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Archive for Thursday, June 24, 2004

Local recruiters say enlistments up

June 24, 2004

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Lt. Col. Brian DeToy, an ROTC recruiter at Kansas University, is signing up more soldiers these days.

"We've grown probably 20 percent in the last three years I have been here," DeToy said.

He attributes the increase to 9-11 and the war in Iraq. There typically are more recruits signing up during times of war, he said.

"When there isn't a conflict, the military is something that is just not thought about," DeToy said.

And while the numbers are up, he still questions whether supply will meet the growing demand for military personnel around the world.

"I think it's plausible a draft might be required, just based on the numbers required," DeToy said.

The Army Ranger has been in the service 19 years and is from a military family. He said he understood the advantages and disadvantages of mandatory military service.

"I think our volunteer force is a phenomenal force, and the talent is incredible," DeToy said. But "one thing the draft has done throughout history is that it brings talent into the military that maybe otherwise wouldn't volunteer to serve."

At KU, some students said a revived draft was something they'd prefer not to see.

"I ought to follow it more. The possibility is pretty scary. I really wouldn't want to go," said Burton Harding, a KU senior.

DeToy said he hoped Americans would discuss the possibility of required military service.

"These types of ideas ought to be on the table, and people in America ought to discuss them," he said.

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