Thursday, December 27, 2007

Full Mobilization - A Meritorious Approach

Once or twice a century, a nation has to fight for its life, where old men and boys are pressed into service to fight an invading force. Often the borders of the nation have been pierced and much of the homeland is occupied by the enemy. This is the scenario where at least ten percent of the total population is under arms and three or four times as many are in war industries. It is against this possibility that the base for this expansion must be laid in peacetime.

That which is more precious than gold, is the combat experience of previous wars as well as those with extensive training in the military arts. Traditional reserve structures have tried to maintain lists of those needed for the direst of emergencies, but in modern more mobile populations, the list becomes useless. Nevertheless those with experience exist. It is this population that mobilization planners must provide for with law and military order to gather the trained and experienced into the forces whether the individuals want to or not.

For the willing, traditional mobilization designee and unit training exist, but often many times the numbers so employed have no slots or choose the focus on their civilian careers. To encourage those without slots to fill, a new type of participation not dependent on slots but upon individual and collective training available without regard to career, but to preserve the skill base should be developed. Call it the “merit badge” approach, where sets of skills and a badge, or certificate is granted in recognition of completion. Such could be built around marksmanship, land navigation, telecommunications, command post duty, etc. Pay could be applied or not.

To provide for the mobilization of anyone who knows one end of a rifle from the other, the enlistment contract should be amended to provide for a life time commitment. Officers and retirees already have this stipulation. The government owns you until buried.

Mobilization planners should also develop mechanisms for the mobilization of segments of industry and commerce which have military applicability with minor military training needed. This is what happened in WW2 where hospitals and construction firms were brought into military service.

With a few exceptions, those organizations providing support for our troops overseas should be militarized and brought under the UCMJ. The form of their militarization would not necessarily be the career intensive model for the current military components, active or reserve, but designed for the duration. Raising these organizations could be under the initial administration of a state governor, or of a corporation, or the federal government itself. Once certified, the organization would be mustered into the services. The pay could be direct from the US government or through the original establishing organization as determined by the government.

This approach is not any different that which we used prior to WW1. Since the Pentagon has chosen to abandon the last one hundred years of military development, it is appropriate to take what worked before and up date it. It is also unlikely that the Pentagon could develop anything so threatening to their cookie jar, that it would be incumbent on the Congress to do so, as that is their specified power given in the Constitution. And that brings it back to whoever is reading this tome.

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