Should Military Service Be Mandatory?

The subject and practice of compulsory military service was once something that was instituted by the majority of countries around the world, but in the last fifty years a significant portion of those participating countries have since ceased to operate the compulsory call ups for young men and women. It is quite common in some countries for members of the older generation to bemoan the absence of national service training, with the consensus appearing to be that these older generations believe that younger generations have lost the respect and discipline that military service can provide. So, taking both sides of the argument into account, should military service be reinstated in all countries as a mandatory coming of age requirement?

Those who are in favor of making military service mandatory often cite reasons that include valuable growing experience, a good deed done for your country, and the fact that the experience gives young people a more profound connection to their country and what it means to be part of their particular nationality. Taking part in national military service does not necessarily mean that young people will be forced to enter war zones against their will, but the program is generally more guided towards getting new recruits to help in areas that make it easier for the senior, fully trained and veteran toured members of the services to be able to carry out more important work. And, of course, mandatory military service gives significant help to a country if there should ever be a scenario where large numbers of recruits are required at any given time. With their national service already completed, civilians will have the basic skills to be able to contribute within a short period of notice.

On the other hand, there are many people who believe that mandatory military service is nothing but a bad thing. Their argument includes the crux point that to become part of the military is something that no person should take lightly, it requires an extraordinary level of commitment and desire to serve, and some would argue that forcing a group of unwilling participants to take part in the exercise hinders the military process instead of helping it. There are many citizens of the world who are incredibly opposed to military violence and operations of any kind, and forcing such people to go through a mandatory period of the thing they hate the most will not breed positivity and patriotism.

Ultimately, the question of whether military service should be mandatory or not is one that will never be settled in a nice and simple succinct answer. There are strong and valid sides to the argument from each different direction, but I personally believe that the best way to build a military force is to fill it with recruits that have chosen to be there rather than a group of mandatory participants that do not believe in the cause and are not willing to put their bodies on the line.

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