Since 1980 the mention of this particular word, 'draft,' conjures up much more than a rough version of a letter or a waft of air on the neck causing a chill. It implies, in the worst case, images of somebody else's sons (because so far, they're the only ones who are required under federal penalties of $250,000) registering at local post offices upon attaining 18 years of age.
So why are we all talking about the Draft lately?
Is it just a typical election year issue?
Does it have something to do with expending human capital in a foreign war that seems without end?
Or is there something going on behind the word itself?
Taking a look at how things stand:
- National guard reservists are kept in permanent custody on the front lines -- no longer weekend 'warriors' dedicated to sandbagging flooded Pennsylvania streams.
- Some rare incidents of troops balking at command decisions have COs wondering if they should start building bigger brigs or maybe send the word up to get the Draft in place sooner rather than later.
Sure feels like a time of uncertainty.
But, one thing is certain. Someone did think to do something. Pres. Bush appointed a new acting director of the Selective Service System -- Jack Martin -- back on April 29, 2004. Martin knows a thing or two, presumably, about complex process engineering. He's spent his career (before joining the U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services in 2002) with companies like General Motors and Control Data.
But besides Martin, other fresh faces are reenergizing the SSS and they're also too young to just be coasting to quiet retirement. The new system architect, G. Aldana, of the "Mobilization Directorate at National Headquarters," has a a heady background and must have felt there was a real 'future' to drag this die-hard Yankees fan away from NY to the DC area.
So, perhaps the question isn't IF we'll have a Draft . . but what kind of Draft should we have? Anyone around remember the Vietnam birthday lottery?
Hey, relax, we're halfway there; strap yourselves in and get comfortable with it. That whooshing sound you hear? It's just the sound of a national chill, a wafting breeze, or a Draft, you could call it, that will soon be coming to your neighborhood, consuming your son(s) [daughters?] and mine.