SOS America program details are addressed by the many questions and answers that follow. This section deals directly with issues of practicability, affordability, public sentiment and like subjects.
There is ongoing and helpful interaction opportunity for members to provide their wisdom and input to help make SOS America a political and social reality for the betterment of America.
Non-members are encouraged to contact us as they may choose.
Joining and Contributing
Who can join SOS America?
SOS America (Service over Self) membership is open to any person 18 or older.
How much does it cost to join SOS America?
Basic membership is $1.50 a month, payable yearly ($18).
How can I Join SOS America?
CLICK HERE and follow the easy instructions on the secure sign up pages.
Are there membership privileges and duties?
Yes. Special membership, feedback and information pages exist (log in required).
How can I contribute to SOS America?
CLICK HERE please.
Are membership dues/contributions tax exempt?
No, SOS America is a 501C4 entity. However, a certain portion of dues and contributions may be deducted for business purposes. Consult your tax expert.
How is membership/contribution money spent?
At this point, with relaunch in April of 2012, SOS has been funded by the founder Major General BorlingUSAF (ret).
As a policy matter, the Board determines priorities and approves the budget. SOS intends to devote over one third to membership growth. One third is earmarked for outreach and political impact. Management Reserve,General and Administrative costs should account for the remainder. State and Federal reporting requirements are up to date.
Program Structure and Costs
Who will operate SOS AMERICA?
Draft legislation establishes the Department of Defense as the responsible agency.
Will this program replace the current all volunteer force?
No, the young men will augment all the active, guard and reserve forces as well as provide a man power pool for national purposes.
Have organization details been determined?
Yes. Small unit identity is key to the experience and for effectiveness of augmentation. The men will be formed into groups (a company) of 108 comprised of three platoons of 36.
Each platoon will see a mix of ages, races, geography, educational levels and family income. The 'mixing' and 'blending' is an important part of the program and important for America.
Four active duty sergeants (one per platoon and one first sergeant) and two company grade officers will be in charge of the company.
Each company will have a distinct and enduring identity and will perform duties as such including initial training due to training capacity limitations in the Armed Forces.
Can the nation afford this program?
Given the nature of society, how can we not afford it is a reasonable answer. Program costs are $15,000 per year per conscript all in (includes food,clothing,shelter, medical care, travel, a monthly stipend, an end of tour educational grant and normal salaries for the active duty supervisors).
Annual program costs are $22.5 Billion dollars or about 3% of the Defense budget.
Other Program Observations
Why military service versus national volunteer service?
The military framework provides a discipline and a rigor that, despite their worthy purpose, civilian volunteer organizations lack.
Is the military service truly universal or will exemptions be available?
Exemptions will be granted for students in medical school and individuals with substantial physical or mental disadvantages. Married individuals with children can be exempted. Criminals (felony convictions) will not be allowed in the program.
Will conscientious objector status be respected?
Yes and appropriate service identified.
Will women be conscripted?
No, but women can volunteer to serve if they choose.
Will all the conscripts go into the Army?
No. All the military services will have call on the conscript pool as well as the Federal, State and Local governments for nation building and assistance tasks.
What ages are eligible to serve and for how long and when?
Young men age 18 to 26. (17 with parental consent). One year at a time of their choosing.
Why does the program focus on the young men?
While young women may volunteer to be conscripts, the yearly cohort of 18-26 year old men to be inducted numbers roughly 1.5 million. Cost and absorption factors dominate. Moreover polling indicates support for conscripting young men but not young women. Additionally, young men tend to be the troublemakers in the society. They need and will benefit most from the experience.
Will laws have to be passed to implement this plan?
Yes, draft legislation already exists directing the Defense Department to introduce and manage the program.
How will the program be managed?
The Department of Defense will administer the program. The current Selective Service law will provide substantial administrative infrastructure to include use of local draft boards. However, this is not a draft. The draft had many inequities or 'chance' involved. This is a national conscription program.
Do other nations have such programs of universal military service?
Yes, a number of European and other nations.
Is one year of service enough?
Cost and absorption factors are the limiting factors. The Congress, however, could decide on a longer term in the eventual legislative package but the costs would double. Given the length of service and training needs, it is envisioned that the conscript companies would servein support roles versus combat positions.
Will the Congress pass the necessary laws?
That is the goal. A good number of Congressmen believe privately that this program is of great potential value to the country but will not say so publicly without a sizeable citizen's movement supporting the idea and the affordability analysis that we offer.
SOS America Organization
Describe the SOS America administrative structure.
SOS America is a not for profit organization (a 501C4) based in Illinois. It is intent on building a national member ship base to persuade government officials to pass the necessary legislation. SOS America is managed through state/regional directors and a national Board of Directors.
John L. Borling (Major General USAF-ret), Chairman
Dr. Ken Kogut
Mr Harold Woods
Dr. Mark Weiman