James L. Lacy


Unprecedented in ambition, uneven in experience, controversial from the outset, and facing serious challenges in the years ahead, the All-Volunteer Force (AVF), launched in 1973, remains one of the most significant and debatable developments in postwar U.S. security policy. Never before had the United States attempted to maintain so large a standing force composed entirely of volunteers. Few other nations rely wholly on volunteers for their military forces, and indeed none relies on volunteers on anything near the scale of the AVF.

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