Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Andy Rooney on bringing back the Draft

On Sunday’s 60 Minutes Andy Rooney had this to say about today’s new soldiers -

"In an attempt to get the soldiers they need, recruiters have reduced the standards for getting into the Army or Navy.

They have reduced the educational standards, for example, so that they're getting more soldiers who didn't go to high school, let alone graduate from high school.
Recruiters are granting thousands of what they call "moral waivers". A "moral waiver" it turns out means they'll take someone who has committed a crime or even someone who has been in prison. Last year, a total of 8,129 "moral waivers" were given to men who volunteered for the Army.

Are these the people we want representing us? As American soldiers, they're going to give the people they meet around the world the impression that they are what all Americans are like and if they have been taken from the bottom of the barrel, they are not what we're all like.

In August of 1941, I had just finished my junior year in college when I was drafted into the Army. Hundreds of my classmates were drafted at the same time.
I hated everything about Army life"…… Written By Andy Rooney, CBS Broadcasting Inc

Well Andy – in my mind you have convinced me with the last sentenced I quoted as to the best reason for avoiding the draft. I have served with an all volunteer force that does not “hate” where they are, seeks to improve upon their lot in life, and freely accept the terms of entry into the military. Your facts are wrong and reflect a bias born of your own frustrations as a draftee in the 40s.

For the record
– New recruits must complete GED prior to Basic training – non High School graduates (drop outs) are not admitted into the services unlike 1941.
- Moral waivers reflect a process to check entry for any questionable offense – this can include drunk driving, minor summary charges, drug possession and a host of other events. These waivers are reviewed and approved by someone other than the recruiter. This process did not even exist in 1941 by your own admission.
- As to representation by today’s soldiers– get out of the CBS building and see for yourself – don’t believe the crap your hearing in the press corps – investigate and then report – remember Journalism 101 ? or did you miss that because of your military service too?

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