Walter Kerwin

Four-star general Walter (Dutch) Kerwin, who helped pioneer the U.S. military's historic shift to an all-volunteer force in the 1970s, had seen firsthand the problems that could plague a conscripted army fighting a modern war. Kerwin, who died at 91 on July 11, was the Army's personnel chief during the Vietnam War, grappling with draftees deserting, abusing drugs and even murdering unpopular commanders. With draftees' tours limited to 12 months, military units lost their vital cohesion. In order to help "bring this level of indiscipline down," as he told Congress at the time, Kerwin drafted plans for what became the all-volunteer...

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