Agency proposes draft alternate

By Rich Magda Kelly Finlan
February 21, 2003

With war looming and the economy struggling, America’s armed forces are looking for soldiers, and college graduates are looking for jobs. A new project from a Washington D.C. think tank could be the answer for both sides – a short-term military enlistment plan designed for college graduates.

In the “citizen soldier plan,” college graduates would be put on active duty for 18 months, for which they will be rewarded with up to $18,000 in educational benefits.

“The era of big government is over and we’re trying to usher in the era of big citizenship,” Marc Magee, director of the Center for Civic Enterprise, said, according to United Press International.

For the military, the plan means an increased number of military personnel without reinstating the draft, which the military is against. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld denounced the reinstatement of the draft in January. Enlisting college graduates for 18 months will make long lasting conflicts more tolerable for the reserves and diversify the armed forces. It will lessen the costs of long-term conflict as well.

Supporters of the short-term enlistment plan agree that the plan, which is scheduled to begin March 31, will help America fight the war on terrorism and on other fronts, like Iraq and North Korea.

Although short-term enlistees will be limited to jobs requiring 20 weeks of training or less, skeptics of the plan question if bringing in non-military personnel for active duty is a good idea.

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Rich Magda Kelly Finlan

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