The Army has just came out with a 15 month enlistment program http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/arms_usa_recruiting_dc
I really do not care for this program one bit. The enlistment only covers 3 months of training and 1 year in the regular army. First off, it takes quite a while to mold a new soldier into a good soldier. Lets say this takes at least 6 months (with me it was about a year). The last 2 months of a soldier's enlistment is spent getting ready to get back into the civilian world. That gives 3 months of having a decent soldier able to pass by as a real asset.
Most soldiers come in as a private. You normally spend about 12-18 months as a PVT or a PFC. If a soldier comes in on the 15 month program, there is no chance for him or her to experience the army as a leader. Life in the Army is a bit different when you are not placed on details on a regular basis.
If I use myself as an example, you can see the weakness in this program. I came in the Army in June of 97. After 4 months of training I was sent to Ft. Campbell. Those first few months were not my best. I had a dick of a squad leader and my unit lost my orders for promotion. I finally started to get the hang of things right about the time my 15 months would be up if I had enlisted under the new program. I would have gotten out saying "boy did that suck...hello civilian life.