Charles Moskos is professor emeritus of sociology at Northwestern University. A former U.S. Army draftee in the combat engineers in Germany, his research has taken him to combat units in Vietnam, Panama, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Haiti, Bosnia, Kosovo, and Iraq. The author of many books and over 200 articles in scholarly journals, his writings have been translated in 19 languages. This essay is based on a presentation at an FPRI conference on “The Future of the Reserves and National Guard,” held on December 6, 2004.
TOWARD A NEW CONCEPTION OF THE CITIZEN SOLDIER
By Charles Moskos, April 7, 2005
Forwarded by Colonel TJ O'Neil USAF (Ret)
The desirable end-strength of our armed forces, especially that of the Army, has become a subject of concern. All agree that the military manpower demands owing to Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) in Afghanistan are causing extraordinary strain. Recruitment and retention shortfalls in the Army is expected to be especially severe in reserve components. Indeed, the Army Reserve is “rapidly degenerating into a broken force” in the words of its top commander in early 2005.
Our focus here will be on the Army Reserve and the Army National Guard, by far the largest of the reserve components (RC) and the forces experiencing the greatest difficulties. As of this writing (January, 2005), RC make up some 40 percent of the military in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Among the Army dead in OIF, about a quarter have been from reserve components.