Retaining sailors preferred over draft
Outgoing U.S. Pacific Fleet Commander Adm. Gary Roughead said the Navy needs to find better ways to keep its highly trained servicemen rather than pursue a draft.
"Without people we are nothing," Roughead said last week. "That to me is the most important initiative we have to take on in the coming years."
Because the Navy spends so much money and time on training, it should concentrate on recruiting and retaining those sailors it already has, Roughead said in a speech to a regional conference of the Society of Professional Journalists.
"Why should we cap entry into the Navy at a young age?" asked Roughead, who will leave Hawaii next month to become the U.S. Fleet Forces commander in Norfolk, Va. He suggested that skilled Americans in their 30s and 40s should have more opportunities to join the Navy if they want to take that career path.
A draft would not provide the Navy with the technology-savvy personnel it needs in the modern world, Roughead said.
"It's a different military today. The technology is very different," he said. "The all-volunteer force has been successful."