Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
One weekend a month, two weeks a year
One weekend a month, two weeks a year is a (now defunct) slogan used by the Army National Guard. It indicated the amount of time an individual would need to spend actively in the Guard to be a Guardsman with benefits and such. It was dropped during the Iraq War after it became clear that Guardsmen were now serving considerably more time in service.
Usage of the slogan
The slogan One weekend a month, two weeks a year has been most commonly seen by Americans in recruiting adverts for the National guard. Although the slogan is no longer directly used in advertising, as of 2004 the slogan is still used to describe the duties of at least some military posts.
The slogan has also been used to contrast the commitment that a National Guard member would give during those times when his country was not at war. Other forces have used this slogan as something against which they can contrast their own dedication, showing that, as members of the special forces, they are not mere "weekend warriors".
Understanding among the enlisted
Understanding the meaning of the slogan to those enlisted in the National Guard requires understanding the historical context in which it was given. During World War II the National guards were called up to defend their country and this was repeated in the Korean War even when American soil was not directly threatened. At this time, joining the reserves could clearly be seen as a route to service oversees. However, at the time of the Vietnam War, President Johnson made it clear that the National Guards role was to defend the country and not to be involved in overseas adventures. At the time this meant that those, such as George W. Bush who joined the force could be fairly sure of not seeing action in the war.
After the war was over, although requirements changed (see below), the perception that the primary focus of the National Guard would be self defence did not. This means that many of those which joined prior to the Iraq war were those who had decided that their commitment to serve was only sufficient for long assignments in the case where their country was endangered. The slogan related directly to the motivation of the majority of national guards which was that they wished to defend their own country if it came under attack from outside. The belief was that only in the case of a Pearl Harbor like attack on America would they be enlisted.
The National Guard remains less well equipped and trained than front line combat units. This is a typical situation in the "self defence" forces of many countries, for example, the UK's home guard during World War II. These forces expected to act as a last desperate line of defence, primarily motivated by the fact that they are defending their own homes.
The commitment to Iraq has meant that many National Guards feel the terms in which they understood their recruitment have been breached. The slogan has now become known in a changed form, One weekend a month my ass as a comment on the treatment of the national guard reservists.
Real service requirements contrasted to expectations
The current service requirements mean that about 25% of forces in Iraq come from National guard units. The majority are supposed to serve for six months or a year. However, some specialists in the reserve forces have been required to serve for up to two years, or about 50 times longer deployments away from home and family than that which had been expected.
In the meantime, the role of the National Guard which, in the Vietnam war, largely resolved around home defence and policing has changed so that in Iraq "about 20 percent of the U.S. military deaths in that conflict" have been carried by the National Guard units.
It has been claimed that the change in expectations on the National Guard is a deliberate change in policy by military planners in response to the Vietnam war. The need to use the National Guard is designed to reduce the possibility of "half hearted" wars in future.
The contents of this article is licensed from www.wikipedia.org under the GNU Free Documentation License. Click here to see the transparent copy and copyright details