dWhat Reenlistment Problem - Road to the Middle Class - by Christopher Chantrill
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What Reenlistment Problem?

by Christopher Chantrill
August 23, 2005 at 11:45 am

BACK IN THE spring, the MSM was trumpeting the news that the U.S. Army was way behind in its recruitment goals. They didn’t say so, but you could read between the lines the awful prospects: understrength units sent to fight in Iraq, plunging morale, humiliating pullout, plunging poll numbers for President Bush.

But a few months later, everything looks hunky-dory, according to Ralph Peters. It turns out that the Army will meet and exceed its recruitment goals after all.

The standout results are the re-enlistment numbers. You could say, if you were a liberal, that continued first-time enlistment was due to the naivété of poor innocent young boys from underprivileged homes who didn’t have any other option but to serve themselves up as cannon fodder. Actually, first time enlistments are right about on quota. But the real story is in re-enlistments. And it is the elite combat units that are really turning in the numbers.

Every one of the Army’s 10 divisions — its key combat organizations — has exceeded its re-enlistment goal for the year to date. Those with the most intense experience in Iraq have the best rates. The 1st Cavalry Division is at 136 percent of its target, the 3rd Infantry Division at 117 percent.

Among separate combat brigades, the figures are even more startling, with the 2nd Brigade of the 2nd Infantry Division at 178 percent of its goal and the 3rd Brigade of the 4th Mech right behind at 174 percent of its re-enlistment target.

How could this happen? It’s going to take quite a bit of explaining away. But don’t worry. After the MSM has gone through it’s silence phase on the topic, we will start to see explanations. It’s not what you think, we will read. Things are really going badly. Some specialties are suffering such poor re-enlistment rates that it will soon affect combat readiness.

The truth is that, in the aftermath of Vietnam, the U.S. armed forces have spent a generation learning how to create soldiers according to the pattern advocated by the brilliant German General von Seekt: “self-reliant, self-confident, dedicated, and joyful in taking responsibility.” You could call the process making a band of brothers.

That is what the U.S. armed forces have learned to do, and that is why re-enlistment rates are sky high.

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Christopher Chantrill blogs at www.roadtothemiddleclass.com.  His Road to the Middle Class is forthcoming.


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Faith & Purpose

“When we began first to preach these things, the people appeared as awakened from the sleep of ages—they seemed to see for the first time that they were responsible beings, and that a refusal to use the means appointed was a damning sin.”
Finke, Stark, The Churching of America, 1776-1990


Mutual Aid

In 1911... at least nine million of the 12 million covered by national insurance were already members of voluntary sick pay schemes. A similar proportion were also eligible for medical care.
Green, Reinventing Civil Society


Education

“We have met with families in which for weeks together, not an article of sustenance but potatoes had been used; yet for every child the hard-earned sum was provided to send them to school.”
E. G. West, Education and the State


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Law being too tenuous to rely upon in [Ulster and the Scottish borderlands], people developed patterns of settling differences by personal fighting and family feuds.
Thomas Sowell, Conquests and Cultures


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F.S.C. Northrop, The Meeting of East and West


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F.S.C. Northrop, The Logic of the Sciences and the Humanities


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Dorothy L. Sayers, Strong Poison


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I mean three systems in one: a predominantly market economy; a polity respectful of the rights of the individual to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; and a system of cultural institutions moved by ideals of liberty and justice for all. In short, three dynamic and converging systems functioning as one: a democratic polity, an economy based on markets and incentives, and a moral-cultural system which is plural and, in the largest sense, liberal.
Michael Novak, The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism


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Ludwig von Mises, Human Action


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Annie Dillard, Holy the Firm


Conversion

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James M. Ault, Jr., Spirit and Flesh


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The recognition and integration of extralegal property rights [in the Homestead Act] was a key element in the United States becoming the most important market economy and producer of capital in the world.
Hernando de Soto, The Mystery of Capital


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