1st Edition

The Advent of the All-Volunteer Force Protecting Free Society

By William A. Taylor Copyright 2023
    220 Pages 16 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    220 Pages 16 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book examines the extensive influence of the All-Volunteer Force (AVF) on the past, present, and future of America, demonstrating how the AVF encompasses the most significant issues of military history and defense policy.

    Throughout the vast majority of its wars during the twentieth century, the United States relied on a mixture of volunteers who chose to serve and conscripts provided through the Selective Service System, known colloquially as the draft. When the United States emerged as a world superpower in the aftermath of World War II, U.S. policymakers also depended on the draft during peacetime. Drawing on primary source documents, this book guides readers through the transition from the draft to the AVF and analyzes its history, results, challenges, and implications. Each chapter provides an overview of the issues of the time, recounts the ensuing debates and developments around them, and examines how they manifested themselves relative to the advent of the AVF and American society during times of peace and war.

    Combining narrative with documents, The Advent of the All-Volunteer Force is a valuable resource for students, scholars, policymakers, and general readers interested in modern American history, military history, and the dynamic linkages between policy, politics, and American society.

    1. Conscription in America: The Draft during the 1940s and 1950s  2. In Pursuit of Equity: The Draft during the 1960s  3. How to End the Draft: The Campaign for the AVF during the 1960s  4. The First Indispensable Step: The Gates Commission  5. Our Commitment to Freedom: The AVF and Its Legacy


    William A. Taylor is the Lee Drain Endowed University Professor of Global Security Studies at Angelo State University.

    "In his latest book, William A. Taylor delivers a concise and lucid account of the momentous transition from the draft to the all-volunteer force (AVF) and reflects on its significant legacy after fifty years of service. In doing so, he highlights the vital linkages between who serves in the military and how they do so. This book should be required reading for students, scholars, and readers interested in the AVF and its profound relationship to American society."

    Lawrence J. Korb, Former Assistant Secretary of Defense

    "Everyone should read William A. Taylor's The Advent of the All-Volunteer Force. He provides a wealth of primary sources that readers can explore to understand who serves in America's military. He brilliantly takes the reader from the draft system to the all-volunteer force, demonstrating it as a pivotal moment in American history."

    Jeremy P. Maxwell, author of Brotherhood in Combat: How African Americans Found Equality in Korea and Vietnam