The U.S. Army's Transition to the All-Volunteer Force, 1968–1974

TitleThe U.S. Army's Transition to the All-Volunteer Force, 1968–1974
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication1996
AuthorsGriffith, Robert K.
Number of Pages306
PublisherCenter of Military History
City, CountryWashington, DC
Abstract

The U.S. Army's Transition to the All-Volunteer Force is a compelling analysis of the process by which the Army responded to the requirements of creating an all-volunteer force, reestablished in the United States at midnight on 30 June 1973 when induction authority expired. That the transition from virtual dependency on the draft to a manpower system based on volunteerism was accomplished nearly simultaneously with the withdrawal from Vietnam is all the more remarkable. Griffith takes us through the turbulent years of transition from 1968 to 1974, examining both the broad context in which the end of the draft occurred and the less well-known perspective that Army leaders brought to bear on the challenge they faced. In spite of an environment of fierce opposition, those charged with developing and implementing the Army's three-phased program to achieve all-volunteer status persevered and approached the task with a determination to succeed. Griffith's history shows the key role played by the Army staff and Army secretariat in shaping the Army as it underwent deep alterations in the very foundations of its structure. It provides both a glimpse into the dynamics of the reciprocal relationship between the Army and society, and is a useful case study of the successful management of fundamental organizational change.

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