Republican Party Platform of 1980

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Defense Manpower and the Draft

The Republican Party is not prepared to accept a peacetime draft at this time. Under Mr. Carter, the all-volunteer force has not been given a fair chance to succeed. The unconscionable mismanagement and neglect of personnel policy by the Carter Administration has made a shambles of the all-volunteer force concept.

Perhaps the most compelling vulnerability of our forces results from the dramatic exodus of the core of highly skilled men and women who form the backbone of our military strength. This loss is the direct result of neglect by the Commander-in-Chief.

The sustained malign neglect of our military manpower is nothing short of a national scandal. This Administration’s active assault on military benefits and military retirement has been accompanied by an enforced pay-cap set at half the inflation rate. The average military family has lost between 14 percent and 25 percent in purchasing power over the past seven years. Officers and skilled enlisted personnel are leaving in droves, and 250,000 of our servicemen qualify for public assistance. Many of our career people earn less than the minimum wage. The services are currently short 70,000 senior enlisted personnel. This scandal is the direct result of Mr. Carter’s willful downgrading of the military and inept mismanagement of personnel policy. As a top priority, the Republican Party pledges to end this national disgrace.

We pledge to restore a national attitude of pride and gratitude for the service of our men and women in the armed forces. We will act immediately to correct the great inequities in pay and benefits of career military personnel. Specifically, we support immediate action to:

Provide for an increase in military pay targeted in particular toward the career grades now experiencing the greatest attrition;

Increase enlistment and reenlistment bonuses;

Improve continuation bonuses for aviators;

Increase per diem travel allowances;

Increase the allowance for moving mobile homes;

Provide family separation allowances for Junior personnel; and

Expand benefit entitlement under the CHAMPUS program.

A Republican Administration will index military pay and allowances to protect military personnel from absorbing the burden of inflation. We pledge that the profession of arms will be restored to its rightful place as a prominent expression of patriotism in America.

In order to attract recruits of high ability, a Republican Administration will act to re-introduce G.I. Bill benefits for those completing two years active service. We will press for enactment of legislation denying federal funds to any educational institution that impedes access of military recruiters to their students. We regard as a serious loss the decision of many of our finest institutions of higher learning to discontinue their military officer training programs. The leadership of our armed forces must include the best trained minds in our nation. Republicans call upon our colleges and universities to shoulder their responsibilities in the defense of freedom. We will investigate legislative inducements toward this end. We will not consider a peacetime draft unless a well-managed, Congressionally-funded, full-scale effort to improve the all-volunteer force does not meet expectations.

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Chicago: "Defense Manpower and the Draft," Republican Party Platform of 1980 in Donald B. Johnson, Ed. National Party Platforms, 1840–1976. Supplement 1980. (Champaign-Urbana: University of Illinois), P.33 Original Sources, accessed October 4, 2022, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=L1RL7UMSFT3BUDD.

MLA: . "Defense Manpower and the Draft." Republican Party Platform of 1980, in Donald B. Johnson, Ed. National Party Platforms, 1840–1976. Supplement 1980. (Champaign-Urbana: University of Illinois), P.33, Original Sources. 4 Oct. 2022. http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=L1RL7UMSFT3BUDD.

Harvard: , 'Defense Manpower and the Draft' in Republican Party Platform of 1980. cited in , Donald B. Johnson, Ed. National Party Platforms, 1840–1976. Supplement 1980. (Champaign-Urbana: University of Illinois), P.33. Original Sources, retrieved 4 October 2022, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=L1RL7UMSFT3BUDD.