighting my
war, I don't want your
slaves fighting my war,
is a genius interchange. And
so how do you
balance out then this
well-trained, well-focused, well-financed force
to not become basically a
private army that doesn't have
a political responsibility to a broader base?
Well, I think a political
responsibility, first of all,
is the voters and who they
support in primaries and elections.
I don't think you look to
your military to do your political work.
That's not their job.
The world has changed.
When the United States went to
an all -volunteer force, we were
an anomaly in Western Europe.
Only England effectively was a volunteer force.
And that represents a great
split between the Anglo-American
tradition and the Continental
tradition that you had an obligation to serve.
The height of that tradition was
France. And France today has a volunteer force.
They had the same problems we had.
When the French could afford a
conscription of less than six
months, the Generals finally
said, no, no, we
have to go to a volunteer force.
The French could not mount a
effective combat force for
the first Gulf War because
they were mired with draftees that
could not be assigned out of
metropolitan France.
And so today, effectively every
European country has a volunteer
force, with the exception
of Germany. They are moving towards it,
but they have a huge portion
of alternative service rather than military service.
So, the norm has become the
professional volunteer force, also
heightened by the great technology.
You can't draft somebody
for six months or a year
and expect them to become proficient
in the systems that we have today.
So I'm very sensitive
to the claim, but
the times are so different
than they were of the
mass army and the
conscripted army to support
the country that
it becomes really infeasible.
We could go on all afternoon,
we could go on all month
talking about the trade offs
and the changes. I want
to thank the panelists for
their discussion, but before I
let you go, I want to
talk about a different revolution just for a second.
This is Bernie's book.
Bernie wrote the definitive book on
the draft from the Selective Service in 2006.
And you can get
it, if you'd like to wade
through it, from Rand
at rand.org, but whats
so intriguing is about how
Bernie did it, because he
collected all of the
documentation, a massive amount,
all the way back to Marty's
first thoughts, and back to
the election, everything involving Richard
Nixon and bringing it up
to date. And then he
put in the back of the
book, a DVD. And
this is 2006, and
what's so intriguing - it's
almost a view to the future.
If you look at the electronic
version of his book, and
he mentions the Gates report,
or somebody in, a member of
the Gates report, and you
click on it, it gives
you the report, or it
gives you the biography of the
individual that was involved, and
we think that's perfectly normal today
because you can do that in
Wikipedia anytime you want,
but Bernie developed it
in 2006 and for back
then, it's revolutionary.
And you see these germs,
we're talking about germs of other ideas up here.
But that's what happened with Rand's
technology and the desire
to enable people to do a book electronically.
A little vignette for how things happen.
This is whatever the count
is on our Legacy Forums, as
Sandy mentioned we have one
on February 1st at Stanford,
on peaceful desegregation of
Southern schools, we have one
planned roughly once a
month throughout 2012.
Some will be in Washington, DC.
Some will be back here.
We're doing one on restoration of
rights for Native Americans in May
in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
But you can go on the
website and you can see these,
we thank you for coming, we
appreciate your interest and your support .
Have a pleasant afternoon.