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Boot Took a Reckless Shot at Our Troops

June 21, 2005

In his June 16 column, "Defend America, Become American" (Commentary), Max Boot recklessly impugns those who enlist, and reenlist, in our Army. Our nation is blessed with the world's finest Army -- an all-volunteer force. The quality of today's soldiers is extremely high and will remain so. Reenlistments continue to exceed projections as soldiers say they want to stay part of the team.

Continuing to resource the force is not just the Army's challenge, it is the nation's challenge. With the assistance of Congress, we are considering increasing incentives and making military service an even more attractive option for young people.

Contrary to the column, offering excellent training, benefits and compensation is part of the recognition that volunteers who defend this nation fittingly deserve. It would be wise to remember that these incentives are only a small part of what service in the Army offers. People join to be part of an ethical and moral organization and to selflessly serve this country. America's proud military tradition of volunteering to protect and serve is 230 years strong. We are confident that this new "greatest generation" will continue to answer the call to duty as they have for the past 31 years of the all-volunteer Army.

Gen. Sean J. Byrne

Director, Military Personnel

Management, Washington

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