Article

All-Volunteer Army, Post-Vietnam Through 2016

Stephen A. Bourque

in Military History

ISBN: 9780199791279
Published online April 2013 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780199791279-0101
All-Volunteer Army, Post-Vietnam Through 2016

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Spanning the end of the Vietnam War and the demise of the draftee army to the closing days of the presidential administration of Barack Obama, academic historians have only begun to address this recent historical period. As such, students will note the large number of books published by official historians from the US Army’s Combat Studies Institute at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and the Center of Military History in Washington, DC. These official histories present an institutional perspective and emphasize the organization’s positive aspects. However, with some notable exceptions, they are first-class studies constructed on firm foundations of primary sources, after-action reports, and interviews. Many journalist and first-person accounts provide balance to the official narratives. Because army leaders often brought reporters into their confidence, these are usually insightful accounts of what transpired. Researchers should also note that it is becoming increasingly difficult to discuss the US Army in isolation. The passage of the Goldwater-Nichols Defense Reorganization Act of 1986 required close cooperation among all services, and historians will find it almost impossible to write of the US Army without regard to the US Marines, US Navy, US Air Force, and other governmental agencies. Also, more than in the past, the US Army routinely worked as part of a coalition of military organizations from other nations. Therefore, while the focus of this bibliography is the US Army, researchers should be alert to resources in the broader military and political environment. Finally, this is the era of the professional US Army, and its organization and culture are fundamentally different from that of the conscription military. Students should be alert to these differences and recognize the transformational process that continues to take place into the 21st century.

Article.  11315 words. 

Subjects: Military History ; Pre-20th Century Warfare ; First World War ; Second World War ; Post-WW2 Military History

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