Social Question

JeanPaulSartre's avatar

Would you be in favor of your country enforcing a compulsory national service period after graduation?

Asked by JeanPaulSartre (5779points) April 7th, 2010

Many nations have a program of this kind – even if just a year of military service. Would you favor a required year of service to your country, be it military, public works, diplomacy, infrastructure, etc. following the last year of a citizen’s schooling?

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154 Answers

CaptainHarley's avatar

Fine with me, just as long as there’s no military draft. Not many things worse than the guy next to you on the front line wanting to be ANYWHERE else but here!

cazzie's avatar

Moot point. There already is.

DarkScribe's avatar

Yes, definitely – it would solve a great many of the current youth problems.

bob_'s avatar

No, I do not. As an economist, I’d say that it would be a sub-optimal use of resources. There are ways to make your country a better place other than having to work for the government.

RandomMrdan's avatar

Oh my goodness, it would
be amazing! Think of how many young people it would shape up. Though, I think two years would be better than 1 year.

And obviously if an individual doesn’t meet military standards, they can do community work of some sort instead.

wonderingwhy's avatar

Military, no. But I think a year or two of blue-collar labor (and I mean out in the fields kind of work, not a 10 hour shift at McDonalds) would do a lot of people a world of good even if they don’t see it at first. I’m not big on “mandatory” though, I’ve always felt if your going to do do the right thing, as it were, it needs to be your choice. Still, I think that would give a lot of people some much needed perspective, it certainly helped me at that age.

RandomMrdan's avatar

@bob you don’t think it would give the younger people stronger work ethics, and create an overall better person later in his/her life?

jaytkay's avatar

Yes, I think it would do the US good.

cazzie's avatar

here, you can opt out of carrying a gun and the usual gun shooting, but you still need to serve in some sort of civil capacity… like learning basic medical training. They still haven’t forgotten what happened just a generation ago. A hard lesson.

rahm_sahriv's avatar

Yes. I think it would do people in the US good. Not everyone is cut out for the military, and the military shouldn’t suffer because of it, but there are plenty of other types of service available that a person could choose from- i.e. America Corps, Red Cross, etc. I do think service should be focused on the US though. Nothing like Peace Corp or service organizations that go outside the US.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

NO! I know what happened – baby bird drove you so insane today that you figured it’d be a good idea to entertaing the absurdity which is our children being forced to do anything military related…it’s okay, I will be home soon, I am taking off early from work

JeanPaulSartre's avatar

Where are you from @cazzie?

rahm_sahriv's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir I think you had better reread the question. Military was an option, but it wasn’t the only one listed for those so opposed to the military.

cazzie's avatar

@JeanPaulSartre well…. can you guess?

DominicX's avatar

Military, no. The other ones probably couldn’t hurt, but I’m in college now and I’m doing fine, so why should that be a problem?

As far as I’m concerned, the less things that are compulsory, the better.

Trillian's avatar

Yes, I would.

RandomMrdan's avatar

I think the military would better ingrain work values, personal appearance, and professionalism than the alternatives.

JeanPaulSartre's avatar

lol @Simone_De_Beauvoir love! Yay! Come home soon!

liminal's avatar

As long as I get to be the one who defines what people do and where they go.

JeanPaulSartre's avatar

We can supposedly start the draft up again at any time (although it’s really unlikely) and I wonder about the constitutionality of a civil service draft as well. Also, do you feel you owe your country something for your free education?

LuckyGuy's avatar

Yes. There are so many ways to serve. It would expose people to new experiences.

cazzie's avatar

@JeanPaulSartre ‘free’ education? in the US?

JeanPaulSartre's avatar

Not a lot of @cazzie‘s running around in Sudan… but I’m not much for guessing things.

JeanPaulSartre's avatar

@cazzie Oh yes. Public schools are “free.”

wonderingwhy's avatar

@JeanPaulSartre that free education is paid for by taxes, it’s not free. and provided you continue to work in the US after school, you’ll pay it back in spades.

filmfann's avatar

I think 2 years manditory service in either the military or Peace Corp would be great, but I worry about the rich, once again, finding ways for their kids to avoid it.

JeanPaulSartre's avatar

@wonderingwhy all free government services are taxpayer supported.

DominicX's avatar

@filmfann

If my rich parents could find a way to avoid it, I would support them 100%.

Why do people think that forcing people to do shit they don’t want to do is going to help them? Do you really think that after being forced to go to school, the next thing that’s going to help a “wayward” youth is forcing them to be in the military for 2 years?

filmfann's avatar

It’s difficult. I know I did everything I could to make sure my kids lived long enough to graduate. The idea that the military would suddenly get their hands on them is scary.

cazzie's avatar

@JeanPaulSartre Oh,,, the education… I thought you were referring to University Education… (all you pay for here is your books).

My nom de plume isn’t reflective of where I live now… I’m in a country that was invaded during WW2.

rpm_pseud0name's avatar

I wouldn’t agree with the military part of that, but I think it would do everyone some good to do a little bit of work for the country (or community). Kind of like a, “If you want to live here, at least do something to show you are proud (& deserve) to live here.” I remember in high school, everyone had a mandatory 80 hours of community service. You could not graduate without those 80 hours. And no one complained. Almost everyone got more than the 80, a lot of us got up into the 300+ hours of community service. But to force someone in the military, we will have a lot more Fort Hood situations if we do that.

JeanPaulSartre's avatar

@filmfann true enough. My dad (a Navy man) said he would get my brother and I out of the country when we were of a draftable age if the draft was reinstated. He wasn’t kidding.

filmfann's avatar

@DominicX That was a major complaint of the 60’s. Many of the rich (Hello Dick Cheney) avoided going to Viet Nam, and let the inner-city kids go.

filmfann's avatar

And since the Right is full of the Rich, and the Right is full of pro-war viewpoints, they immediately are seen as hypocrites. They want the Country to go to war, but not their own.

JLeslie's avatar

@filmfann It’s still like that, just not a draft. Recruitment offices are set up in lower income areas, because those kids have nothing else, or feel they don’t. They are easily swayed by promises of travel, training, and opportunities for education in the future. Don’t get me wrong I am not against the military, my father was a commissioned officer, but that doesn’t change the fact that the poor are an easier target.

Strauss's avatar

@filmfann And it wasn’t just the inner-city kids. A lot of kids (then) that I knew were either drafted or enlisted to avoid the draft, myself included.

I favor a compulsory period of national service. Military for those who choose, non-military (like the CCC of WWII, VISTA, Peace Corps, there are many possibilities) for all others.

@JLeslie, I think a compulsory national service, which included non-military options as well as service in the military provide an option for those who enlist because it makes financial sense in this economy.

JeanPaulSartre's avatar

@cazzie well that narrows it down to… most of Europe, but I’ll take the French as a clue. Vous êtes Français ou la Belgique? Excuse the poor public education French.

filmfann's avatar

@JLeslie Exactly right

Theby's avatar

No. Everyone has the right to choose. Plus I hate the thought of conscienious objectors going to prison.

JeanPaulSartre's avatar

@Theby In this political climate, I’m inclined to agree.

cazzie's avatar

@Theby in our system, they don’t go to prison.. they simply do a civilian course instead. My husband did that. He got basic medical training that would probably make him the equivalent of an EMT. For FREE.

TexasDude's avatar

I agree with @DominicX. The fewer compulsory things, the better and the freer we are

bob_'s avatar

@RandomMrdan For a few, maybe, but for most it’d just be a pain in the ass, and a lost year.

PacificToast's avatar

Yes, but just one. Anything but a draft though. Please not a draft.

TexasDude's avatar

@everyone who is in support of some type of compulsory service,

How would you feel if the government in power was diametrically opposed to you in ideology and inserted that ideology into the mandatory programs?

PacificToast's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard Then I would flee before coming of the age of compulsory service.

cazzie's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard ..... inserted that ideology? What ideology?

JeanPaulSartre's avatar

Let’s add a little something to this… let’s say you can get applied credit towards college… any change in answers?

john65pennington's avatar

I believe in the military draft. i believe every person should serve at least two years in the military branch of their choice, after graduation from high school. for two reasons: respect for America, second to see that everything surrounding you should not be taken for granted. i served eight years in the National Guard and i am proud to say i did this. it put a whole new perspective in what i learned that having freedom was all about. my eight years were also college credits that i used later in my civillian life.

semblance's avatar

I can’t prove it but I would be willing to bet that the average age of the people saying “Yes” to this question is well above the age where compulsory service would apply.

I would vote “No” even though I’m way to old for compulsory anything.

jaytkay's avatar

How would you feel if the government in power was diametrically opposed to you in ideology and inserted that ideology into the mandatory programs?

Then you go move to the place where you always get your way and nobody disagrees with you.

JLeslie's avatar

@semblance But those older people you speak of might have children or grandchildren.

DominicX's avatar

@jaytkay

So if we don’t like something, we should just shut up and accept it? When has that ever been the way to go?

jaytkay's avatar

@DominicX Depends on what “it” is. In many cases, yes, adults realize that their wants and needs conflict with others, and they don’t get their way all the time.

DominicX's avatar

@jaytkay

Well, you may not view this “it” as very important, but someone like me would. Everyone has different priorities.

TexasDude's avatar

@cazzie, the ideology behind the ruling party in government. Would you support mandatory service if the service required was influenced by or involved an ideology that you disagreed with? That’s what I asked.

Facade's avatar

Hell no. I disapprove of things like that being forced upon people, especially government-based things.

cazzie's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard like the Nazis or something?

Grisaille's avatar

I’m one of those hardcore, godless left-of-left assholes that… actually would be in favor. If it was truly compulsory, if it made everyone serve for two years (or hell, even better, make it so that it overlaps with the last two years of college) and provided benefits, such as grants for education, cheaper medical coverage or whatever, I’d be first in line to vote for it.

I understand that these systems are easily game-able, but I think it’s a bit more difficult to declare or support war when your own children or your neighbor’s children are serving active duty.

TexasDude's avatar

@cazzie, sure, but it doesn’t even have to be that extreme.

davidbetterman's avatar

Great idea. Kids really need to learn how to kill as soon as possible after high school.

Oh wait, America, land of the free…and compulsory service…hmmmm.

I would like to see you @JeanPaulSartre lead the parade.

and wow @DominicX…Right on….

JeanPaulSartre's avatar

@davidbetterman I didn’t say military exclusively I also don’t support it – but was curious about it as a whole.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@rahm_sahriv I know what my husband was asking, dude – I just discussed it in terms of one of the givens

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Yes to a year of training but not deployment unless they volunteer and no draft.

davidbetterman's avatar

@JeanPaulSartre I know you didn’t say military exclusively…That’s why I added the part about the land of the free and compulsory service…Of Any Kind.

This is what America stands for. Freedom from compulsory service.

The only compulsory service we have is school for the children…and that is only to allow the parents to get out there and make enough to pay taxes.

jaytkay's avatar

If you hate the idea of compulsory service, you should skip compulsory use of public roads, police protection, pharmaceutical inspections, air traffic control, courts, food inspections, weights and measures enforcement, weather reports…

JeanPaulSartre's avatar

@davidbetterman school really is a holding pen, yep. True story.

JeanPaulSartre's avatar

@jaytkay So you think we owe compulsory service for the services we pay taxes for?

davidbetterman's avatar

@jaytkay The one has nothing to do with the other.

casheroo's avatar

Yes. Then we all get health care for life, and school paid for. That’s what I see happening to friends who have done the military.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@casheroo Eh, that kinds of thing should happen anyway and not be attached to military.

casheroo's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir I feel the same way, I think it’s BS.

jerv's avatar

Yes. It works for Israel.

And those that are conscientious objectors can serve in the rear, but they still have to spend a couple of years with funny haircuts and getting up at the ass-crack of dawn! It is possible to get the discipline and other good stuff from military service without ever picking up a gun.

It’s funny how so many of the people I hear objecting to even the mere existence of the military don’t know anybody who actually served.

DominicX's avatar

@jerv

Not everyone needs the “discipline” of the military.

DarkScribe's avatar

I grew up with conscription and to avoid being called up into the Army I elected to follow family tradition and join the Navy. I have never regretted a moment of it. I got a tertiary education, lots of travel, a resume that carried a lot of weight once I went back to civilian life and I made a lot of friends. It teaches responsibility, discipline, appreciation for opportunity, and broadens and matures the persona. By the time I left the Navy I had a good education coupled with a great deal of practical experience in my field (electronics), experience with command, self confidence, and a good self image. Many of my friends were barely moving up the ladder – career-wise, and I stepped straight into senior management in civilian life. Although I will never need it, I have a military pension available to me and once I reach retirement age, free high level health care (a Gold Card) for the rest of my life.

What is there to object to about military life?

bob_'s avatar

@DarkScribe Well, I guess many people aren’t that wild about the whole killing others thing. I don’t know, I’m just guessing.

DarkScribe's avatar

@bob_ Well, I guess many people aren’t that wild about the whole killing others thing. I don’t know, I’m just guessing.

Being in the Military does not necessarily mean that you kill others. In fact it might even explain the incredibly high “miss” rate of US forces when compared to the Military of other nations. US Congress a couple years ago raised the fact that on average nearly a quarter of a million rounds were expended for every kill. British troops were closer to three thousand rounds. Maybe they are deliberately missing? (Kidding – I don’t really think that they are deliberately missing – just not aiming. A different thing altogether. )

You can always opt for a role that is a specialist role. That would also give you better training and a good start in civilian life once your service had ended.

bob_'s avatar

@DarkScribe But then, it could be said, you’d be enhancing the killing of others.

DarkScribe's avatar

@bob_ But then, it could be said, you’d be enhancing the killing of others.

You could say that about automobile workers as well.

bob_'s avatar

@DarkScribe Well, yes. Hell, you could say that about most anything. It’s all a matter of degrees.

jerv's avatar

@DominicX Okay, I guess you don’t groom regularly, do your own laundry, never follow instructions or make lists, or do anything involving any sort of structure, nor do you feel that people need to ever learn to do any of those things.

BTW, “discipline” isn’t just about pushups either. It’s about waking up and reporting to work on time, about not calling your boss an asshole even if they deserve it, paying your bills on-time. It’s about not wearing clothes so wrinkled that they look like they were pulled out of a Pringles can. It’s about doing your job correctly, and taking care of your stuff so that it doesn’t break. Or are you against car and computer maintenance as well?

So I ask you, are you saying that kids don’t need to learn any of those things? And before you say that most people learn that sort of stuff from your parents, open your eyes and look at the really-real world.

DominicX's avatar

@DominicX

Yes, I have learned those things from my parents and I am learning them and experiencing them at college now. You saying “open your eyes” doesn’t refute that.

Kids can learn all of those things elsewhere. The military isn’t “needed” to teach kids those things. There are plenty of people who are “disciplined” in that way.

This is what I find funny about this whole thing. When it comes to compulsory education, we get all pissy and complain about how kids are not all the same and they don’t all benefit from traditional schooling and that they should be given more freedom. But when it comes to this it’s “No. Everyone needs military service. NO EXCEPTIONS.”

Really? You can speak for everyone?

Comparing this is to Israel is not all that valid. Israel has a population of 7 million compared to the 310 million of the U.S.. Do you really think are enough military services here to hold as many people who will be forced into this? Do you think it will work to ensure all those who do not want any kind of combative or weapon-related position will not get assigned to that?

Would this apply to women as well? I already don’t support this, but I would support it even less if it were a sexist institution.

bob_'s avatar

@jerv I wake up and report to work on time, I respect my boss even when I’m pissed, and I have a perfect credit score, despite the fact that I haven’t served a day in the military.

Oh, and I can push-ups like nobody’s business.

jerv's avatar

@bob_ Many people my age do too. However, things have changed considerably in the last 20–30 years. I can understand a generational gap, but this is ridiculous.

@DominicX “Kids can learn all of those things elsewhere. The military isn’t “needed” to teach kids those things. There are plenty of people who are “disciplined” in that way.”

Can, but don’t. And there are plenty more than are not, and the percentage is rising.

Like healthcare reform, it’s one of those things that would not be needed if people would just do things right themselves.

And yes, if women want equality then they have to be equal across the board.

davidbetterman's avatar

@DarkScribeBut then, it could be said, you’d be enhancing the killing of others.

You could say that about automobile workers as well.”

But auto workers aren’t paid and trained to kill people the way military personnel are.

jerv's avatar

@davidbetterman How many military people do you actually know? I mean, you just proved to me beyond the shadow of a doubt that you don’t know what you are talking about.

While there is some of that in certain forces, especially for an MOS like an 0311 “Bullet sponge”, the truth is that the majority of military personnel have little/no combat training period. I got a four-hour class on how to use a pistol and none of it involved where to aim to take a person down; it was all about gun safety and proper watchstanding procedure. And if you saw the MAs on my first boat going for their pistol quals (Master at Arms (basically policemen) are one of the few ratings in the Navy that actually use a weapon) you would realize that the average middle-school student knows more about killing than many servicemen.

DarkScribe's avatar

@davidbetterman But auto workers aren’t paid and trained to kill people the way military personnel are.

No, they do it accidentally with slip-shod workmanship. The have never been so many recalls as are currently in place.

I suppose that in your world view we should do away with all law enforcement as well. They are also trained to kill people when necessary. How well do you think that you would fare in an anarchy – I mean with no military training etc., to help you get by and no Police or Military to protect you?

davidbetterman's avatar

@DarkScribe Regardless. Military personnel are trained to kill. Auto workers mey be guilty of negligence, but that is accidental, as opposed to consciously going out on patrol with the intent to kill.
@jerv I grew up during the 60s and 70s… I know plenty of military personnel, as well as draft dodgers, hippies and establishment types. I have friends who were grunts in the army in the Nam, and friends who were in the Navy, and Air force. Apparently you have a very tiny mind that it should feel proof that I don’t know what I’m talking about from that one sentence. :P

So you didn’t have boot camp or hand to hand combat training?

jerv's avatar

@davidbetterman That sentence and many years of dealing with people who think that everyone in a uniform is a baby-killer.

And your ‘nam buddies are not the only type of people in the service. Far from it actually. How many of them can parallel a pair of 1750KW SSTGs? Infantrymen do learn to kill; that is their job. They do not learn electrical engineering; that was my job. Get it?

That brief gun-handling course was it. Zero HTH. The only close combat skills I have, I learned before I went in. I took Tae Kwon Do in my teens and did a bit of target-shooting with a pistol. That right there made me more dangerous than most of the other sailors around me. However, we all did learn firefighting and first aid.

DarkScribe's avatar

@jerv people who think that everyone in a uniform is a baby-killer.

They don’t kill babies? Are you sure? My local knee-jerk commandos insist that a part of basic training involves tossing babies into the air and catching them on bayonets. When did they drop that from the military curriculum? .

davidbetterman's avatar

@jerv I never mentioned anything about killing babies, although I am sure many died in the Nam. I don’t know see why you are offended, if you didn’t murder anyone. You would need to be more specific regarding the 1750KW SSTGs as google doesn’t know what you are talking about, ”Your search – 1750KW SSTGs – did not match any documents.”

jerv's avatar

@davidbetterman 1750 Kilowatt Ship Service Turbine Generator. It’s an EM thing ;)

My point there was merely that many of us had there things to learn and couldn’t be bothered to learn about stuff that we would never do. Most Navy ratings are non-combat; engineering, aircraft maintenance/repair, cooking, administrative, etcetera. Most Air Force people I know are similar; they know how to fix a plane but couldn’t actually fly one on a combat mission.

In other words, wrench-turners and paper-pushers are not trained killers.

davidbetterman's avatar

@jerv Of course, of course. but unfortunately, most of those non-combat positions you mention are needed to help kill the enemy.
Aircraft maintenance keeps the aircraft in condition so they can fly missions…to kill humans.
Cooks are feeding the soldiers/sailors so they can go out and kill the enemy.

In other words, wrench-turners are trained to enable the killing. And they do it with intent. Malice aforethought, if you will.

And these individuals are quite aware that they are turning those wrenches to keep those machines in top condition for the sole purpose of killing the enemy.

Let’s not be naive here.

DarkScribe's avatar

@jerv I was waiting for him to say something like “If you repair the radar so that they can aim the weapons then you are killing people”.

He didn’t disappoint.

DarkScribe's avatar

@davidbetterman I don’t know see why you are offended, if you didn’t murder anyone.

You do like distorting things – don’t you. Killing in combat is not murder. Particularly when they are rather pre-occupied with trying to kill you.

davidbetterman's avatar

@DarkScribe Of course people who have killed in combat or enabled others to do so would need to think as do you to preserve their own sanity. I understand.

Don’t feel bad about those who have died because of your actions. You were only following orders.

jerv's avatar

@davidbetterman I guess that civilian farmers are also to blame then. After all, soldiers and sailors eat too. Oh, and many also have checking accounts where their paychecks go, so blame banks as well.

Wait a sec… do you pay taxes?

DarkScribe's avatar

@davidbetterman Don’t feel bad about those who have died because of your actions. You were only following orders.

I do feel bad about some of them, and no, I was not just following, I was also giving orders. I was not in a position to pick and choose and we were at war. Sometimes, perhaps often, people who don’t deserve to die, do die in warfare. You want to blame someone, blame the politicians who resort to war. Once that line is crossed you, your country, your men, are being attacked by an enemy determined to kill. You have little option other than to do a better job than they do.

jerv's avatar

@DarkScribe I just kept the lights on. Even hospitals need electricity.

davidbetterman's avatar

@jerv Nope…farmers aren’t necessarily growing food for the soldiers.
But the farmers who are growing food for the military and know that they are, well of course they are part of the war machine.
The banks are a huge part of why we are at war…and not because the soldiers have bank accounts.
The hospitals help heal wounded combatants so they may return to the field to continue…killing. .

@DarkScribe You were following orders even if you were giving them. Someone was telling you what orders to give, unless you were the commander in chief.

jerv's avatar

@davidbetterman So… Somalis and Haitians are all soldiers?

BTW, you do know where the majority of your tax dollars go, right?

davidbetterman's avatar

@jerv Now you are just being silly. As I stated ”The hospitals help heal wounded combatants so they may return to the field to continue…killing.”

I made no mention of Somalis and Haitians.

DarkScribe's avatar

@davidbetterman You were following orders even if you were giving them.

Are you having difficulty reading? Or is restating the obvious a new hobby for you?

This is getting all rather pointless – you are pretty clueless about the realities of life – and war – and it seems pointless to continue. You and every person around you can thank a soldier a sailor or an airman somewhere for your existence. If spitting on their graves appeals to you – do it alone. A compulsory year or two in Military service can do nothing but good. In counties where it has been in effect for decades – Switzerland for instance – the youth crime, general crimes of violence etc, are a fraction of the current US rates. And Switzerland has never been at war. Discipline has to be taught, talking won’t do it.

DominicX's avatar

@DarkScribe

A compulsory year or two in Military service can do nothing but good.

Really. You think that every single instance of it would do good and that every single kid would benefit from it?

DarkScribe's avatar

@DominicX You think that every single instance of it would do good and that every single kid would benefit from it?

No, I am looking at an overall picture, not individual circumstances.

davidbetterman's avatar

@DarkScribe I am not spitting on anybody’s grave. A compulsory year of servitude is slavery and therefore against the 13th Amendment to the US Constitution. You have been brainwashed and so of course you will never hear what I am saying.

I don’t need to thank any soldiers for my existence…that is just more bullshit. I fight for my rights against a system gone criminally insane every day.
The war in Iraq and Afghanistan has nothing to do with securing my rights or freedoms.

the whole terrorist issue is a crock of shit. We in the US have created and armed all those we are now at war with.

VietNam and Korea did not secure any rights or freedoms for me.

The US caused WWII…So fighting there was merely an effort to correct our own stupidity.

But I understand your need to believe you are right in murdering ordering the killings when you were in your Australian military.

jerv's avatar

@davidbetterman I mention Haitians and Somalis because an aircraft carrier has three operating rooms and considerably more extensive medical facilities for those who do not require surgery. My first ship was smaller, but could still had two ORs and space to take care of hundreds of patients.

Search and rescue is another service that the Navy offers. The Coast Guard doesn’t have a monopoly on SAR.

Then there is the Army Corp of Engineers. And when my county got flooded, we appreciated the National Guard. Sure, they drove armored Humvees but that didn’t mean they were out to kill; they were there to help.

And WWII was going on long before we got involved. Hell, we didn’t start WWI either; it was Germany both times. Read your history.

You may be right about Vietnam, but if you are going to base all of your sentiments on that then I stand by my earlier assertion about most objectors being totally clueless. In fact, I have substantially more evidence on my side by doing so.

DarkScribe's avatar

@davidbetterman A compulsory year of servitude is slavery and therefore against the 13th Amendment to the US Constitution.

I guess that you flunked law and political science as well as other things.

You have been brainwashed and so of course you will never hear what I am saying.

Amusing, particularly if you really believe it. I think for myself – they haven’t developed a brainwashing technique that will work with people like me.

VietNam and Korea did not secure any rights or freedoms for me.

Vietnam maybe, Korea definitely made a difference in what might have been your potential life.

The US caused WWII…So fighting there was merely an effort to correct our own stupidity.

Wow. What comic book did you get that gem from? It is not supported in history books.

If nothing else, you are entertaining.

jerv's avatar

@DarkScribe I was thinking more along the lines of “saddening”. This is what our education dollars gets us? I don’t know about you, but I learned history in my days at public school.

davidbetterman's avatar

@DarkScribe @jerv The big money elitists in the USA funded the Nazi party. We helped start WWII by funding the Nazis and Adolf’s rise to power. We helped push Japan into that fray by cutting off their oil supply and scrap metal which at the time they depended on for their financial existence. We further compounded our error with Japan by allowing the Japanese to attack Pearl Harbor without warning our boys (we knew the attack was coming and did nothing to warn our troops in Pearl).
You two obviously failed your history classes.

I fail to see how compulsory servitude is any less than slavery, but obviously you (DarkScribe) must enjoy compulsory servitude.

Korea made absolutely no difference in my potential life other than entertaining me with episodes of MASH.

You are both wrong and it is obvious that your misplaced ideals will continue to be a disservice to you and your understanding of reality. But that is how most soldiers endure the torment of knowing how utterly wrong they were to belong to the killing machine.

it is a shame, because other than your ignorance as to the reality of compulsory servitude and criminally insane military actions, you guys seem like pretty cool characters.

jerv's avatar

@davidbetterman And where does Xenu fit into all of this? I’m surprised you haven’t mentioned him yet.

DarkScribe's avatar

@davidbetterman The big money elitists in the USA funded the Nazi party.

Nonsense. Nazi Germany – well before WW2 looked to be imminent, was a market that many nations traded with – they were not isolated or under embargo. Trading with a country is not “funding” a dictator.

We further compounded our error with Japan by allowing the Japanese to attack Pearl Harbor without warning our boys (we knew the attack was coming and did nothing to warn our troops in Pearl).
You two obviously failed your history classes.

This is yet another conspiracy theory, right up there with the many associated with the Kennedy assassination and the moon landing. It might come as a shock to you to learn that conspiracy theories are not actually history – nor are they taught as such. Perhaps if you didn’t rely on comic books and Hollywood movies with conspiracy based plots for your “research” you might do a little better.

Why is it that almost every post you make on any subject is aligned with one or another of some of the world’s more popular conspiracy theories? Is real life too dull for you? Do you read history, or only other people’s on-line opinions of it?

semblance's avatar

@JLeslie Of course many advocates of compulsory service might have children or grandchildren. So what? They are still talking about imposing their will on someone else. I rarely hear people who would be subject to compulsory public service advocate it.

JLeslie's avatar

@semblance You think people only think about whether they themelves will have to serve and don’t give the same consideration about their children? Or, maybe I misunderstood? Most people would throw themselves on granade than see their children put in harms way.

I didn’t say whether I was for it or against it, my opinion is not completely formed yet, I wanted to see what others thought. But, I feel pretty sure if someone has children they take the question as seriously as if they were 17 years old themselves.

semblance's avatar

@JLeslie For one thing, the question as posed was not limited to military service but encompassed all forms of public service. Therefore, your statement about parents not putting their children in harm’s way doesn’t really cover the entire scope of what is being discussed.

I certainly think that a lot of people care about their children or other relatives, but my point remains that it is generally people who would not have to serve who want to impose it on someone else. We don’t hear very many young people saying that, “Yeah, it would be really cool after I finish school that I have to do a couple of years of community service.” I am highly mistrustful of any group deciding compulsory service by another group is a good idea.

So, we disagree. Your entitled to your opinion.

davidbetterman's avatar

@jerv Is this xenu person one of your relatives?

@DarkScribe Japan was at war with China. Despite being a military superpower, their war with China was using up their resources. During that time, most of their resources especially oil were coming from the US. The US did not approve of Japanese aggression in China and they declared an embargo on Japan. This means they would stop supplying Japan with raw materials.
Do they not teach real history in the down under of Australia?

DarkScribe's avatar

@davidbetterman Do they not teach real history in the down under of Australia?

Yes, they do, although my early schooling was in England. I have no idea why you are posting this. Don’t they teach you to read wherever it was that you were supposed to go to school?

I have not made any comment on the Japanese motivations for going to war, just with your nonsense assertion that the US Government knew of the Pearl Harbour Attack but deliberately allowed it to go ahead without warning the defence forces. If you really want argue a point, find one that actually exists. I know exactly what the political climate was that saw Japan go to war, my family had personal involvement.

davidbetterman's avatar

The US gov’t knowing beforehand about the despicable sneak attack on Pearl is now public record.
Not only that, but in 1938 the US actually led a carrier-born airstrike from the USS Saratoga successfully against Pearl Harbor in an exercise.
And, in 1940 FDR ordered the fleet transferred from the West Coast to its exposed position in Hawaii and ordered the fleet remain stationed at Pearl Harbor over complaints by its commander Admiral Richardson that there was inadequate protection from air attack and no protection from torpedo attack. Richardson felt so strongly that he twice disobeyed orders to berth his fleet there and he raised the issue personally with FDR in October and he was soon after replaced. His successor, Admiral Kimmel, also brought up the same issues with FDR in June 1941.

“In 1979 the NSA released 2,413 JN-25 orders of the 26,581 intercepted by US between Sept 1 and Dec 4, 1941. The NSA says “We know now that they contained important details concerning the existence, organization, objective, and even the whereabouts of the Pearl Harbor Strike Force.” (Parker p 21) Of the over thousand radio messages sent by Tokyo to the attack fleet, only 20 are in the National Archives.”

DominicX's avatar

@JLeslie

I have to agree with @davidbetterman on this one. I’m the only one of the 17–18 range who responded to this question (and expressed disapproval) as far as I know. I’m still curious to hear what other people my age have to say about it. Because like it or not, their opinions matter too.

RandomMrdan's avatar

@davidbetterman Nearly everything you’ve said on here sounds ridiculous. Are you from the United States? Where did you attend school? Home schooled perhaps? Just insanity. And what makes you think every person in the military kills people, or are even trained to kill people for that matter? I’d say majority of the armed forces will fire a rifle once in BMT (basic military training), and then qualify every 2–4 years depending on their job. If you’re a combatant of any sort, you usually have to qualify every 6 months. But none of that is training to “kill”. It’s training to use a weapon if you ever needed to.

Marines, Rangers, and other combatants take training that is useful in combat, and I think that would be considered training to kill enemy soldiers. I’d imagine a person who only served a year may never even have the chance to be deployed due to the length of BMT, and tech school training and so on.

This compulsory would simply straighten people up who truly need it. Well behaved, more professional, customs and courtesies, always to be on time. And though I know not everyone needs this, because their parents raised them right, there is I think a majority out there that have little to no discipline.

You seem to be so hell bent on the military, I hope you don’t live in the States. People serve this country, and you sound to have no respect for them at all. The war on terror may not ever come to an end, but the more we seek terrorism out, the less likely an attack will occur on our soil.

I’d imagine everyone would be required to take an ASVAB test to find out what aptitudes they have, and what job they should do in the military. I’m sure not everyone will be cut out for the military, and I’m sure could find a job in some sort of public service, like an EMT, Charity work, or something of the sort, anything to give them some values, and not to mention a job, which now a days is somewhat hard to come by.

Sure this is the land of the free, and maybe some could argue that they’re being forced to enlist a year of their life in the Armed Forces. But I think in doing that, it’s what helps keep this country more stable, in creating a stronger future for generations to come. I don’t think any country is truly free, think of the american soldiers to risk their lives everyday in the middle east.

I’m all for the compulsory service, I’d have no problem having my son get some military experience and training for a year. Who knows, he might like it and it could turn into a good career, with great benefits for him.

Oh, and I’m 25 years old, and serve in the US Air Force, Security Forces… so perhaps I’m somewhat biased. I joined when I was 21, wish I had joined earlier.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

I changed my mind, I’d like to see compulsory national service for three years. Just because. During that training I’d like to see health and safety courses gone over again.

DominicX's avatar

@Neizvestnaya

Well, that’s three years of your life down the toilet…

RandomMrdan's avatar

@DominicX how is it 3 years down the toilet? practical experience, pay, good training, and serving your country. That’s what you call going down the toilet? Are you serious? What do you have against the Armed Forces?

DominicX's avatar

@RandomMrdan

What is wrong with me being at Stanford right now? Why is that the “wrong thing”? What if it’s the right thing for me?

The problem I have with this is that it assumes that one option is the right option for everyone. No one has to go to college after high school and you always have the option of joining the military or getting a job, etc. But your “solution” leaves no one any options and that doesn’t sit well with me.

RandomMrdan's avatar

@DominicX I never said there was anything wrong with college, what gave you that idea? I’m simply saying, before going on about the rest of your life, a year serving your country would do you well.

DarkScribe's avatar

@davidbetterman The US gov’t knowing beforehand about the despicable sneak attack on Pearl is now public record.

No it isn’t. I have seen and read of theories that there was a screw-up regarding intelligence information, but to have the Government actively suppress information regarding an attack that would do major damage to the US Military and kill a great many Americans is ludicrous. This is known only as one of the top dozen or two “False Flag” Government conspiracy theories along with the Government knowing about 9/11 in advance and doing nothing.

Not only that, but in 1938 the US actually led a carrier-born airstrike from the USS Saratoga successfully against Pearl Harbor in an exercise.

And? While I was serving we had regular exercises of a similar nature. What is your point – or don’t I want to know about more conspiracy nonsense?

You should stop basing your world view and total concept of history on Hollywood.

LKidKyle1985's avatar

http://www.bls.gov/news.release/vet.nr0.htm
http://www.mybudget360.com/does-a-college-degree-protect-your-career-unemployment-rate-for-college-graduates-highest-on-record/
Maybe everyone should be required to go to college for one year instead :D

vet unemployment rate is 10.2

grad unemployment rate is around 5

DominicX's avatar

@RandomMrdan

There is a huge difference between one year of service and three years of service. While I still am not in favor of the “one year” solution, I was specifically addressing the comment about three years required, which is completely absurd to me.

RandomMrdan's avatar

I will refine my answer a bit. If one is attending college courses, and passing them with satisfactory grades, they could be exempt from the compulsory year of service. Otherwise, I think the year of service would be a good idea.

jaytkay's avatar

College deferment is another way for the well-off to dodge the obligation.

That’s how Dick Cheney avoided Vietnam (5 deferments) and the people listed here could not.

DominicX's avatar

@jaytkay

And there wouldn’t be this problem if we didn’t have the obligation in the first place. It simply shouldn’t exist. People are going to get out if it no matter what.

davidbetterman's avatar

@RandomMrdan Of course you feel the way you do. you are in the military. As such you must surely recognize that the main job of any military is to kill. it is quite simple and ludicrous of you to argue otherwise. Of course most of the military folks don’t fire a rifle often. and yet most of them were trained to kill in hand to hand combat in boot camp. If you didn’t learn this I would be very suspicious of your claim that you are in the military.

This is America and as such we don’t have compulsory service. Do check out the 13th Amendment when you get the chance. You are supposed to be defending the US Constitution, if you really are in the military.

I live in the USA and am a citizen thereof. I went to school and was taught to think for myself and not just memorize facts. I was taught to think by a group called Jesuits.

I have a great deal of respect for anyone who wants to go out and protect me from evil.

I have little or no respect for people who simply want to kill others for the sake of killing, and use the excuse of being in the military to further this aim. I also have little or no respect for people who blindly follow orders, regardless of the criminal insanity of those issuing the orders.
The war on terror is such a joke. That is like the idiotic crap we were spoon fed in the 60s regarding fighting the Cong to stop the Domino effect in re Communism…If you are unaware of it, most of the alleged terrorists we have been after were first our friend, whom we armed to the teeth to help us fight Iran (now our allies?) when they were taking US Citizens hostage back in the 80s (you are probably too young to even remember this).
Sadam Hussein was our ally and we armed him and Iraq to the teeth, too. He helped us take over the oil fields from Kuwait ( do you remember that?) With George Bush’s Head of the CIA/US President daddy, George senior (do you remember him).
Osama bin Laden was a personal friend of the Bush family, having been groomed and trained by daddy bush when he was in the CIA.

You should really get your facts straight instead of just regurgitating the crap you have obviously been spoon fed.

You may think that compulsory military service in America is okay, but that is the road to Nazi despotism and tyranny (which we are not far from now). If I didn’t mention the 1th Amendment, you might try looking it up, after all, aren’t you charged with defending the US Constitution? It has to do with slavery and involuntary servitude.

You are simply wrong.

American soldiers risking their lives in Iraq everyday (and Afghanistan) are certainly not doing so to defend me from terrorists, no matter how fervently you believe they are. They are fighting for oil and poppies and oil pipelines and to keep the weapons manufacturers in business.

I surely hope you don’t have to feel the tragic loss of your son because you made him think it was the right thing to do (joining the military)

Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori… Go look that up…

RandomMrdan's avatar

@davidbetterman “and yet most of them were trained to kill in hand to hand combat in boot camp. If you didn’t learn this I would be very suspicious of your claim that you are in the military.”

-false, you’re under some sort of impression that this is true, but it is not. You not being in the military I suppose would find this hard to believe. You normally will get that training in advanced training, and you happen to be in a combatant career field.

“I have little or no respect for people who simply want to kill others for the sake of killing, and use the excuse of being in the military to further this aim.”

-again, you’re over generalizing people in the military, there are a small handful that I’m sure enjoy going out every day, and shooting enemy. There are a lot of people who join the military for benefits, the retirement, to help their family, and for a career.

“The war on terror is such a joke. That is like the idiotic crap we were spoon fed in the 60s regarding fighting the Cong to stop the Domino effect in re Communism”

-I’m sorry, did you not watch TV at all after 9/11, terrorism is real, and it can happen, and it does happen every day somewhere in this world.

“You should really get your facts straight instead of just regurgitating the crap you have obviously been spoon fed.”

-what facts do I need to get straight exactly? So far I think I’ve spoken mostly opinions. you seem to be the one spewing conspiracies that can’t so much be proven right or wrong.

“You may think that compulsory military service in America is okay, but that is the road to Nazi despotism and tyranny (which we are not far from now).”

-Seriously? You think America is on the road to becoming a nazi like country? Are you delusional?

“I surely hope you don’t have to feel the tragic loss of your son because you made him think it was the right thing to do (joining the military)”

-I haven’t know anyone personally who has died in the war, the odds are very low, especially if you’re not a combatant. I seriously doubt my son would die in a year of service to our country.

And yes, I’m well aware, a lot of the enemies we fight have once been armed by us. Shit happens, regimes change, policy changes, it’s situational on some level I’m sure. And this process will continue to happen. I’m sure we armed them when they were doing what we wanted, and at some point something changed.

davidbetterman's avatar

@RandomMrdan Nice to see how good you are at rationalizing.

RandomMrdan's avatar

@davidbetterman nice to see how you address any of my questions.

jerv's avatar

@DominicX I agree that the kids have a say. If I was told I had to serve for a year when I was your age, I’d be pissed. Then again, I was only a year older than you when I signed up for six (the Navy Nuclear Propulsion program has so much schooling that they extend your hitch so that they can still get some time out of you after you graduate).
Now, if your generation as a whole learned things like accountability for your actions and how to face/accept consequences for being stupid as opposed to blaming everyone else and whining when you find out that the real world isn’t as nice as your kindergarten class was then such a thing would be unnecessary.
But the truth is that people like me don’t want to entrust the world to a bunch of people who whine about the boss yelling at them for showing up two hours late or can’t figure out how they got pregnant after riding the entire football team bareback.
While you may be a fine, upstanding individual, the truth is that your generation as a collective whole is rather screwed up, at least in the minds of many people.

@davidbetterman “I have little or no respect for people who simply want to kill others for the sake of killing”
Neither does the US military. In fact, such people are either barred from enlisting or discharged if they become such a person while serving. Hell, I know a Vietnam vet who was denied a second tour for that reason; when asked why he wanted to re-up, he told them, “To kill more gooks.” His ass was on a plane faster than a medevac from a hot LZ, and his discharge got to the states before he did.

And you also persist in your claims that we all get HTH training and doubt that anybody who refutes you was ever in. Ooooookayyyy…..

davidbetterman's avatar

@RandomMrdan You merely repeat the same old brainwashing. You have nothing new to say and obviously aren’t paying any real attention to what I am saying. have a lovely day. Enjoy your time as a security guard w/ the air force.

RandomMrdan's avatar

@davidbetterman what parts was I repeating exactly that was brainwashing? I’ve been stating mostly opinions, you’ve been stating conspiracy.

DominicX's avatar

@jerv

The belief that the current young generation has an inflated sense of entitlement has been going on for thousands of years and I am not exaggerating.

I am not going to vote for a conscription law based on classic adult disapproval of the younger generation. Chances are I am going to think the same thing about the young generation when I am older. Unless there is scientific evidence to back that up, it is not going to be convincing enough that we need this compulsory service.

And that last statement is exactly my problem. Some of us are screwed up, yes. But this ensures that even the ones who aren’t have to do it as well and that I do not like.

I don’t think military service is the answer to the problem. Whether or not people do not understand the real world, they will have to be immersed in regardless and they will have to learn to accept it.

davidbetterman's avatar

@jerv LOL ”But the truth is that people like me don’t want to entrust the world to a bunch of people who whine about the boss yelling at them for showing up two hours late or can’t figure out how they got pregnant after riding the entire football team bareback.”

Your generation is/are the young punks my generation didn’t/doesn’t want to entrust the world to…A bunch snivelling whining babies…

RandomMrdan's avatar

@davidbetterman Here is a link to see terrorist activity and incidents. I’m not sure exactly how you can think terrorism is some sort of joke. I’m sure the news, and media want us to fear these things, and it seems the people always need something to fear, communism at one point, and now muslims (not that I think muslims should be feared, but some people do fear them), and terrorism. But terrorism is real, and I think it should be feared on some level, but not to interfere with your daily life.

davidbetterman's avatar

@RandomMrdan
If you can’t see that we in the USA caused the terrorists to be,. then you will never see the way to end the terrorism.
Of course there have been terrorist incidents…they have been going on long before the Europeans came to America as the terrorists and terrorized the Native American Indians into near-extinction.

jaytkay's avatar

Here are the best arguments I’ve found in this thread for mandatory service. Kids who only know privilege and benefits would do well to learn that they only have those things because other people stepped up and took on responsibilities, without whining about their personal comfort.

but I’m in college now and I’m doing fine

If my rich parents could find a way to avoid it, I would support them 100%

What is wrong with me being at Stanford right now? Why is that the “wrong thing”? What if it’s the right thing for me?

The problem I have with this is that it assumes that one option is the right option for everyone.

Some of us are screwed up, yes. But this ensures that even the ones who aren’t have to do it as well and that I do not like.

jerv's avatar

@DominicX You have a valid point, but I think that the problem here is that a larger percentage of your generation is screwed up. I’m not talking about your music choices or things like that. I’m talking stuff like middle-schoolers with STDs or getting abortions, drug use, crime, etcetera.
If you just want to drive too fast and whine about how hard older people want you to work but still work anyways then that’s fine. We’ve been there. It brings us back a bit and reminds us of what we were like when we were your age.
If you want to shoot people or have sex with someone just to get a burger then lines have been crossed.
There is a generation gap, but there is more to it as well.

@davidbetterman I happen to be lucky enough to have been raised in New England, which means that I have the old “Yankee work ethic”. Hell I consider most of my fellow Seattlites to be lazy ne’er-do-wells :D
Sure, work sucks, but not getting paid enough to live on sucks more and bitching about it won’t pay the rent. And don’t forget that my generation is the one that spawned and raised @DominicX‘s generation.

davidbetterman's avatar

@DominicX You are very fortunate to have parents who were successful and who helped you to get to where you are…These sour grapes from others who were/are apparently less fortunate than you are quite simply that…sour grapes.

@jerv I have worked every day of my life since I got my first paper route.

I enjoy work, especially when it is a job I found on my own and one that makes me feel proud to have done at the end of the day..(also ones that afforded me the money to go bar hopping and womanizing 25 years ago!)

Yes, not getting paid enough does suck. So you go out and get a job that pays enough or you suck it up and live on less. I have done both.

JLeslie's avatar

@DominicX I completely agree. Everyone’s opinion counts. Most people I know personally would be against the idea of some sort of mandatory service whether it be military or otherwise, and they are all old like me :). What I like about the idea, is that it would give young people a chance to have a unique experience that might not otherwise have one. I really don’t like the idea of mandatory service that might require being in a war zone, I think that should still be voluntary. And, I think if someone goes to college maybe they are exempt. Not because the rich get to avoid the committment, but because I look it as an opportunity not an obligation. I think there are a lot of 18 year olds who graduate who have no direction, and the possibility that they can “serve” in some way, that it benefits the country and themselves is not a bad idea.

But, as I think about it, as I am writing, I prefer it be 100% voluntary, but for the government and businesses to consider the idea so that it would be a win win for everyone. For now military service requires a minumum of a 3 year committment I think? It would be nice if there was some sort of opportunity that only requires a year, because I think it might help 17,18,19 year olds who are unsure what to do after high school some time to think and learn about the world if they have grown up without opportunity or exposure, and if they decide to go to college, they won’t be 5 years older than everyone else, they can still get the college experience. Or, if they don’t go to college, they will have had a chance to meet people from outside of their community they grew up in (which is something that college provides) and hear other points of view, see and learn how other people live.

I remember once learning that it is customary in some parts of Europe for kids to take a year off after high school and travel, before going to college, or starting their careers. Not sure how true that is, or if it is still done, but that is kind of where my mind is at. Not so much the discipline, or trying to whip young people into shape. I think most young people when they finally get into the work force, and need to take care of themselves, rise to the occasion anyway.

jerv's avatar

@JLeslie Last I checked, the minimum hitch for the US military was two years, but you didn’t get any real training beyond Boot Camp and generally wound up with the shittiest of the shitty jobs.Where do you think the Navy gets the Deck department?
Of course, if we did the compulsory service thing, then things would likely change a bit.

@davidbetterman Considering the increasing number of “unsuccessful” people there are nowadays, that’s a hard call to make really. More and more, I am seeing people plummet to the ground as soon as they leave the nest since they aren’t learning to spread their wings. They want all of the freedoms of being an adult with none of the responsibilities and are unwilling to face the music when they make bad choices, generally the sort of choices our parents taught us to avoid.
I have done both too, but something happened a while back to where young people seem to be morally offended at that possibility. My 16-year-old cousin is one of the few kids that age I’ve seen that has the decency to realize that if she wants “luxury items” like a fancy new iPhone then she’s going to have to do some honest work for the money. (She baby-sits when her AP courses don’t bury her with homework.).
The average “kid” I’ve seen come into the places I’ve worked rarely lasted a month, had a bad attitude the whole time, and was usually utterly incompetent to boot. At least the older people (25+) showed up and made an attempt to do what was expected of them!

davidbetterman's avatar

@jerv You’re probably right in this regard. Perhaps instead of compulsory service (non-military) these jobs were offered ..oh, I guess they are…Peace corp is available…

You know, this is really a tricky thing. You can’t help people too much or you spoil them (like helping a bird out of its egg instead of letting it struggle to get out).

I mean I know the answer, but it is something you cannot just hand anyone on a platter. They wouldn’t believe it anyway. It took me years to discover the secret to easy living on low pay…

One thing is to simply lower my living expenses (overhead)...No iphone, cheap ass cell phone plan ($45 per month…no texting) free wireless (piggyback the neighbors) free cable (not my fault, they left it on) cheap old TV (no flat screen…no newfangled gobbledegoop) old car (I do much of the repairs myself) ... Coin op laundrymat ( I do it all myself and learned how to sew) No eating out (I cook all my meals) and I learned to treat people with respect (unless they display too much negativity).

I still think compulsory servitude is not the way to go, and these things should be taught the kids in the schools.

jerv's avatar

@davidbetterman The schools used to teach that way. Now they seem to barely teach at all. Parents used to raise their kids as well, but I don’t see much parenting happening these days. Somehow, I get the feeling that the reason my cousin’s head is on straight is because my uncle started late; many parents of teenagers are closer to my age than his.

Isn’t 13 years of schooling including Kindergarten “compulsory servitude” anyways? Why not spend a final year with no academics, just a crash course in reality. And your final exam lasts until the day you die.

cazzie's avatar

@DominicX Standford! Well done! That’s sooo cool. I think banding around 3 years is a bit crazy… 3 years is a long time for a young person, just out of high school and ready to go on to plans they’ve made for their life. You are quite right. But I don’t think the baby should be thrown out with the bathwater….. In the country I live in now, they do have a mandatory service, but it is MUCH more flexible to the individuals plans and beliefs. It doesn’t have to be ‘military’ at all, and if there are University plans or plans to study abroad, the amount of time can be lessened to as little as the three months of summer, before they start the next semester of their schooling. It’s NOT the draft, by any means. BUT, it is a type of community service. My brother-in-law worked as an orderly at a government run hospital/treatment centre for addicts. My husband was taught EMT skills. A friend’s husband trained as a mess hall cook, so he now has learned all sorts of tricks on how to feed a large group of people.

This blog explains it well… It’s not scary. It’s community building and patriotic in a very positive way. http://www.transparent.com/norwegian/mandatory-military-service/

WW2 left visible scars and an undercurrent of a belief in self reliance and the slogan ‘Never Again’. In the city I live there are visible reminders we walk past every day. The country’s farmers are heavily subsidised so that if something happened to imports, there will still be working farms here. (financially, farming would be a waste of time here otherwise because Norway is on top of the food chain here with it’s oil based economy)

There are more reasons to learn these skills than first meets the eye. Having a sense of community and a sense of history would serve young Americans well. Even if it’s for the three months between high school graduation and starting university.

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