Is the military draft a step in the right direction for the U.S. government? Rep Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., certainly thinks so. Rangel, a Purple Heart and Bronze Star veteran of the Korean War, first proposed the reinstatement of the draft in January 2003.
Although Rangel supports a military draft, he does not support the war in Iraq.
According to a press release issued by Rangel’s office, he said, “I oppose the war in Iraq, but I support the military and the men and women who serve in it.”
The press release said Rangel’s decision to want to reinstate a military draft is based on the Army’s failure to meet recruiting goals since February 2005, despite increasing enlistment bonuses to $30,000.
Even a supporter of the war, Alanna Foley, a senior animal science student from Melbourne, said she does not want to see a military draft.
“I support the war because terrorism is a danger to American way of life. If someone I loved were drafted, I would be upset but would still support them and the war,” said Foley, 23.Rangel offered a possible reason for the military’s dilemma. “The American people lost confidence in this war long ago, and now parents are discouraging their children from volunteering,” he said.
In the press release, Rangel also argues that too many of America’s lower class citizens are being recruited into the military because of a lack of alternative opportunities.
“We are faced with a situation in which the most disadvantaged young people from areas of high unemployment will be even more likely to carry the greatest share of the burden,” Rangel said.
According to the press release, another major concern about draft reinstatement would be the quality of draftees.A member of the military said he does not feel the same as Rangel about methods of recruitment.
According to a Project 21 press release, Capt. A.A. Warthen, an active-duty U.S. Marine, said, “The Rangel proposal ignores the obvious social attitudes that have taken place over the past 25 years with regard to public service.
“The young men and women serving today are the best-educated and trained generation of warriors this nation has ever produced,” Warthen said.
Many members of the Florida A&M University community expressed opposition to possible a possible draft reinstatement.
“The draft makes absolutely no sense. Whenever you force someone into doing something they do not want to do, they will not do a good job,” said plant science professor James Muchodej, from the horticulture department.
“I have a draft card; I come from the Vietnam era. When my brother received word that he would be drafted, he went into self-imposed exile until the war was over,” he continued.
According to the U.S. Military’s draft policy, the first to be called, in a sequence determined by a lottery, will be men whose 20th birthday falls during the year the draft is issued, followed, if needed, by those ages 21, 22, 23, 24 and 25. Under that system, Husayn Hankerson, a 19-year-old sophomore architecture student from Minneapolis, would be likely to be drafted based on age if a draft were reinstated next year.
“I would feel deceived by our government if the draft was reinstated,” he said.
“Since I had to sign up for the Selective Service in order to get my FASFA, it would be wrong for the government to take me out of college to fight a war I don’t agree with,” Hankerson continued.
No one in ROTC is allowed to comment on the draft due to military policy.
If a uniformed officer were to comment on military policy, their opinion is considered to be that of the entire army, a member of the FAMU ROTC staff said.