Call For Papers

Retrospective on the All-Voluntary Force

Success or Failure after Fifty Years

U.S. Army Lt. Col. Scott Morley, commander of the Phoenix Recruiting Battalion, administers the oath of enlistment to forty future soldiers 26 August 2018 at Chase Field in Phoenix

July 2023 marks the fiftieth anniversary of the U.S. All-Volunteer Force (AVF). The concept for an all-voluntary military force was given impetus by widespread resistance to the U.S. draft during the Vietnam War. At the time, supporters of the concept asserted that a professionalized military would be better trained, have greater morale, and overall be more effective as a fighting force than a force based primarily on draftees. In contrast, critics of the concept warned that, if adopted, the U.S. military would increasingly view itself, and be viewed by the public, as a mercenary force having less and less in common with the population it was charged to defend. Additionally, critics warned that a standing professional military force would eventually present an irresistible temptation to politicians who would come to view employing the brute force of a standing army as the preferred first course of action for settling international political disputes as opposed to the last course. More recently, detractors of the AVF have argued that had the United States still depended on a draft for its primary source of manpower, the government would never have allowed its forces to stay in Iraq or Afghanistan for as long as it did because of the public outcry that would have resulted from a broad cross section of the country whose sons and daughters were serving as drafted recruits. As a result, the protracted campaigns of the Global War on Terrorism might have been avoided in the first place.

As the Nation now struggles to attract recruits for the AVF, the topic is timely. Consequently, authors are invited to revisit closely the successes and failures of the AVF, forecast future issues that might arise given current demographic trends, and propose solutions for manning U.S. military forces in the future.

How to Submit

  • Submit an unclassified, original research paper examining any aspect—broad or specific—of this theme. Papers should be between 3,500-6,000 words, not counting notes, and follow the protocols for submission outlined in Military Review’s Submission Guide at

  • Send submissions to or by mail to Military Review, 290 Stimson, Unit 2, Fort Leavenworth, KS 66027.

  • Previously published papers or papers pending consideration elsewhere for publication are ineligible.

  • Authors are expected to conduct in-depth research to support their papers to include consulting current doctrine, proponent organizations, and subject matter experts. However, unpublished original research based on primary as opposed to secondary source material is preferred.

  • Use endnote citations and not bibliographic references. Essays will not use the automatic endnote citation feature of software. Instead, endnotes will be hand typed in numerical order as referenced in the essay and listed at the end of the submitted document.

  • Articles will be evaluated for publication by a panel of senior Army leaders on how well authors have clearly identified issues requiring solutions relevant to the Army in general and/or to a significant portion of the Army; how effectively detailed and feasible solutions to the problems identified are presented; and, the level of expository skill the author demonstrates in developing a well-organized article using professional standards of grammar, usage, critical thinking, original insights, and evidence of thorough research in the sources provided.

  • The deadline for submission is 30 June 2023.

If you have questions, contact the Managing editor of Military Review, at (913) 684-9339/9329 or DSN 552-9339/9329; or via email to

Email your submission by clicking on this link Submit to the Military Review or the button below.

Soldiers cross the finish line during the installation’s 5K Patriot Day Run