Retaining Citizen Soldiers
AbstractRetaining Citizen Soldiers LOWNDES F. STEPHENS University of South Carolina The debate over the success or failure of the All-Volunteer Force as a manpower procurement policy for United States armed forces continues. In December 1978 the Department of Defense issued a 390-page report in which it concludes that the All-Volunteer Force is working; the AVF is a better means for meeting manpower accession requirements than thirteen other possible alternative courses of action, although shortages in the Individual Ready Reserve (IRR) and in selected reserve units are recognized problem areas.' Others have argued that the AVF is not working.2 If there is disagreement over the success of the AVF as a means of getting and retaining an active force of sufficient size and quality, then there is a consensus regarding its failure to retain a sufficient reserve force. Combined army guard and reserve enlisted forces are manned at about 80% of their peacetime authorizations but 28% of all army selected reserve companies and equivalent units are manned at less than 70%. The actual combined guard and reserve strength in organized units as of September 30, 1979, was 535,518 81% of the peacetime requirement and 76% of the wartime requirement.