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2023 On War Symposium


On June 30, 1973, America's All Volunteer Force was born but young men continue to be obligated to register for Selective Service and the government retains its legal right to conscript citizens into the military. 2023 marks the 50th anniversary of the birth of the AVF, a fitting milestone to engage in a deeper conversation about the past, present, and future of the AVF. After 50 years and a host of overseas confrontations, interventions, and occupations, the AVF has been tested and has endured. However, the AVF is now being called upon to meet the challenges of renewed great power competition with China and Russia while facing an unprecedented recruiting crisis. Is the AVF still the best means of manning the U.S. military and protecting the United States? The history, health, and future of the All-Volunteer Force was examined and discussed on April 13-14, 2023, at the Pritzker Military Museum & Library. The PMML welcomed a stellar group of civilian experts, scholars, and active duty and retired service members to share their knowledge and insights on this critical issue.

During this year's Symposium, Dr. Craig L. Symonds was presented with the Pritzker Military Museum & Library’s 2023 Pritzker Military Museum & Library Literature Award for Lifetime Achievement in Military Writing.