The "back door draft"


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FW
October 3, 2004, 10:32 PM
Did anyone else catch Kerry mentioning the "back door draft" during the first debate? It certainly wasn't discussed hardly at all. This is nothing new, Kerry and others have made the accusation before. It's just unfortunate Bush didn't say anything about it.

Apparently, extending enlistments, activating the IRR, or even using the reserves and national guard for any significant period of time is now a "back door draft".

How is this in any way a "back door draft"? These people voluntarily signed contracts. Activating reserves, extentions, etc., are terms of the contract.

What do these people think the purpose of the military is?

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Grey54956
October 3, 2004, 10:59 PM
I have no sympathy for anyone on IRR, in the Nat'l Guard, or reserves.

You are correct, they voluntarily signed those contracts in exchange for numerous benefits, good pensions, and college tuition. I had a boss who was inactive reserve. He got a nice healthy pension, so he didn't really need to work anymore, but did so for extra cash and to get out of the house. He always boasted that the pension and benefits are great.

Anyone who signs up for military service should expect that at some time in the future, they may be sent to war, period. I dislike it when folks say, "well, I never really though we would go to war, I signed up so I could afford school." Send that man to the front, dammit. And "conscientious objectors" should be discharged and forced to pay back any and all benefits.

reagansquad
October 3, 2004, 11:02 PM
I think he was talking about stop loss, not calling up the guard.

Hawkmoon
October 3, 2004, 11:17 PM
Stop loss is a back door draft. It has been a good many years since I enlisted, and of course the terms of the "contract" may have changed. On the other hand, maybe during Vietnam we were potentially subject to stop loss but didn't know it, since it was never used.

Personally, if I had signed up for a hitch (or more than one, in many cases), had done my time, and was due to get OUT and go back to being a person, I would be plenty upset if they decided I couldn't leave when my term of enlistment ended.

I suppose that's in the fine print, somewhere, but I'll bet the recruiters never mention it, and I doubt most of the people who enlisted knew about it ... until it whacked them upside the head.

So why is it a back door draft? A draft calls on people to serve in the military who don't really want to be there. The same is true with troops whose enlistments have ended, and who chose NOT to reenlist because they wanted to become civilians. How is forcing them to stay in when they want to be out any different from a draft?

DMF
October 3, 2004, 11:30 PM
How is this in any way a "back door draft"? These people voluntarily signed contracts.Stop loss is in affect a back door draft. When someone enlists or gets commissioned onto active duty, and signs a contract that says they can only be retained on active duty during time of war, yet stop loss keeps them there when Congress hasn't declared war, then it is no longer voluntary service.

We've debated this before, and I think Bush was smart to leave it alone because this is one area where Kerry actually is correct.

FW
October 3, 2004, 11:33 PM
I suppose that's in the fine print, somewhere, but I'll bet the recruiters never mention it,

Moral of the story: Read what you sign, don't sign if you don't understand, and don't beleive everything recruiters say.

Uncle Ethan
October 3, 2004, 11:37 PM
Kerry was right?:what:

benewton
October 3, 2004, 11:47 PM
Hawkmoon:

Did my time at the end of the Viet deal: draft lottery number wasn't close to reasonable.... On the other hand, did my time in Germany, which I though then, and still do, should be used as a strategic nuclear weapons test site...

(By the way, has ANY ballistic missle been launched and tested with a real nuke?)

Anyway, I knew then of a couple who were "held over".

To say I would have been p*ssed would have been a very large understatement.

I'd also have ensured, short of the usual judicial and non judical punishments, that the time I was forced to spend with them accomplished nothing for "their" side.


When I returned to the world, I found out that I was lucky enough to be "available" for an involuntary trip with the Army reserve to Alaska. Can you spell motor pool guard in January in Alaska???

Ended up doing a few years in the NG, which was a joke compared to the real fun and games, at least at that point.

No, they don't highlight their little details during the "enlistment" process, and, while I didn't for the old girlfriends either, I'm afraid that I believe that once you've served the time you signed for, active, that should be it.


FWIW:

Way back in the 80's, just after I started my first professional employment, the rumor came around, for what reason I've forgotten, that the feds had decided to draft veterans, for whatever the cause of the day was. There were not then, and are not now, all that many engineers who are vets, and somebody asked about it...

I said I doubt that they'd try it, since the vets not only knew what they'd be getting into, but they already knew how to use a rifle, and, in my time, most probably had one.

JohnBT
October 3, 2004, 11:49 PM
I thought he voted to fund the war. He's in the Senate, right? Now he says they didn't vote? What did he think he was voting for? What a clown.

John

goon
October 4, 2004, 12:05 AM
Didn't Kerry say something during the debate about adding two more divisions?
Where is he going to get those soldiers? Do they go on trees?
I don't know if I heard that wrong or not, but that is how I took it.

I will say that it is a lousy deal to sign on for 4 years and then end up not being able to go home. I know what it was like to be a soldier, and eventhough I was never in combat, I really did value the day I got to go home. It is wrong to just strip that away.

Lone_Gunman
October 4, 2004, 12:15 AM
We can't expand the empire without troops.

Destructo6
October 4, 2004, 02:02 AM
I was fully aware and generally prepared to be called up, if needs be, during my IRR time. It sucks for them, but they did sign the contract.

tulsamal
October 4, 2004, 02:03 AM
The military is facing two very different issues here.

1) People with special skills. Whether they are doctors, lawyers, engineers, pilots, whatever. Those are the people that the military tries to retain in any way possible. Of course these people could make a much better living in the civilian world and without being shot at so it can get difficult.

2) Just recruiting basic soldiers. This isn't a problem. But of course these soldiers are usually straight out of high school and need a lot of training before they are any use to anybody. But these are the masses you have to have in a fighting force. I was just watching a news show last month that said the OK Marines had set a recruitment record for the month. And it was the 44th record month in a row.

Lots of young people are perfectly ready to join. We cut six divisions out of the Army during the Clinton Administration. (With the GOP controlling Congress so they had a hand in it.) That's the real problem. Our military isn't large enough in sheer numbers to do all the things the leaders want to do. We need to expand the manpower numbers. Whether that means two divisions or more, I leave that to the military brass to figure out.

Gregg

MarkDido
October 4, 2004, 10:18 AM
Didn't Kerry say something during the debate about adding two more divisions?
Where is he going to get those soldiers? Do they go on trees?
I don't know if I heard that wrong or not, but that is how I took it.

There are several ways to expand the military without resorting to a draft.

The first would be to increase end strength. Clinton cut more military personnel during his reign than most countries have in their military.
Train and retain top performers

The second way would be to increase the number of years personnel could remain in the military.

I retired as a Chief Petty Officer (E-7) in 1995 after 23 years of service in the Navy. Was I ready for a hearing aid or social security? Hell no. I retired at the ripe old age of 39. The military matures young men and women much faster than the civilian sector.

A 21 year old in the military can conceivably have more responsibility and authority than most 40 year old civilians. It doesn't make sense to put them out to pasture when they're at the top of their game.

While your typical 19 year old civilian is deciding on what body part to get pierced next, his Navy counterpart is responsible for a multi-million dollar tactical aircraft, weapons or computer system..

Lastly, stop treating the military as a gigantic social experiment for every cockamamie theory or program that someone with PhD behind their name dreams up and uses the military as a giant petri dish.

Just my 2 cents.

Hawkmoon
October 4, 2004, 09:37 PM
I was fully aware and generally prepared to be called up, if needs be, during my IRR time. It sucks for them, but they did sign the contract.
You must have been in when I was in. After I was released from active duty, I spent an additional two years assigned to the Individual Ready Reserves, and then two years beyond that assigned to the Inactive Reserves, before I finally received my discharge ending my military service obligation.

I don't know how it works under the new all-volunteer army. I don't think they have 2-year enlistments. In my day, draftees had 2-year hitches and enlistees had 3-year hitches. The total commitment was 6 years for both (active duty and reserves combined).

In my simple mind, it's one thing to spend your agreed-upon hitch on active duty and then be assigned to the IRR knowing you can be activated but only in time of national emergency (or war). That's a different animal from doing your hitch and being told at the end of the agreed-upon time "Oh, sorry, you don't get to go home." I would really like to see the documents people sign when they enlist these days to find out if this little ploy is hidden in the fine print, or if it being unilaterally (and illegally) imposed on our guys over in the sand box.

MeekandMild
October 4, 2004, 10:25 PM
Interesting thread. I'll bet Mr. Kerry never mentioned the long list of reservists who resigned under the Clinton regime. I for one would have stayed in forever and have been proud to spend more time on active duty, if it hadn't been for the sad fact that in 1993 I lost all confidence in the top link of the chain of command. today I talked to a guy who resigned his commision in 1999. Same song, different verse.

Destructo6
October 5, 2004, 12:34 AM
You must have been in when I was in. After I was released from active duty, I spent an additional two years assigned to the Individual Ready Reserves, and then two years beyond that assigned to the Inactive Reserves, before I finally received my discharge ending my military service obligation.
I did a 4X4 (4 active, 4 IRR) enlistment from 1991-1999, including IRR. I probably would have stayed, too, had Clinton not been in office. Promotion from E4 to E5 in the Hospital Corps was but a pipe dream for most. 150% manned overall, but only about 50% manned in the FMF.

RevDisk
October 5, 2004, 02:44 AM
Lots of young people are perfectly ready to join. We cut six divisions out of the Army during the Clinton Administration. (With the GOP controlling Congress so they had a hand in it.) That's the real problem. Our military isn't large enough in sheer numbers to do all the things the leaders want to do. We need to expand the manpower numbers. Whether that means two divisions or more, I leave that to the military brass to figure out.

Compare the number of divisions Bush Senior cut, and how many Clinton cut. (It wasn't six.) You might be in for a bit of a surprise.



The Stop loss program is iffy. I read my entire contract front to back. Call ups during the IRR are legal, and spelled out in detail in every contract. Stop loss is technically not supported in one's contract, except for certain circumstances. State of Emergency, during a deployment, etc.

Technically, there is no declared war and there is no state of emergency. So... technically... the current batches of Stop Loss orders are without valid legal backings. Try to fight it, and you best have a damn good lawyer.

Morally, I dislike Stop Loss orders when there is no declared war or state of national emergency. It is a violation of the contract signed during enlistment.

jojosdad
October 5, 2004, 03:02 AM
RevDisc -
What exactly were the respective numbers of troops cut during the terms of George H and Clinton.
What are your sources?

RevDisk
October 5, 2004, 03:53 AM
jojosdad, my coworkers. Clinton cut down the Army from 12 divisions to 10 by 1999. Cheney (Yes, same guy) cut the Army from 18 to 12 active divisions by 1996. The exact dates are a bit hard to track down as it takes a while to gut the strongest military in the world. Bush Sr gutted the military after the Gulf War.

He annoyed the gunnies and the military voters, which probably is what caused him to lose to Clinton. To be fair, the killing of all EIGHT of those divisions took a long time and stretched out under both regimes. One could argue that Clinton didn't stop the process or reverse it, so he should be blamed for the actions of a Republican President.

Jim March
October 5, 2004, 04:40 AM
They're actually LOOKING for gays now?

:confused:

DMF
October 5, 2004, 06:10 PM
I was fully aware and generally prepared to be called up, if needs be, during my IRR time. It sucks for them, but they did sign the contract. The problem is some folks have been or are being retained past both their active duty and IRR commitments. ie, beyond what they agreed to in the contract.

R.H. Lee
October 5, 2004, 06:17 PM
The 'prosecution' of this war is the problem. The administration shows contempt for our military men and women every time they accede to a 'ceasefire' or neglect to flatten a building containing the enemy, simply because it is a so-called 'holy place'. Peace will come only through victory, and victory is delayed and denied and frustrated daily by equivocating decisions designed to be viewed as politically correct. :barf:

moa
October 5, 2004, 06:28 PM
I briefly heard some story on the morning on TV ABC network news that the military is threatening troops with being sent to Iraq if they do not re-enlist.

Anybody know anything about that? I do not trust anything ABC says.

ProGlock
October 5, 2004, 06:40 PM
Morally, I dislike Stop Loss orders when there is no declared war or state of national emergency. It is a violation of the contract signed during enlistment.

That in and of itself is the problem. Our government can declare a national emergency, they just don't have to tell anyone about it.

spartacus2002
October 5, 2004, 06:51 PM
that story is from Fort Carson.

Some 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment soldiers claim they were told that if they didn't re-enlist in 3d ACR, then they would be transferred to a brigade on post that was slated to deploy to Iraq.

Fort Carson's story is "3ACR non-re-enlistees would have to go somewhere else on post other than 3ACR, and the only place they could go is that deploying brigade, meaning they would be stop-lossed and instead of getting out in 2 months they would deploy for a year, but hey, that's not THREATENING them..." :rolleyes:

Hawkmoon
October 5, 2004, 10:56 PM
And why would 3rd ACR non-reenlistees have to go somewhere else on post? This makes zero sense. I was stationed stateside for a full year before being sent to Vietnam. We had plenty of guys who didn't want to reenlist, and they just stuck with us and did their jobs until the day they were done. Then they went home. No big deal.

That's what I hated about the Army. They have so many ways to screw the troops. When the recruiting NCO came to see me about re-upping I told him I'd do it if he'd arrange a commission as a full bird Colonel. He said he didn't think he could do that (duh!), so I said I didn't think I could re-up.

We had that discussion about ten times before he stopped asking. I think he thought I was joking ...

RevDisk
October 6, 2004, 01:47 AM
I briefly heard some story on the morning on TV ABC network news that the military is threatening troops with being sent to Iraq if they do not re-enlist.

Anybody know anything about that? I do not trust anything ABC says.


It's not Army wide policy. What certain commanders and/or retention NCO's are saying and doing is another story. I've heard stories of it happening, but don't know anyone personally that it's happened to.


I do know of another legal but unwise scam that is going on. People are getting out of the Guard, and getting called up to active duty with the Active Army. Usually the active Army units give these former Guardsmen the crap details or work them like pack mules, because they're considered not part of the team by the units they are attached.

That's scary. I don't think non-military people would get the exact implications, but going into combat with people you don't know would be deeply unnerving. The entire point of sending entire units at a time is teamwork, and people watching each other's back. Having no buddies when the bullets are flying is rather unhealthy.

It's legal, but it's not a good idea. Calling up former Guardsman, tossing them in with Active Army units, treating them poorly, and leaving them out to dry is a sure way to lose credibility. What do you think those Guardsman are going to tell every young kid thinking of enlisting? One could shrug off morale issues, and say "Suck it up and drive on", but it will be costly in the end.

Just my opinion.



That in and of itself is the problem. Our government can declare a national emergency, they just don't have to tell anyone about it.


They can do so, but such a national emergency wouldn't count. The courts shouldn't let the government get away with War Power Act actions without an official declaration of war and/or national emergency. The military can't act in certain manners without said declarations, and unit commanders usually don't sign any paperwork that might damage their career. Ironically, fear of damaging one's career keeps the military chain of command very honest usually.

I'm trying to think of the last officially declared war. Anyone know offhand?

Hawkmoon
October 6, 2004, 02:16 AM
Wasn't it actually WW2?

Korea wasn't a "war." Vietnam wasn't a "war." Greneda and Panama weren't "wars."

Was there a declaration before (or during) Gulf War numero uno?

JohnBT
October 6, 2004, 03:14 PM
They weren't wars? What were they, film festivals?

If Congress repeatedly votes to fund a war, then doesn't it stand to reason that they support the war?

Or are you insisting that a vote be taken: WAR; vote yes or no?

John

RevDisk
October 6, 2004, 06:32 PM
They weren't wars? What were they, film festivals?

If Congress repeatedly votes to fund a war, then doesn't it stand to reason that they support the war?

Or are you insisting that a vote be taken: WAR; vote yes or no?



They were considered "police actions", "interventions" or half a dozen other terms.

Officially, only Congress can declare war. So, yes, I am insisting that vote be taken.

Desertdog
October 6, 2004, 08:00 PM
And "conscientious objectors" should be discharged and forced to pay back any and all benefits.
I disagree. You teach them to be medics and then send them to attend the wounded on the front lines, maybe armed with a pistol.

A little history, the Seventh Day Adventist, conscientious objectors all, used to, and maybe still do, had training facilities to train their members to be medics and they would then join the military. They served their country but did not do battle. I salute them.

DMF
October 6, 2004, 09:25 PM
They weren't wars? What were they, film festivals?

If Congress repeatedly votes to fund a war, then doesn't it stand to reason that they support the war?

Or are you insisting that a vote be taken: WAR; vote yes or no?No, Korea, Vietnam, Grenada, DESERT STORM, Kosovo, OEF, and OIF were/are not wars. I thought everyone around here loved the Constitution? You all might want to read up on Article I Section 8 which states only Congress can declare war, and then read 50USC1541 (War Powers Resolution) which clearly differentiates between statutory authority from Congress to use the military in combat operations and a declaration of war. Congress has not declared war since we entered WWII. Anyone that loves this country and Constitution should recognize that reality.

Hkmp5sd
October 6, 2004, 09:50 PM
For some reason, every time I hear the phrase "back door draft," an image pops in my head of someone wearing long-johns with the trap door open.

Lone_Gunman
October 6, 2004, 10:57 PM
I disagree. You teach them to be medics and then send them to attend the wounded on the front lines, maybe armed with a pistol.

Desertdog, do you really want conscientious objectors on the front lines with people relying on them in any capacity?

How dedicated to saving lives do you think they will be when the bullets start flying?

Hawkmoon
October 6, 2004, 11:51 PM
Desertdog, do you really want conscientious objectors on the front lines with people relying on them in any capacity?

How dedicated to saving lives do you think they will be when the bullets start flying?

In one word: "Very."

There were a lot of C.O. medics when I was in Vietnam, and they were very dedicated to saving lives. In fact, that was the whole point of their status -- they didn't believe in killing. They were not cowards, they were principled men who took the teachings of their religion, and the commandment "Thou shalt not kill," very literally and very seriously.

And they would not carry even a handgun. Their status as C.O.s forbid it, and no commander could (lawfully) order them to carry a weapon, or to pick up a weapon and use it against the enemy.

The genuine C.O.s were true heroes in Vietnam. I served with an M-16 and I came home with a couple of ARCOMs to hang on the wall. Big deal. In my heart I didn't believe we should be in Vietnam, but I didn't have the courage to stand up and refuse to be inducted. I was the coward. The C.O.s were far braver than I. They remained true to their conscience, and they were sent in harm's way WITHOUT any weapons.

If you have a problem with that, there's something seriously wrong with your outlook.

Phantom Warrior
October 7, 2004, 12:17 AM
There were a lot of C.O. medics when I was in Vietnam, and they were very dedicated to saving lives. In fact, that was the whole point of their status -- they didn't believe in killing. They were not cowards, they were principled men who took the teachings of their religion, and the commandment "Thou shalt not kill," very literally and very seriously.

I think SOME conscientious objectors, such as the ones you've described above, would make good medics. But do you want the city kid who joined to Guard to pay for his college degree and now has suddenly developed moral scruples about war conscientious objector to be responsible for coming out under fire to patch you up? I sure don't. I think that is what Lone_Gunman's point is...

RevDisk
October 7, 2004, 07:30 AM
I think SOME conscientious objectors, such as the ones you've described above, would make good medics. But do you want the city kid who joined to Guard to pay for his college degree and now has suddenly developed moral scruples about war conscientious objector to be responsible for coming out under fire to patch you up? I sure don't. I think that is what Lone_Gunman's point is...

Here's a clue. Not everyone is John Wayne, even the ones that volunteer for combat. Until the bullets start flying, you never really know how people will react. No one truly knows how they themselves will act until they start getting shot at. My general rule of thumb is to stay away from the macho "guts 'n glory" folks, they tend to be bullet magnets.


Still, I give the most credit to those C.O.'s who entered combat refusing to carry a weapon. A coward would take the rifle even though his religion was completely against it. I certainly would, even if it was against my religious beliefs.

Some people just aren't wired in the head to kill people. Whether they want to or not, they just can't. I don't blame them for it. Don't really understand them, but I really don't blame them.

JohnBT
October 7, 2004, 08:49 AM
There's much more to Article 1 Section 8 than the ability to declare war. For instance, powers are also granted for military actions other than a declaration of all-out war. You can't pick and choose the parts that appear to support your argument, you have to read the entire thing. The following are copied in the order in which they occur. John

"To define and punish piracies and felonies committed on the high seas, and offenses against the law of nations;

To declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water;"

Lone_Gunman
October 7, 2004, 01:09 PM
I was referring to people who were abusing "conscientous objector" status to avoid combat duty.

At about the start of Gulf War II, there was an active duty person who suddenly declared himself a "Conscientous Objector". If he was a conscientous objector why did he ever join the military in the first place?

This is the kind of person I was refering to.

goon
October 7, 2004, 04:03 PM
I was referring to people who were abusing "conscientous objector" status to avoid combat duty.


One could make the same argument against some people who seek out combat arms MOS's.
Are they all a bunch of trigger-happy-action-star-wannabes?
Nope. More than likely there are some people like that in uniform, but I would bet that most volunteer for combat arms MOS's for a variety of better reasons.

DMF
October 7, 2004, 05:28 PM
There's much more to Article 1 Section 8 than the ability to declare war. For instance, powers are also granted for military actions other than a declaration of all-out war. You can't pick and choose the parts that appear to support your argument, you have to read the entire thing. The following are copied in the order in which they occur. John

"To define and punish piracies and felonies committed on the high seas, and offenses against the law of nations;

To declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water;"You're digressing to irrelevancies. I'm not picking and choosing just what I like in my reference to Article I Section 8, I'm pointing that the pertinent text is in that Article which defines the powers of Congress. Sure there is a lot to Article I Section 8, but the pertinent part for this discussion is the sole power of Congress to declare war. Congress hasn't declared war since WWII, and therefore combat actions after WWII are not wars. No other authority in our government has the power to do declare war. Once again, statutory authorization to engage in military operations IS NOT a declaration of war, and Congress made that quite clear in 50USC1541.

SLCDave
October 7, 2004, 07:11 PM
I had a backdoor draft the other night, after eating some really good baked beans....

RevDisk
October 7, 2004, 07:54 PM
At about the start of Gulf War II, there was an active duty person who suddenly declared himself a "Conscientous Objector". If he was a conscientous objector why did he ever join the military in the first place?

One of two reasons, most likely. Either he was a coward, or he did not believe that the second Gulf War was a righteous war. Since he was willing to serve his country, I'd lean more towards the second choice until I hear proof that it was the first choice.

Shooter 2.5
October 7, 2004, 10:24 PM
Here's a real backdoor Draft. This is from kerry's own website.
http://web.archive.org/web/20040210043828/www.johnkerry.com/issues/natservice/

It calls for MANDATORY NATIONAL SERVICE as a requirement to graduate High School.

Is a military only? No, but any time service to a country is MANDATORY, there are problems.

So there you have it from the horse's a$$ itself. Mandatory Service.

FW
October 7, 2004, 11:11 PM
At about the start of Gulf War II, there was an active duty person who suddenly declared himself a "Conscientous Objector". If he was a conscientous objector why did he ever join the military in the first place?

One of two reasons, most likely. Either he was a coward, or he did not believe that the second Gulf War was a righteous war. Since he was willing to serve his country, I'd lean more towards the second choice until I hear proof that it was the first choice.

He wasn't "willing to serve his country". He joined for the benefits. When you join, you take an oath. That oath doen't include how righteous you feel something is.

spartacus2002
October 8, 2004, 08:44 AM
mandatory National Service = the gummint owns your kids, not you

mandatory National Service = slavery

RealGun
October 8, 2004, 08:48 AM
I am not saying it applies in this case, but "compelling Government interest" can be legitimate.

Bemidjiblade
October 8, 2004, 09:25 AM
to touch on teh side bar of CO as medics...

I have to disagree with Lone Gunman's first post, and Phantom Warrior.

The bottom line with the medic you guys are talking about is that he is willing to put his life on the line with no means to defend himself, walk into a life threatening situation to try and save your backside. I hope no one here or no one we know will need their services, but when you do, I don't think you're going to turn him down because his reasons for enlisting don't meet your higher standards. He's going where you went without the advantages you had to get there, and he's doing it to get you or your friend help when you can't do it yourself.

I don't care if someone changes to CO an hour before you need him. If he's still willing to go where he has to to meet the need, then that's all that counts.

Hawkmoon
October 8, 2004, 10:35 AM
I don't care if someone changes to CO an hour before you need him. If he's still willing to go where he has to to meet the need, then that's all that counts.
I agree in principle. The case being referred to here, I believe, is the one of the sergeant (who had clearly been in long enough to rise to the rank of sergeant, which doesn't happen overnight even in today's Army) who went home on a 10-day leave, then went AWOL and disappeared for something like 5 months. When caught, his defense was that he had become a CO.

This individual did not follow any accepted protocol for filing to change his status to CO. Rather than going to his commanding officer and/or chaplain, and volunteering to be reassigned into a non-combat MOS, he voted with his feet. IMHO this individual was not a CO but a coward.

RevDisk
October 8, 2004, 11:16 AM
I agree in principle. The case being referred to here, I believe, is the one of the sergeant (who had clearly been in long enough to rise to the rank of sergeant, which doesn't happen overnight even in today's Army) who went home on a 10-day leave, then went AWOL and disappeared for something like 5 months. When caught, his defense was that he had become a CO.

A deserter. :cuss:

Didn't they used to shoot those? Why did they stop?

buzz_knox
October 8, 2004, 11:58 AM
Either he was a coward, or he did not believe that the second Gulf War was a righteous war. Since he was willing to serve his country, I'd lean more towards the second choice until I hear proof that it was the first choice.

Then he wasn't a CO. There are clear guidelines on what constitutes a CO, and objecting to a particular war does not fall anywhere within them.

Bob Locke
October 9, 2004, 09:36 AM
Amendment 13 Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.
I'm thinking that the draft would run afoul of this.

I wish it would have been tested by those who didn't want to participate against their will in the last few wars and "police actions".

JohnBT
October 9, 2004, 09:39 PM
"participate against their will"

They signed up, right? Are you suggesting they should be released from their obligations because they didn't read the contract?

I hope you aren't suggesting that military volunteers be allowed to pick and choose what orders they obey. They signed up, right?

John

DMF
October 10, 2004, 12:22 AM
I'm thinking that the draft would run afoul of this.Interesting thought about the 13th Amendment, however the Supreme Court has already addressed this issue, with the controlling case law being Arver vs. US and selected draft law cases (1918). (Note: this is a decision that addressed several draft law cases, not just Arver.)

If you care to read the decision in the case, it's quite interesting, just follow this link: http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=us&vol=245&invol=366

Bob Locke
October 10, 2004, 09:29 AM
My brain hurts from reading that! :scrutiny:

I disagree with the decision, because I believe in the sovereignty of the individual and not the state. And I found the final statement sort of telling:
Finally, as we are unable to conceive upon what theory the exaction by government from the citizen of the performance of his supreme and noble duty of contributing to the defense of the rights and honor of the nation as the result of a war declared by the great representative body of the people can be said to be the imposition of involuntary servitude in violation of the prohibitions of the Thirteenth Amendment, we are constrained to the conclusion that the contention to that effect is refuted by its mere statement.
Does that mean that if we are in a "police action" (Viet Nam, Korea) instead of a declared war (WW2), that there is no compulsion to military service?

Hawkmoon
October 10, 2004, 11:02 AM
"participate against their will"

They signed up, right? Are you suggesting they should be released from their obligations because they didn't read the contract?
No. But if I sign up for 6 years, with the expectation that at the end of six years I go home and wear civvies, and at the end of six years an edict is handed to me that says "Oh, by the way, we were just kidding, you get to stay here another year," for that extra year I would be participating against my will.

Clear enough?

DMF
October 10, 2004, 01:07 PM
Does that mean that if we are in a "police action" (Viet Nam, Korea) instead of a declared war (WW2), that there is no compulsion to military service? Well again, an interesting thought, however Arver v. US has been used as the basis for upholding the draft, even when there is no declared war. The last cases were decided in the 70s. There have been some attempts to use the 13th Amendment regarding Stop Loss, but for a variety of reasons those cases haven't gone very far.

If the other issues weren't in the way it would be interesting to see how the Supreme Court would treat Stop Loss, in light of the ruling in Arver which said all citizens may be compelled to do their duty. Stop Loss doesn't seem to be covered by Arver, because it only compels service from those who have already provided service, and does not compel service from anyone else. However, I'm not a judge or even a lawyer so my opinion means little or nothing. If stop loss goes on long enough I wouldn't be surprised if some smart lawyers didn't try to challenge it again based on the 13th Amendment.

Bob Locke
October 10, 2004, 01:38 PM
Well again, an interesting thought, however Arver v. US has been used as the basis for upholding the draft, even when there is no declared war.
IMO, that flies in the face of the language of the decision. I'm also not a lawyer, nor have I ever played one on TV, but I can read for comprehension. :)
If stop loss goes on long enough I wouldn't be surprised if some smart lawyers didn't try to challenge it again based on the 13th Amendment.
If "stop loss" goes on long enough, I think we'll see a serious decline in recruiting. I know I wouldn't want to give the government an "option year" at their discretion. From talking with friends who are still on active duty (I spent 12-plus years in the Navy, and my little brother is in the Air Force), "stop loss" has a serious negative impact on morale, both for those who are being retained as well as their comrades who are wondering if it will also happen to them.

DMF
October 10, 2004, 03:25 PM
IMO, that flies in the face of the language of the decision. I'm also not a lawyer, nor have I ever played one on TV, but I can read for comprehension. Well as I said, the Supreme Court didn't see it that way. It's been a few years since I did any serious research on this subject, but as I said there were other draft law cases all the way into the 70s where Arver v. US was used as the basis for the decision.

If "stop loss" goes on long enough, I think we'll see a serious decline in recruiting.I think the impact is more on retention rather than recruiting. When stop loss is not in affect for brief periods, or to troops where it isn't currently applied they are having trouble retaining troops.[QUOTE] During DESERT STORM and Kosovo, stop loss was more narrowly applied and used briefly, so most court challenges were dropped quickly when stop loss was lifted. IIRC, one challenge to stop loss during Kosovo was ruled on by a circuit court without addressing the 13th Amendment issue.

Currently the services have been very careful in applying Stop Loss. Most people are under the new contract drafted after 1991, and Stop Loss has been used in spurts, rather than just a constant application for the last three years. I have seen some challenges to Stop Loss proposed, but I am unaware of anyone who has successfully brought a challenge. The most interesting I've seen was a defense attorney making a 13th Amendment challenge to UCMJ charges, saying that if his client had not bee retained on active duty involuntarily that he wouldn't have been subject to the UCMJ. AFAIK, that case was dropped for other reasons.

strambo
October 10, 2004, 04:11 PM
No. But if I sign up for 6 years, with the expectation that at the end of six years I go home and wear civvies, and at the end of six years an edict is handed to me that says "Oh, by the way, we were just kidding, you get to stay here another year," for that extra year I would be participating against my will.

Wrong, every committment is for 8 years...however many active (say 6) and the remainder IRR (2). So, you would be on the hook for a call up (or stop loss) for 2 years after your 6 year enlistment, and that is what you would have signed. This was explained to me when I joined many years ago. My IRR ended ~May 2003, I just joined the Guard though so I'm prepared to serve again. Bring it on!

Stop loss isn't a "back door draft:rolleyes: " because everyone signs up for an 8 year commitment. That way, if necessary, the military can have the troops they need. The problem is nobody pays attention until it happens then they all whine 'an snivel. If you don't like stop loss or 8 year total commitment, active+IRR (and potential stop loss/call up)...don't join!

P.S. If the 3rd ACR threat story is true...that is not cool and those responsible (retention NCO's/ Commanders) should fall under UCMJ charges if necessary. Stop loss is controversial enough without deliberate misuse of it.

SIGarmed
October 10, 2004, 08:59 PM
I don't have much sympathy for people that want all the glory and benefits but don't want to do their jobs.

When you join unless your recruiter straight out lies to you then they explain that in a four year enlistment you are really obligated for eight years of service. They pretty much explain that you are subject to recall.

The general idea is that unless your country really needs you you'll pretty much be out in four years if that's what is in your enlistment contract. A four year enlistment means four more years service in the inactive ready reserve and its no big secret.

I doubt many would refuse to enlist because the fine print says the government doesn't have to declare war in order to active or extend them in time of need.

You have to report anually for an additional four years after your active duty is completed within a four year enlistment as an example. What do people think IRR is for, a picnic?

Why even join the military if you're going to cry about hardship?

Every service should have the same "we don't promise you a rose garden" slogan as the USMC. Maybe there would be less whiners.

DMF
October 10, 2004, 10:38 PM
What the folks who "have no sympathy" are missing is that Stop Loss has been, and is currently being, applied to people that have completed BOTH their active duty commitments AND their IRR commitments.

spartacus2002
October 11, 2004, 08:04 AM
Maybe the real beef of the IRR folks is that they perceive the difference between serving your country and serving the government.

Old Dog
October 11, 2004, 07:30 PM
Maybe the real beef of the IRR folks is that they perceive the difference between serving your country and serving the government.

Don't think so. As noted before, the military statuatory service obligation is 8 years. These personnel knew this when they enlisted. These folks are contractually obligated; no matter what you think of the war, or what these "IRR folks" think of the war, they are reneging on a contract that they signed with their government -- which, like it or not, represents their country.

What the folks who "have no sympathy" are missing is that Stop Loss has been, and is currently being, applied to people that have completed BOTH their active duty commitments AND their IRR commitments.

What? Document that, please. I have to call b.s. on that statement.

DMF
October 11, 2004, 08:48 PM
What? Document that, please. I have to call b.s. on that statement.Call BS all you want, it's true because it happend to me.

I spent an extra year on active duty, even though I had completed BOTH my active duty service commitment and IRR commitment. All because of Stop Loss. I'm not the only one. What most folks don't realize is Officers don't have an enlistment that runs out, no established separation date. They serve until they resign their commission, leave for the Reserves or Guard, or get forced out if not promoted. So I had a four year ADSC, and 8 year total commitment. However if you serve that all on active duty or any combination of active and reserves you're done with your contractual commitment at the end of 8 years. There is nothing in the contract that obligated me, or any other officer, beyond the 8 years - unless there was a declaration of war. No declaration of war, yet Os are being prevented from separating or retiring because of Stop Loss.

I was beyond 8 years, I had separation orders in hand, I had jobs waiting for me, and Stop Loss kept me around. It cost me jobs, and other opportunities I will never get back. I wasn't the only one, and it still goes on today. An 8 year contract with the military shouldn't give the military an option on your whole life. If Congress and President think things are serious enough to do that to folks they need to sack up and declare war, and figure out a long term solution to the manning problems.

(Extraneous comment removed by Art)

SIGarmed
October 11, 2004, 09:41 PM
That's not good. The command should be going out of their way to find a replacement when your obligation is up.

Regardless if they declare war or not a solution should be found for the terms of a persons obligation. As for additional time served during the IRR that's pretty understandable.

13A
October 11, 2004, 11:55 PM
Our government is always trying to get by on the cheap with military service members.

We had nearly 800,000 soldiers in the active Army in 1989. We now have less than 500,000. Yes, the Warsaw Pact split up. But NATO didn't. In fact , it grew. As did our commitment to defend the new NATO members.

We have downsized before and paid the price. Google "Task Force Smith". We're again paying the price.

Anyone remember the term " peace dividend"? Very popular about 15 years ago or so.

strambo
October 12, 2004, 07:19 PM
Officers don't have an enlistment that runs out, no established separation date.
This isn't entirely correct. Did you submit a refrad (release from active duty) packet before your obligation was up? If not, you went on "voluntary indefinite" status which means it's up to the military to let you go. I submitted my refrad packet and got out after 4. Once an Officer goes on voluntary indefinite status the 8 years do not apply. Sounds like you didn't understand the system and submit the correct paperwork, I'll admit it is confusing and if you do nothing (if no one squares you away)...you will convert to voluntary indef status automatically.

Old Dog
October 12, 2004, 09:24 PM
I admit, with the benefit of only a quarter century in the armed forces, a tour (involuntary) in recruiting (thus giving me a working knowledge of enlisted and officer contracts and oaths of acceptance) and a pretty thorough knowledge of the rules as far as stop-loss/stop-move, I may have been viewing your prior statement only through the lens of my own experience in my own branch of service ... not having been able to personally verify your type of situation as having actually happened to anyone -- and knowing that the Navy was simply keeping only those who still had a reserve obligation (first termers) or further active service obligation (those retirement eligible), perhaps asking for documentation that anyone was being held beyond their MSSO was out of line.

Nah.

DMF
October 12, 2004, 10:48 PM
. . . "voluntary indefinite" status which means it's up to the military to let you go. . . Not true, once the service commitment is completed the military has NO contractual right to retain people on active duty. It is the option of the service member to remain on active duty and they can resign their commission at any time. I did tons of research into this, and consulted with a few lawyers in preparation for my own legal challenge to Stop Loss. I was released from Stop Loss before it became necessary to file suit in federal court.

However, again there is NOTHING in the contract that obligates an officer beyond the paperwork they sign, and indefinite status means the officer can leave if they choose, or stay as long as the military lets them. It does NOT give the government an option on that person for life. THE ONE EXCEPTION is a DECLARED WAR.

DMF
October 12, 2004, 10:56 PM
As for the rest, I've been through the source documents, consulted the lawyers, and I know it still goes on today. When someone has completed their commitment they should not be placed in a condition of involuntary servitude. Again, if we're serious about this do the right thing; declare war and fix the manning issues.

As for your knowledge of contracts, service obligations, and stop loss, I'm sure you know that the authority for stop loss was delegated to the SecDef, by the president, and he in turn delegated his authority to each service Secretary. The service Secretaries have all implemented Stop Loss in much different ways. The Navy has applied it to the fewest people since 9-11-01, the other services were not so kind. So while you may know about the Navy you are 100% wrong, at least with regard to the USAF, when you say that no one has been retained beyond their contractual commitments.

Art Eatman
October 13, 2004, 01:59 AM
I suggest folks be courteous, polite and tactful.

If anybody feels insulted by commentary in a post, tell a moderator. Don't go to fussing in the thread. That displeases me, and this is not a week in which to make that mistake. Maybe next week.

Maybe.

:), Art

RevDisk
October 13, 2004, 10:06 AM
Regardless if they declare war or not a solution should be found for the terms of a persons obligation. As for additional time served during the IRR that's pretty understandable.


I don't think people really understand how important that little piece of paper is. That is to say, an actual declaration of war. The "War on Terrorism" is not a technical war. The Iraqi occupation is not a technical war. How important is this? Read up on who alone has the legal right to declare war.


I know of many people who had situations similiar to DMF. 13A is sorta correct. It's not exactly "on the cheap". I get a kick out of mercenaries making $150k per year, soldiers making $20k per year, and somehow the mercs are supposed to be cheaper.



Stop loss isn't a "back door draft " because everyone signs up for an 8 year commitment. That way, if necessary, the military can have the troops they need. The problem is nobody pays attention until it happens then they all whine 'an snivel. If you don't like stop loss or 8 year total commitment, active+IRR (and potential stop loss/call up)...don't join!


Under certain situations, it is. As for "whine 'an snivelling", there are two aspects to consider. One is legality. If the military is allowed to do what it pleases without regard to the law... The other aspect is, one can screw the troops only so long before it bites one on the rear. Service persons are voting with their feet. It will take a few years before the main impact is felt.

I am one of those that will not be renewing my contract and re-up'ing. I will not "whining 'an snivelling", rather I do the job as best as I can, sucking it up, and will walk at the end of my contract. I have my reasons, but I don't feel the need to expound them.

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