Peace corps service as military duty

Peace Corps Online: Peace Corps News: Special Reports: August 2, 2005: Headlines: Speaking Out: Military: Intelligence Issues: Washington Post: Peace Corps Option for Military Recruits Sparks Concerns : Peace corps service as military duty

By Daniel Miller ( - on Friday, August 05, 2005 - 3:12 pm: Edit Post

Military personnel that have served their time and have been discharged from the military are often excellent volunteers because they are motivated to make up for what they have done and are accustomed to living conditions on par with some of the more primitive PC conditions. The most successful and adaptable volunteer in my group had been a paratrooper in the Cambodian invasion.

Having said that, military who have NOT been discharged and have selected PC as a lesser evil to fighting in Iraq or Iran or wherever, will NOT make good volunteers because they have absolutely no motivation. They just don't want to get shot at anymore. The possibility of them serving as volunteers should never have come up.

The argument that PC has accepted military for a long time is invalid because those who were accepted were not using PC as part of their military obligation and were not using volunteer status to avoid something worse. They were honestly volunteering because they felt the same urge to help that the rest of us do.

Furthermore, having PC associated with the military as being part of their obligation will make the work that much more complicated for those volunteers who are there because they choose to be. We are regarded as being an arm of the CIA anyway. Why give our enemies real ammunition to shoot at us with?

If the law allowing military to serve their time as PCV's cannot be changed, PC policy should be that military personnel looking to serve their time in the PC should automatically be excluded unless there is a very compelling reason why not.

The PC is one of the very few positive aspects of our foreign policy. The neocons in Washington are beginning to realize that we can't go it alone and need to cooperate with the rest of the world. Why remove one of the few bright spots in the area of cooperation? People who would destroy PC by making it a de facto wing of the military must really hate America.

By Anonymous ( - on Monday, August 08, 2005 - 2:21 pm: Edit Post

I agree that it is very dangerous to align members of the Peace Corps with any military function. I'm sure the writers of this law had only the best of intentions and the volunteers utilized through this plan would be of exceptional quality, but this is a dangerous time in the world to boast ties between any peacekeeping groups and the U.S. Military. There is simply too much anti-American sentiment around the world.

This program is an excellent means of boosting numbers for our America Corps volunteer program, keeping our great service men and women here to tackle tough issues. There must be some way to refocus the law so that it still benefits those who signed up to serve under it and protects the many volunteers throughout the world who do great service on our behalf.

By YAHrah dahVAH ( - on Sunday, January 08, 2006 - 7:44 pm: Edit Post

The name says it all !!!

thank You,

By Mark Treuenfels ( - on Monday, March 13, 2006 - 12:07 pm: Edit Post

My service in the Peace Corps was an eye opener. No matter who you are, there is now way you could go through that experience without growing as a human being. Why would you not let everyone who was willing have that opportunity?

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