VOLUNTEER ARMY. Use of volunteers for military service was popular throughout the first hundred years of U.S. history. Volunteers fought in the American Revolution, the Indian wars of the late 1700s, the War of 1812, the Mexican-American War, on both sides of the Civil War, and in the Spanish-American War. Permanent state militia units tended to put military training on a volunteer basis, and until World War I, individuals volunteered for national military service through the state quota system in state units.
With the passage of the Selective Service Act of 1917, volunteer forces began to diminish. Passage of the National Defense Act of 1920 rendered all state volunteers, who served in the National Guard, subject to federal military call whenever necessary. The state militias and National Guard kept up the supply of volunteers, but in the national military service, the numbers severely lessened. The advent of mechanized warfare and strict planning of maneuvers made a great amount of training necessary, which virtually eliminated the untrained war volunteer. Tactics and equipment operation took time to learn, and in the case of the old-fashioned war volunteer, there was not enough time.
The furor during the Vietnam War over the draft reawakened interest in building an all-volunteer army, but there was much dissension over the practicality of such a move. Nevertheless, in 1973 the federal government abolished the Selective Service System. Prospective volunteers in the all-volunteer army receive incentives. Volunteers choose their branch of service and the course of study to follow while fulfilling their military obligations.
Throughout the 1970s, efforts to attract recruits in the quantity and quality required achieved only mixed success, and these difficulties prompted critics to question the feasibility of relying exclusively on volunteers. In the 1980s, however, recruiting methods and the quality of recruits improved. By the late 1980s and early 1990s, a string of U.S. military successes seemed to vindicate the decision to revert to the volunteer tradition.
Fredl and, J. Eric, et al., eds. Professionals on the Front Line: Two Decades of the All-Volunteer Force. Washington, D.C.: Brassey's, 1996.
Keeley, John B., ed. The All-Volunteer Force and American Society. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1978.
"Volunteer Army." Dictionary of American History. . Encyclopedia.com. (June 16, 2019). https://www.encyclopedia.com/history/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/volunteer-army
"Volunteer Army." Dictionary of American History. . Retrieved June 16, 2019 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/history/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/volunteer-army
Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).
Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.
Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:
Modern Language Association
The Chicago Manual of Style
American Psychological Association
- Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
- In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.