tv 1917 Selective Service Act and the Draft CSPAN July 8, 2017 4:50pm-5:58pm EDT
they had a projector rig that they had to hack different products together and see what would become become the iphone. >> president wilson signed the selective service i'd on may 18 of 1917. 21 tot required men aged register for military service. up next, the centennial of selective service. the military service became voluntary. >> good evening and welcome to the national world war i museum and memorial. i and the curator of education, and it is my absolute pleasure
to be welcoming you here this evening for a riveting conversation on the anniversary -- the 100th anniversary on -- of a piece of legislation that completely changes the united states. your national world war i museum and memorial opened here in kansas city in 1926 because the wonderful folks of kansas city wanted to create a memorial for those who lived through and those who died in the world war. the war itself began in 1914, and, yet, the united states remained neutral until 1917. with a volunteer army of about 120,000, on april 6, congress
declared war against germany in 1917. they decided to move on may 18, 1917, to exponentially increase that army. we've got a wonderful panel of experts who will be here to bring light to world war i and up through today, so i would like to go ahead and invite them to come up to our diets here -- our dais here. dr. faulkner is a professor of military history in fort leavenworth, kansas. for 23 years, he served in the u.s. army as an armor, officer, and retired as a kernel in 2006 -- as a colonel in 2006.
not only does he bring an inspector's, but -- an inspector's eye, but also a practitioner. you might want to take a look at his newest book, urging the crusaders -- the american soldier in world war i, which explores the united eights military's first experience in modern warfare -- united states military's first experience in modern warfare. next, dr. beth bailey who earned her doctorate and masters degrees in american history from the university of chicago. she specializes in the historic relationship between the u.s. military and american society. she is a key contributor to the popular american history textbook "a people and a nation" and has authored five books including her most recent book, "america's army: making the all-volunteer force," which examines the transition from the draft to an all volunteer force during the vietnam war.
and we have mark adams, the educational director at the harry s truman presidential library and museum. he has been an adjunct professor at the university of virginia. you might notice his fantastic accent, which is in part why he is moderating our conversation this evening. as you might know, we actually have experts who are here with a concentration in world war i, in vietnam, and world war ii, so we are really covering that brett -- that read -- that breadth. united states relied upon individuals to undertake military service, and the u.s. army used a small army of volunteers to head into mexico.
no one actually expected they would had out to europe. on this date 100 years ago, the u.s. congress passed the selective service act, giving the u.s. president power to draft soldiers. by the end of world war i, november of 1918, some 24 million men had registered under the selective service act. some of those arguably not enjoying the full extent of american citizenship. of the most 4.8 million americans who eventually served in the war, including many women, some 2.8 million men had been drafted. we went from a volunteer army to a conscripted service and back
to a volunteer army again. the selected service act deeply effected the american military and our role on a global stage. enjoy our conversation. mark. mr. adams: thank you, lora, and thank you to the museum for putting this on tonight. one of my former colleagues from the kansas museum is here, too. also, i'm a former high school history teacher. if we can get past the accent, we've got some great questions lined up for our panelists. we are going to start looking at the history of the draft and how that came about. the united states and the colonies receiving it repeatedly faced the question of how best
to assemble a military force in a time of war or armed conflict. so why, i put to our panelists, did the wilson ministration choose to implement the selective service system entering the first world war? dr. faulkner: this is going to be a decisive break with american history. they based the army primarily on conscription because of three main things. first of all, he is a professor of history and american government, so he is well aware of the challenges the republic had faced in the past raising its wartime armies, and also the issues of politics and the constitution that are involved.
second, he is a man of his time. he is a progressive in the progressive era, and a lot of the progressives had absolute faith in the ability to use the power of the federal government to efficiently and effectively deal with the problems of american society. last, and i would argue most importantly, we get to sit back and watch the british fumbled through this for more than three years, and as we will see, there's a lot of similarities between the british situation, 1914-1917, and the situation we faced in 1917. we should not believe, though, that this was the first time in
american history where there had been compulsory service. going back to colonial america, every one of the british colonies had enshrined in their charters or laws requirements for able-bodied males -- free males to serve in the militia. this is primarily for local defense and short-term military expeditions. that system worked well, though it starts to wither away the further the frontier gets away from the centers of population. but it just even the colonies faced -- but even the colonies faced the challenge. these short service militiamen were not very well suited for these military challenges, and it is interesting that a number of the colonies then turned to impress men. when they could not get enough volunteers to build their quotas, they were not above doing and impressment -- an impressment, usually of the lower classes. our tradition was to be averse to a large standing army. we believed it was detrimental to our liberties but also detrimental to our pocketbooks, but the founding fathers realized they still had to have some recourse to establish an army, and we see this in the constitution.
article one section eight, congress is given the power to declare war, to raise an army, to regulate the militia, and also to put those laws into practice as necessary and proper for the good of the republic. it is interesting that when the selective service act is passed in 1917, there are those who oppose it. there is a flurry of court cases questioning the constitutionality of the act. finally, relatively quick for the supreme court, in january 1918, the court hears a case and supreme court justices unanimously agree that the conscription laws are constitutional. of course, the constitution does not establish law. it is up to the congress to pass legislation. there are a series of statutes. first, 1793, supplanted by an
act in 1903, and then added to a 1916. all of them start off with a declaration that there is a component of responsibility to citizenship. all free male citizens age 18 to 45 are liable for some sort of military service. we basically fight all of our wars up to the civil war, and then, of course, the spanish-american war, based upon volunteers. we choose this for a host of reasons. first, we are in the midst of the american civil war. this is not the war that they planned for. it is a long, attrition will, total war. by 1863, the lincoln
administration feels that the north will be able to continue to bring men and to fill rex. for the first time in american history, the federal government passes the enrollment act, which makes liable for able-bodied male citizens for service and furthermore puts a quota to fill those slots with these conscripts as the need arises. interestingly, the lincoln administration took the controversial step of executing the draft using the war department, so the people who decide if they will serve will
be army officers in the north. as soon as the draft act comes out, it is a disaster. there are a number of americans who see this as a to radical overreach of the lincoln administration, to have the army now selecting who is going to go, but there are some aspects of the reenrollment act that sparked outrage. it provides for lawful american citizens to either hire folks to go in their place or to pay a fee. if you are in the cities and not well off, your argument is increasingly that this is a rich man's war and poor man's fight, so there are a number of draft riots across the north. the most bloody of which occurs in 1863. everything the wilson administration does when it comes to thinking about constriction in world war i, the ghost of the civil war draft is
going to hang over the top. what is interesting is that from the 1870's to 1917, despite this disaster of the draft in the civil war, there are a vocal minority of americans who will push for what will become known as universal military training and service. one group is the regular army led by henry upton. upton, who is an armchair historian, says if we look at the reality of the history of
the republic, every time we have gone to war based on volunteers, it has been a disaster. sending untrained men into battle is amount to -- is tantamount to sending citizens off to be murdered in war. they are also joined by a group of men to include theodore roosevelt and henry stimson that will cut across political boundaries who are looking at the changes occurring in american society at this time. we are in the midst of the second industrial revolution, so you have a breakneck industrialization, urbanization, and massive numbers of migrants. dr. faulkner: they are also joined by a group of men like peter roosevelt. they're looking at changes in american society. we are in the midst of the second industrial revolution. you have urbanization and massive numbers of immigrants. these men who are favoring -- are doing so for social and political reasons. they say if we are to take a draft of all the american males from across the nation, throw them together regardless of their origin, race, background, give them a common military background, it will create a better citizen. they're not getting too far for
1914 when the great war breaks out. from that movement on, there is increasingly striking call, called the preparedness movement to push this. it was led by teddy roosevelt, who probably faced woodrow wilson less than the kaiser. this is really a political threshold that will be used on his administration. by the time we get to january of 1917, the submarine warfare by the germans, a majority of americans are seeing this war. that will be a problem. the united states army is ranked 17th in the world behind romania and portugal. if we go to war it will be a problem. woodrow wilson who for political and ideological reasons, have long been a proponent of constriction, automatically has a road to the masses moment. in late march, the 28th of march, 1917, woodrow wilson does an about-face. he is a progressive. he realized if the united dates goes to war we will be up
against an army. if you look at britain, it mirrored the situation in 1917 for america. the regular army is small. they do not have a long history of inscription. when the british go to war, we get to watch them stumble and make mistakes. the british first try to rely on fighting the war with the regular army but the war has changed. it will be a massive, total war. it requires immobilization of every segment of society. when the regular army melt away into the mud in 1914, early 1915, they were going to volunteer. these were very intimacy asked young men. go to war with your friends.
the problem is, in a massive total war, the state now has to balance the needs of all segments of society. i have to figure out who i can then to the front, but i have to keep skilled workers in the factories and farmers in the field to feed everyone. i also have to keep civil servants to keep the civil society running. when you do this on volunteering, there is no orderly way to make that work. after the british stumble through this in generally of 1916, they come to conscription. wilson is watching all of this
develop across the ocean. that is the decision to go to conscription more than anything else. when he goes to congress to ask for a declaration of war in 1917 on the second of april, it is a request that when we raise the army it will be on the basis of universal military obligation. mark: thank you, would you like to add to that? you mentioned some of the challenges, and we will go back to -- you touched on some of that, but the challenges of implementing this new system. the logistics of that, who was charged and how at what extent do they overcome those challenges? dr. faulkner: woodrow wilson realizes he is breaking tradition. this is going to be the first army in american history that will be based primarily along conscription. 72% of the americans hope the world will be conscripts. he recognizes that will create a couple of challenges. he will have to start the congress and the american people. the second is, when you create this system and has to create those requirements of total war.
who will stay in the factories, fields and who will make sure civil society runs? based upon the experience of the american civil war, we have to create a system that will feed the american people to be as equitable, as just and as democratic as possible. he will work on these simultaneously. the first thing is to sell it to the american people. the first thing you do is change the name. the draft and constriction has bad connotation. the senator from north carolina -- he is from missouri actually. it is between a conscripts and a
convict. [laughter] dr. faulkner: we have to change these perceptions. you don't call it a drafty collet selective service. you say it is not like a draft, it is the results of a citizenry who volunteers in draft. you have the old traditionalist. that is the way we have always thought your it if you are volunteering, your heart is in it. why bring people who have no desire to fight? let's see if volunteering works like it did in england, if it does we can go to conscription.
you also have those on the left that for political or humanitarian reasons will reimpose the draft. you have humanist like jane adams who were absolutely standing against this idea of sending people to kill and die. wilson will face opposition from his own party, from heaven democrats. nothing will scare james of mississippi been more of the idea of americans being drafted. what will they think when they come back? you will face opposition from the old populist. the agrarian's from the south, the midwest and the west. they are worried about the expansion of federal power and what the world will do to agriculture. that the draft will take too many workers away. he will also face opposition from labor. labor was fighting for 50 years to gain footholds. the theory is, a lot of it will fall on the back of workers and those gains will slowly but surely be rolled back. wilson his best and brightest up to the house to convince them of the path. he was also willing to make compromises on items. mostly about exemptions from
farmworkers and industrial workers. something he will not bend. he is a progressive. he is already seeing the most affect of an efficient way will be conscription. he will give some benefits to the volunteers, but it will not be based upon conscription. he is aided mostly in overcoming a lot of these problems based on the way that the draft law is written. he has a very talented group of officers in the war department led i the general of the army and responsible for administering the draft. under him another bright guy named hugh johnson will become fdr's runner of the nra. together they are drafting the legislation that will be the select of service act. upon it was something brilliant. let's not make the mistakes that
were made during the lincoln administration. they are poring over the reports of the general from the award. if there is a problem -- from the civil war. if there is a problem with being over powerful, the easiest way to deal with it is, what they call super five decentralization. this is actually brilliant. let the local draft boards actually make the determination of who will serve, who will be exempt and who will be deferred. they established over 3600 local draft boards, and local notables will be the one that make these hard choices. the hand of the federal government is being pulled out, at least it appears to be. the it decision of googles goals will be left to your neighbors. they may know you personally and they know the community you come from and that society. this is pretty brilliant. it helps to get rid of some of those tensions. you have to beat the needs for the draft itself. this is brilliant. in a series of re-registrations,
the army ultimately registers over 24,000 men. 24,000 men, two out of three will be called into service. with meeting the needs, you set the conditions that will draft a men ages 21-45, it will later be dropped to 18-45. you grant a permit based upon the needs of the society. you give the volunteers and the congress a little bit of a bone by allowing volunteer registration until december of 1917 in the army. registration until december of 1917 in the army. only in existing national guard and army units. they will pose that for the marines and the navy in august of 1918. you managed to have a nice, orderly process. in the end i would argue the army has -- the nation has the fairest draft in its history. the fairest does not mean the most fair.
you are not going to remove inbred prejudices from the draft board. they are taking that with them, so african-americans, mexican-americans and immigrants are drafted much greater than their numbers in the population. while the african-american population accounts for 10%, 13% are drafted. they are drafted at a much lower rate than the regular white soldiers. even though immigrants were exempt from the draft, they had not put in the paperwork yet. because of 100 percent americanism, over 200,000 people who should have been exempt were illegally drafted. most of them had very sketchy english skills or did not
understand the rights. mark: let's move forward and maybe compared to future wars. comparing world war ii selective service system, the system design for the first world war, how does that compare and how did it differ for vietnam as well? dr. bailey: moving back to world war i, the military faced an enormous challenge in figuring out how to process this enormous number of men coming into the military. there was no mechanism set up to do so. it was a period where there was a concern about fairness were it went back to resistance. it was also a period where people were concerned with efficiency and trying to manage the process in the most efficient way. one person who was charged with
figuring this out said when they begin the process, it was like having an officer randomly going in for tree, artillery, no rationale except some sense of divine intervention. what happened is, psychologist in civilian society began to try to implement the test they were working on. two tests as a way to figure out how to deploy people in a way to find their talents and ability. these tests were pretty awful. a lot of people were illiterate. they ended up having an a test and a b test. they had lots of graduate students come to a military training place. they taught them how to pantomime the questions. they are doing this for people who are speaking dozens of different languages and all reaches of the united states. many are not well schooled, in
addition to being illiterate. it is like playing charades were you only have one way to act it out but everybody has to guess the right answer. the result mirrored what you would expect you're at the people well educated did well. the people whose english was not strong did not come out well. they discovered a few alarming things. the first was, jews were really dumb because they do not test well on this test. they discovered that the average age of american men came out at about 13. this was processing, but this would carry over to the draft in world war ii as a are much more committed where they will process even more people. it are figuring out not only how to allocate people but how to
prescreen them. neuropsychiatric casualties after world war i, by the beginning of the u.s. entry into the second world war had cost about $1 billion. psychologist decided that if they could implement testing, a refined version of the iq test, but also some other type of psychiatric screening, they could prescreen the people that were not going to adjust well to military service. that disturb the function of their unit. also to prescreen those people
who were going to come out having neuropsychiatric disorder because of combat. what they discovered even show he is that you cannot screen this out because anybody is going to have -- after a certain amount of combat, they will have a reaction to it. there was a great deal of input into this prescreening. this is one of the elements that happened during world war ii, it begins in world war i but he comes a central piece of world war ii. the other thing with world war ii is, it is seen as -- it was the first time that a draft existed. after world war i, as was common, the selective service had a description of the draft in its rough positive freezing and the united states went back to having a military that came in 16th in the world, and was in no way prepared to function in the world war that it eventually entered.
fdr, who was increasingly committed to preparation, instituted a peacetime draft in 1940, which was not well-received. it was extended by -- i think the difference was one vote at the end of the summer in 1940. if that had not happen, the united states would have been even less prepared for going into world war ii. do want to pick up for a bit? i will talk about vietnam in a minute. dr. faulkner: it is interesting. this is the largest draft in american history. 16 million people serve in uniform. there are some lessons they try to take away. the war was probably the fairest, but had to do with the condition at the time. this was a less cynical period.
there was a vast expectation for the world to do their bit. it helped us overcome some of those past things. i believed by the time he get to world war ii there is a lost generation. the generation is going into world war ii and there is a belief that things had gone along in world war i. we sent our best off to the battle of france and died for not very much. one of the things that is happening when they are judicating -- where in the draft is -- and you create a vast system of drafts where you husband away some of the smart ones from american universities. they are getting technical training, education. when we need them to be pilots were filled these highly technical roles in a technical war, they will be ready. we do this by what will become
known as a 100 division gamble. his veteran of world war i said we will not fight the way we did in world war i. we will rely on our power, our ability to produce things. we will have to make sure more people are in industry. to build up a big air force and to hold up a big navy, to build up our strengths. do that you will need to restrict the amount of manpower you designate for the army. it is a 100 division gamble because in january of 1945, every division is committed. we smell the end of the barn. one of those unintended consequences of the draft and policy is that when the army comes looking for manpower, because of the unexpected heavy casualties in western europe and the pacific, they turned to the astp program. all of these people have been in universities and they say congratulations, welcome to the infantry. we were the only military and world war ii where the infantry increased at the end of world war rather than decreased. dr. bailey: there was a sense it was important to be able to reserve the civilian functions of society. it was in december of 1942 that
people were no longer allowed to volunteer if they were not being drafted as a way to handle the manpower allocations for the country. about 10 million of the 16 million people who were in uniform were drafted during world war ii, which is important. the other thing about world war ii is that it was a language of universal sacrifice. some people sacrificed much more than other. if you go to the world war ii memorial and you see, initially, those that give ute wars what talk about how everyone sacrificed almost equally. this is a hard case to make for people storming the beaches. there was that language. in terms of the draft, in 1942,
93% of americans. the draft was fair. at the end of the war, 79% thought it was fair. it is strange when you think about the way that men lost the ability of their choices. it is significant in terms of who was drafted, deferred or exempted. it is not about in terms of we need armors were someone to manage the bureaucracy, fathers were exempted. men who were married and had a dependent were exempted for quite a long time. this was after they were drafting people who were illiterate, after the drafted single men. this was a social decision that fatherhood and preserving the -- and was critically important and those men would put into a category. it did not mean those men did not volunteer. when it is being designed, it is not simply how do we get enough people into the military, it is also thinking about who is exempted and why and how that mirrored values of society. mark: let's move that forward to
the 1960's of vietnam. obviously we will see changes in opinions. dr. bailey: vietnam became the ever worse war. the contrast are certainly significant, but they also have become larger and larger avenue we have made the parallel oppositions in war. the problem with the war in vietnam in terms of conscription is that there was just way too many men. because a relatively small number of men served, those
people who were drafted experienced it in a sense of unfairness. that created a certain amount of resentment. the baby boom fed into vietnam. there were 27 million men who came of draft age in the vietnam era. 2.2 million were drafted. 8.5 million volunteered and 16 million people were deferred. the common experience in the vietnam era was not military service. it was the opposite of world war ii and world war i and the opposite of korea. the fact that only 2.5 million american men were even sent to
vietnam, the majority not in combat, created a very different sense of what was fair and what was not fair. some of it was the war in vietnam becoming increasingly unpopular. it also did not provide for ace ends of shared burden. the other piece that was critically important was the level of deferments and what they were based on. it goes back to world war ii, it intensified in korea. one of the reason military planners and civilian planners believe the united states had triumph with its allies and world war ii was because of scientific and technological advancements. thus, the gamble is, it is important to keep men being trained in the sciences in order to preserve american technological and scientific
advantages. increasingly, those men were deferred from the draft. conscription continues after world war ii with a brief exemption. there were not able to get enough people to volunteer. because it was -- a continued. it was important to figure out how to get a relatively small number of people to serve, and that was based on trying to create a specific number of exemptions. when he came to vietnam, when you are differing people because they are in college -- also you are differing people because of medical reasons if you're someone who has access to a private doctor. it is not that hard to get a medical excuse. it seems to be based on class distinctions, not across the board, but it was not like in world war i where the president's sons were serving and all were flooding out of the ivy league universities,
especially in the enlisted ranks. it was a working class war. for a whole series of reasons, the draft was largely unfair. you want to talk about the lotteries? mark: we will give you a chance to comment on that. dr. faulkner: it is definitely societal change. you can see sterling differences between the two. in the last iteration of the draft at that comes out in august 1918, to meet the demands of officers, the president -- every able male body student. they issued them uniforms. they basically disrupt a host of
college education, and you are preparing these guys to go. they commission them quite early. cases were college students as young as 18 volunteered to cut their college short to go overseas. some were even killed before the end of the war. it is definitely a different perception. mark: let's move on to our next question. we will not lose your point. we will come back to it and maybe we've it into this next question. you both mentioned something about maintaining the draft and peace sign, had at that practice shape the selective service system and expectations and the american public? whoever would like to go first. dr. bailey: i have been talking a lot. you start. i said do you want to start? dr. faulkner: no, go ahead, please.
dr. bailey: i think i began answering that in the last question. i can pick up with more detail. the united states army, which is what i know the most about, in the cold war era it needed -- initially the act of the strength of a million people. it was trying to recruit 40,000 men per month. at the end of the war it there was a great deal of war exhaustion. people were not eager to volunteer,'s especially those who served for the duration. the economy was booming and the military did not like the best economic option for people and they were getting 12,000 people instead of 40,000 people. when conscription authority ran out, truman decided he would let it ride through.
the draft was reinstated and existed through the rest of the period through the korean war. by 1961, the military was drafting about 20% of its members. the volunteer rate was pretty high. it was not that much of a pressure, but it was meant to be something that was part of men's lives. there was a strong sense that the draft encouraged people and motivated people to volunteer because they would have more control over their condition of service if they volunteered. there was a lot of conversation about getting rid of conscription, getting rid of the draft. vietnam put in those conversations. when lyndon johnson decided rather than mobilizing the reserves, he was going to increase those people who were being drafted. that changed the landscape significantly. mark: very good. dr. faulkner: this is interesting. when the draft comes back it
gets widely unpopular during korea. in fact, what is working off the number of veterans is they are recalled from service from world war ii. the military said put the best face on this is possible. cap williams and jimmy are trotted out as poster boys. most veterans are not happy. throughout the rest of the 1950's, with the changing dynamics of war with nuclear weapons, ground service seems to be a dead end. regardless of what the army tries to do, it is seen as a right of passage. it is a distasteful thing, but it will make a man out of you when you go and serve. it is interesting that the army is in the back end of this. my father enlisted in the air force in 1958 but made sure he was not going into the army. most of the people who could do so follow that same path. the army was always a little bit behind. it wanted to be a high picked
force but could never get a manpower in place to pull that off. mark: you notice we are moving through time. we are now going into the 1970's. now, in 1973 we have the united states moving to an old volunteer force. implications of relying on the abf rather than the draft. dr. bailey: it was more or less a perfect storm of conditions that led the united dates to move away from conscription to a volunteer force. a lot of it had to do with the unpopularity of the war in vietnam, and the way people understood conscription to be fair. it made people service more predictable, but nonetheless it was perceived -- when richard nixon was running for president he tried to run a bit of an edge. he went on national radio in october, not too long before the election and said he was planning to get rid of the
draft. everybody thought it was just talking. he had not cleared this with anybody, he had no conversation with leaders, policy people or anything. it was one of the first things he did an office was to constitute the committee that would charge, not with whether they would do it, but how they would do it. their answer was to basically turned to the market and let the market decide. to pay people what they would make if they were in civilian employment and treat it like a job. military leaders were not thrilled with that because they said it is not a job. we ask people to do things that one does not get asked to do any job. that was the charge they got in
they had to make it work. that is where it went. moving away from conscription created complicated issues. one thing that happened was, there was no way to control who -- what kind of balance it would be in terms of who was serving. you got what the market gave you. at the end of the vietnam war, military was not in good repute, by and large. the propensity to reenlist was extraordinary low. people were more likely to enlist if they saw that they had few options, which in many cases meant african-american men who were struggling in the civilian employment world. increasingly, it was a vastly disproportionate number of black
men serving in the military. some peoples that this is great because military offers options. at the same time it was very clear that if there were a conflict, if people were being sent into battle, it would be a highly disproportionate death rate. if there was a highly disproportionate number of people serving in the infantry, which was the case. all sorts of complications initially registered in terms of what it means not to be able to control, in any sense, other than to say, no with who was coming in. dr. faulkner: for the first decade, i came in nine years after this darted so i got to see the back end of it. the first decade was a disaster. in theory, it will take care of the problems. if i get the willing and of the army, i can train them harder, push them harder, they will be more disciplined and i can expect more from them. the problem is, the mothers and fathers of america a this is a dead end job for dead and people.
if you are going to have a small professional military, you will have to pay for it. small professional militaries are more expensive than large armies. you have to provide the money that provides a small professional army to have that edge on the battlefield. throughout the 1970's, no money is flowing to the military. jimmy carter gives one of the largest pay increases in history in 1980. he does not get credit for that. you start to break that. when ronald reagan came in, a little bit of patriotism bringing it in, but the flow of money starts to slowly but surely get the army out. the unintended consequences with this. you're going to have to deal with is that you have not dealt with it for. for the first time in history, now a large number of your enlisted soldiers and your
junior officers are going to have families. it is part of the deal. you take whoever you get when there is no money -- yet. when there is no money, there is nothing to build the infrastructure that is required to have wives, husbands, children, schools, no barracks. this is not until the middle of the 1980's that they start to deal with that. for better or worse there are advantages when you have families. there are also disadvantages. there are ties to home that if you have a soldier who was on their own, you can do a lot more with them. that is the dirty little secret. would you have a small professional army?
they are inherently fragile. they are best suited for, decisive force. when they get involved in longer duration wars, some of the things that make them special is -- and we saw this at the height of the iraq and afghanistan wars. you start to decrease the qualification. you start to bring issue to moral labors because the market is what is bringing them in. mothers and fathers are saying, why would you do this to fight a war where you might not come back?
there are challenges when you go with this. the american public is probably not aware with this. as i tell my students, they live in a socialist world paradise. they live in a gated community, where to keep the professional force they are given free housing, free health care, subsidized food to keep them doing with the vast majority of the american people do not want to do. dr. bailey: two points to that, one of the argument for moving to that was the notion that having an all volunteer force would impede american military. it would make it more difficult for the president, or congress to deploy troops because wars would have to be popular in order to get enough people to fight. that did not turn out to be the
case, but that was one of the strong arguments. the second piece is because of the movement, at that moment in the early 1970's, which was at the height of the social change movement of the 1960's -- a lot of the 1960's actually took place in the 1970's -- they had to fill a lot of boots. 30,000 or so volunteers a month, which during those recent wars was 60-80,000 a year. this is an enormous number of people. it jumpstart the number of women in the military because the army advertise that some of our best men are women. not only did they start recruiting more women, the eight changed the sources of mos'and positions so that women are not simply nurses and in medical
care, but are fixing trucks and doing the tasks that are not traditionally feminine. the military is having to deal with the fallout of all the social change movements. in many ways the army, with the head of civilian society offering opportunities to women. it had to figure how to handle racial conflicts because it did not have control over who it was bringing in. the military became in part because of the move away from conscription it social issues were being played out. the institutions had to figure out how to manage this had an enormous impact on civilian society. one final point about women in the military, draft registration lapse after the volunteer force. in the late 1979, after the hostage taking in iran and after the soviets moved into afghanistan, president carter is concerned about preparedness and signaling to the rest of the world that the united states was ready to take military action if necessary and reinstate the draft.
when he creates -- not the draft, reinstates selective service. when he creates this he has two bills prepared. only to register men, and only to register men and women. congress does not let the one with women go forward. in 1979, early 1980, congress is debating whether or not women will be moved into combat mos'. this is all tied to who is going to have to register for selective service. mark: i have one final question that you both kind of covered. i want to make sure you get the chance to say all of the things you need to, then we will turn to our audience q&a. how do we evaluate success and failures? how did each different area balance efficiency?
jump in. [laughter] mark: it is a big question. dr. faulkner: i will put my cards on the table. my oldest son is in infantry private in alaska. i think it is too easy for the republic to go into military adventures when they are dealing with other people's kids. there is some advantage to bringing in as many elements of american society as possible to the military. then there will be parents who are calling senators to ask where are we going, what are we doing, what is this about. i think that those questions do
not get asked to a very large extent. congress has aggregated a lot of its responsibility to make these calls. simply because irate parents are calling them. that is not the opinion of the department of defense. [laughter] dr. bailey: i think the balancing becomes enormously difficult, in terms of the defense of the nation, military services believe that it provides death. it is hard to draft a small number of people, men, women, whatever for the amount it time it takes to adequately train people for services today. 18 months will not do it. at the same time, i completely agree with him in that having an all volunteer force, especially in times of warfare allows the american public to bear no burden, not even a financial burden and small number of
people go to war and their family and they bear that burden. it is hard to figure out how to square that circle and what the proper policy should be. i think part of the problem is there is not enough of this sense that the entire nation has to have skin in the game when decisions of that magnitude are being maine. mark: i will turn to laura, she has a microphone back there. and she will do a quick q&a with the audience. laura: there is a wonderful microphone right here. i can come over to you. while i am walking over to my first question, which will be here shortly, i would also like to state and share that this program is in partnership with the truman library institute and the harry s truman institute and museum. one of 13 presidential libraries of the national archive. together with the federal partner, the truman library
institute, which was founded by harry s truman draws on his legacy to enrich the public to understanding the history and democracy. a think we are doing a pretty good job tonight in the education. we will start with our first question. >> dr. faulkner of the rest of the panel, thank you. i am a veteran, two times and, 1974 to 1976, then 1987 to 1991. my question is, why in this day and age to not have registrations for women, and when these think it will come? dr. faulkner: what congressional district you live in? [laughter] dr. faulkner: ultimately that is a political question. it just came up for combat rules
to women. frankly, for me, fair is fair. we are going to allow women to serve in all branches of the military, then everyone should be eligible for that service. dr. bailey: the supreme court decided that because women could not serve in combat that they did not need to register for the draft. women can serving combat now so, i think there is no way the supreme court can uphold that decision in the future. as political as it is. dr. faulkner: it will be a political football. dr. bailey: i agree with you. it is only fair. laura: our next question comes from this gentleman, rate here. >> was the draft any different for the naval or air force? dr. faulkner: in world war i, when the original selective
service act comes out it allows people to volunteer for the army until december of 1917. there is a rush of guys to volunteer in the last month. december is the largest month of volunteers during the war. it still allows voluntary enlistment in the navy and the marine corps until the summer of 1918, then it closes it off. world war i gets to a point, after that everyone is in the same pocket. dr. bailey: the marine corps traditionally relied less on conscription than any of the other services, very probably so. it were able to get enough people volunteering. laura: great question.
>> i think you for being here. interesting subject. is there a correlation between not declaring war and not having a draft? we went into vietnam, we get into iraq, afghanistan, and it is almost as though -- this is way off -- it is almost as though we are willing to make a commitment, but not that big of a commitment. what do you think about that? dr. bailey: the conscription of vietnam was thought under peacetime draft authority. war was not declared. i am not sure if that counterexample undermines your case or not. a think it has to deal with the ways in which executive authority has been for years. as much as it has to do with making a full commitment. dr. faulkner: we have not been fighting these long total wars.
these other wars -- he would argue that the exact type of argument you need for a different kind of war are these long service professionals. to where you can fight them out on the periphery and people back home can live their lives. at the same time, it does lead to this issue where you do not take responsibility for actions. depending on what day you catch me and how much i have had to drink, i will answer in different ways. [laughter] dr. faulkner: i personally believe that it is just too easy for the congress to aggregate those was once abilities when they do not have to. with nothing else beyond being
symbolic, it informs the republic as a whole that there is some sort of obligation involved with the killing and dying we are doing. >> this has been a great talk. i have a question about the world war i draft. in late july, early august of 1918, in omaha, nebraska, we got a draft call for 100 draftees apiece. on august 7 these 200 guys were put on a train and sent out to california and all of these guys were quote, volunteered to be drafted. was this a bunch of bs? dr. faulkner: whether there is the draft -- in theory, the draftees are involuntarily enrolling for the draft. there is a loophole here. he will argue that somewhere
between 2 million and 3 million guys dodged the draft the world war i simply by not joining up for registry. since the data was incomplete, there is no way to ever know how many. they say it is around 10%. another 300,000 will be termed deserters. they will be drafted or do not show up. out of 24 million, it is still a relatively small number. that is one of those ways where you use creative language and you can say, this is a nation that volunteers. what is more tragic is, due to the unexpectedly high casualties
of the summer and fall of 1918, a number of draftees are being called up, being inducted and they are fighting with less than a month of service and almost no training. to me, that is one of the most criminal acts of u.s. history ever encountered. this system is good at getting guys in, it falls apart when it comes to adequately training them for war. laura: i know there may still be some questions in the audience, but i believe that our panelist might be very kind and generous and answer those after our recording finishes and after a bit of a pause. a fascinating conversation on a moment years ago that impacts us and regard our votes regarding -- a bit of applause. a fascinating conversation on a moment years ago that impacts us and regard our votes regarding how we feel today. ladies and gentlemen, first i want to think the truman library and the truman institute.