Wayne J. Morgan of Daniel Island has won The Post and Courier's Golden Pen Award for October for his letter to the editor "All-volunteer military a clear success."
Mr. Morgan, an Army veteran, acknowledges that a drafted military has a role "in times of national peril (WWII), and the draft should be used when the nation is on a war-time footing of rationing and total focus on the war."
But he says the volunteer Army is able "to recruit a significantly higher educated base than its corresponding civilian workforce."
He also said the quality of forces continues to improve.
"I served in both the conscript Army of the Vietnam War era (as captain of infantry), and in the volunteer Army that was returned to our nation in 1973. ... I can assure you that the combat capability of today's Army bears little similarity to that which I served with in Vietnam."
One point he made is that "only 11 percent of today's military are from the poorest demographic, while 25 percent of forces enlist from the wealthiest quintile: a very big difference from the Vietnam War Army."
Mr. Morgan notes that some people "argue that a draft would improve the overall character of our youth. This is often a liberal perspective for failed civilian social systems.
"Assigning such a mission to the military is not only inefficient and artificial, but it develops ill will towards the nation's military forces, as evidenced in the years of 1969-1973."
Further, he said a draft is "a major tax (of service) on the younger population, requiring them to forgo starting education, families, businesses and their adult lives in general, and possibly to give their lives."
He concluded his letter with: "Our soldiers, Marines, sailors and airmen are very impressive, very dedicated and very committed in all aspects, and in this 'long war' against militant Islam, they may well prove to be America's Greatest Generation."
Golden Pen winners are invited to an annual luncheon with the editorial staff.
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