Gen. Dempsey Talks About Service at the National Press Club
As Delivered by General Martin E. Dempsey , National Press Club, Washington, D.C. Wednesday, October 10, 2012
MS. WERNER: Do you support a draft?
GEN. DEMSPEY: You know, if – do I support a draft? I think there’s universal service, there’s selective service, and then there’s the all-volunteer force. If I thought that we could adopt as a nation some form of universal service, I’d sign up for it in a second. Selective service really doesn’t become something that generally produces either the force you want – because it becomes so restricted. The issue of being selective mostly means that there’s plenty of people who opt out, and those that opt out, generally speaking, then cause a part of the society to bear a disproportionate share of the responsibility.
I should mention, by the way, that, you know, our all-volunteer force is really representative of America. There’s – you know, there’s kind of a – there’s some mythology and street lore out there that it is not, but it is. I mean, I can’t speak for all the services, but I’m pretty confident in my data. In the Army I’m very confident in the data. And that is that we get a good – not a perfect representation of America but a very, very good representation of America. And you want your military to represent the society it serves. I’m not sure that we would have – I’d just – if I – like I said, I’d have to see the mechanism before I agreed to the path, because it’s the mechanism that’ll make all the difference.
Full transcript here