Civilian Reserve Corps (volunteer)
I'm sure mine were not the only ears that perked up during the 2007 State of the Union address by President Bush when he mentioned the volunteer Civilian Reserve Corps. <http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2007/01/20070123-2.html>
Many are curious about this newly-funded corps, especially those in the military service or who have served. But, the media is not covering the Civilian Reserve Corps, yet, and I'm not able to find much on government Web sites about it. I've searched both the House and the Senate Web sites for information about the CRC, but only regurgitations of President Bush's statement in the State of the Union Address are there. (http://www.house.gov/, http://www.senate.gov/)
Here's my twisted take on it.
Fact: Many things the military does for itself, or hires contractors to do, can be done inexpensively with a civilian force, i.e., cook meals, wash laundry, transport fuel and supplies.
Fact: Our military is spread way too thin, and it's going to get thinner. We are likely to engage in additional military ventures in the next few years since we have poked a hole in the Middle Eastern dam.
Fact: We're going to need many, many more people to support the War on Terror effort, and the young are not stupid enough to enlist. For every soldier in the field, there are several who have to support him: the people who manage his paycheck, the people who feed him, the people who arm him, and the people who clothe him. The number increases exponentially with the number of new combatants. As a result of this huge increase in effort, the government is going to have to reinstate the draft.
Yes, they're going to have to reinstate the draft, and they're going to have to include women. It's that whole equality thing, remember? I think the Civilian Reserve Corps is going to lose the "volunteer" descriptor and it will be an option of service for people who are drafted. I have a feeling that the jobs this corps does will be in a support capacity.
As Mr. Bush said in the State of the Union, "Such a corps would function much like our military reserve. It would ease the burden on the Armed Forces by allowing us to hire civilians with critical skills to serve on missions abroad when America needs them. It would give people across America who do not wear the uniform a chance to serve in the defining struggle of our time."
I foresee this Civilian Reserve Corps being used for draftees who either cannot pass the physical tests for military service or who object to the war (whichever one we happen to be in at the time). I don't think America is ready, yet, to draft women into the military, and I think that this CRC is going to be the way the government gets around it. They've been working on this Civilian Reserve Corps since at least June 2006, and are investing $75 million to start it up. Here's a link to the STATEMENT OF ADMINISTRATION POLICY from the Executive Office of the President: <http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/legislative/sap/109-2/hr5522sap-h.pdf>
Personally, I think we should be headed in the other direction. In a peaceful direction. Where have all the hippies gone?