Since it is Veterans' Day....

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boilermaker's picture
Joined: 08/21/02
Posts: 1984
Since it is Veterans' Day....

How would you feel about mandatory civil or military service for our young people? What if a year or two of military or civic duty were required of all citizens?

Some countries already have this (like Switzerland) where people are required to serve in either the military of the civil service for a period of time (I think that there they only require men to serve.) Most serve their time immediately following high school.

Would you be in favor of this, or against it?

Joined: 03/08/03
Posts: 3186

Against it. Completely. I believe in true freedom.

AlyssaEimers's picture
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6560

Against it.

elleon17's picture
Joined: 01/26/09
Posts: 1981

I don't believe in anything mandatory, so I am against it.

On the otherhand, I'm not 100% againgst the forgiving of college loans after a period of civil service, kind of like the GI bill in reverse.

boilermaker's picture
Joined: 08/21/02
Posts: 1984

I've been giving this thought bc a colleague of mine suggested it....initially I was against it. But when I listened to their reasons *for* it, it seemed more interesting to me.

I think right now that not everyone participates or cares about where we send our military or what we require of them, or equip them with. Many talk about it, but few are truly invested. IME there is a difference between families who participate in the military and those who do not. I think if everyone had to serve (and not necessarily serve in combat, but in civil service roles, too) that, perhaps, more would care where we are sending young people and how we protect them.

The other reason they mentioned was giving kids a bridge between high school and college-- and a time to mature a bit and grow up with some real experience. Given the cost of college and the number of students who change their majors many times-- it might save some money.

I don't know-- I was hoping to learn from ya'll about what you think (not that I believe it is even a remote possibility in the US....)

wlillie's picture
Joined: 09/17/07
Posts: 1796

Totally against it. Even if you don't actually serve, almost everyone in the US has a relative or a close friend that does. They may not understand the workings (I don't understand some of it), but I think it's not beneficial for those who choose to serve to deal with those who have to serve. I *experienced that my first real week out of training and I can honestly say that it won't ever work in the US because we are all too spoiled to commit to 2 years of doing something without having a real motivation to do so.

I do wish there was a mandatory civil service or JROTC to graduate from high school. That I could stand by easily.

*We were taking a class and the instructor said we all chose to be there and some buttmunch yelled out that he didn't choose it. The instructor stopped the class to ask if someone held a gun to his head and he said he committed a crime and had to choose between the military for 4 years or jail for 10 years. The instructor let him know that he'd wished he'd chosen jail, but the AF was still his choice and not mandatory. I had to go to the bathroom to finish laughing that day and a couple of months later, he made the base newspaper for some crime that was getting him kicked out.

Joined: 04/12/03
Posts: 1686

"wlillie" wrote:

*We were taking a class and the instructor said we all chose to be there and some buttmunch yelled out that he didn't choose it. The instructor stopped the class to ask if someone held a gun to his head and he said he committed a crime and had to choose between the military for 4 years or jail for 10 years. The instructor let him know that he'd wished he'd chosen jail, but the AF was still his choice and not mandatory. I had to go to the bathroom to finish laughing that day and a couple of months later, he made the base newspaper for some crime that was getting him kicked out.

I don't know how I feel about this. Should judges have that power? And do we really want our military to include those whose choice was "jail or military"? If he was given the choice between military and 10 years in prison, he must have done a pretty serious felony/felonies.

mommytoMR.FACE's picture
Joined: 04/10/09
Posts: 780

"freddieflounder101" wrote:

Against it. Completely. I believe in true freedom.

Yup.

wlillie's picture
Joined: 09/17/07
Posts: 1796

"ethanwinfield" wrote:

I don't know how I feel about this. Should judges have that power? And do we really want our military to include those whose choice was "jail or military"? If he was given the choice between military and 10 years in prison, he must have done a pretty serious felony/felonies.

Well, I'm on your side. Wink I think it was burglary and I think the judge thought that he would straighten up, but I wish he'd just sent him to jail because it wasted DoD money to train him and then it was wasted when he screwed up again.

LuckyMom's picture
Joined: 09/27/02
Posts: 51

"boilermaker" wrote:

I've been giving this thought bc a colleague of mine suggested it....initially I was against it. But when I listened to their reasons *for* it, it seemed more interesting to me.

I think right now that not everyone participates or cares about where we send our military or what we require of them, or equip them with. Many talk about it, but few are truly invested. IME there is a difference between families who participate in the military and those who do not. I think if everyone had to serve (and not necessarily serve in combat, but in civil service roles, too) that, perhaps, more would care where we are sending young people and how we protect them.

The other reason they mentioned was giving kids a bridge between high school and college-- and a time to mature a bit and grow up with some real experience. Given the cost of college and the number of students who change their majors many times-- it might save some money.

I don't know-- I was hoping to learn from ya'll about what you think (not that I believe it is even a remote possibility in the US....)

While I agree for the most part with the first bolded, I still don't think it is reason enough to make either military or civil service mandatory. Force rarely if ever works.
What I do think however is that if the actual yearly courses of CIVICS INSTRUCTION (starting in elementary school) wasn't eliminated from the curriculum of so many schools years ago, we might at the very least a higher percentage of the last 2 generations of people who DO appreciate and DO care more by the time they become of age without the mandate....as it should be IMV.

Regarding the second bolded......the first thought that jumps in my mind is who cares about what money might be saved if someone is dead. If any potential college student (or anyone fresh out of HS for that matter) is mandated to fill in that "bridge" time with military service especially and die on some "bridge" in a war zone, I don't think the surviving family members will much care anymore about any maturity and experience levels gained, the cost of college or how many times their deceased loved one may change majors or how much money might be saved kwim. Sorry to everyone if that seems too blunt but IMV going into the military either by mandate OR volunteering fresh out of HS without much maturity and life experience IS the main reason why so many of our youngest and bravest don't even return alive to contemplate college, majors, saving money, or anything else.
If I had my way, if someone wanted to enlist after HS, then so be it. BUT even then IMV none of them should be required to go into a battle or war zone until the age of 21-22 with alot more battle training in the interum. From what I understand, there are alot of military jobs they could do in addition to the combat training during that "bridge" time to gain maturity, responsibility, focus, experience, etc.

Rivergallery's picture
Joined: 05/23/03
Posts: 1301

Totally against forced military service. As close as I can get to agreeing with it is a service project made mandetory in highschool. We were made to do one, with a certain amount of hours, but could do whatever we wanted, some volunteered at established organizations others created fundraisers or did their own ideas. We all had to write a large paper and present it to the community.

Starryblue702's picture
Joined: 04/06/11
Posts: 5454

"freddieflounder101" wrote:

Against it. Completely. I believe in true freedom.

This.

Joined: 03/08/03
Posts: 3186

"Rivergallery" wrote:

Totally against forced military service. As close as I can get to agreeing with it is a service project made mandetory in highschool. We were made to do one, with a certain amount of hours, but could do whatever we wanted, some volunteered at established organizations others created fundraisers or did their own ideas. We all had to write a large paper and present it to the community.

I actually really like the idea of a service project in high school, for credit, as part of your education. I think that's kind of cool.

Joined: 05/31/06
Posts: 4780

Given the technical nature of most of our military these days, I really don't see a benefit to a year of conscription. By the time we bootcamped and then trained them, the year would mostly be over.

I agree with you Audra that theoretically it might lead to our elected officials being less willing to lead us into war.....if history didn't prove that the most wealthy and the most privilaged generally find ways around actual front line service.

As parents we are saving for a year abroad for our kids prior to college. We hope to be able to encourage them to undertake 6 months of volunteering and/or apprenticeship followed by 6 months of travel. We think that it will be transformative for them.

Joined: 03/08/03
Posts: 3186

"Potter75" wrote:

As parents we are saving for a year abroad for our kids prior to college. We hope to be able to encourage them to undertake 6 months of volunteering and/or apprenticeship followed by 6 months of travel. We think that it will be transformative for them.

I love that idea too!

Rivergallery's picture
Joined: 05/23/03
Posts: 1301

"Potter75" wrote:

Given the technical nature of most of our military these days, I really don't see a benefit to a year of conscription. By the time we bootcamped and then trained them, the year would mostly be over.

I agree with you Audra that theoretically it might lead to our elected officials being less willing to lead us into war.....if history didn't prove that the most wealthy and the most privilaged generally find ways around actual front line service.

As parents we are saving for a year abroad for our kids prior to college. We hope to be able to encourage them to undertake 6 months of volunteering and/or apprenticeship followed by 6 months of travel. We think that it will be transformative for them.

That does sound great, how would that work with possible scholarships?

Joined: 05/31/06
Posts: 4780

Eh, they can defer them or decline them. If they don't want the paid for year of international life/volunteer experience, they can take the offer from a college or university, too. Great options, either way.

They are 4 3 and 1, so I'm not too worried about their brilliance and/or athletic awesomeness interfering with our goal as of yet. It's just an option we are budgeting for, what they do with that freedom is up to them.

LuckyMom's picture
Joined: 09/27/02
Posts: 51

"Potter75" wrote:

Given the technical nature of most of our military these days, I really don't see a benefit to a year of conscription. By the time we bootcamped and then trained them, the year would mostly be over.

Exactly. That's why I believe if a mandate like this ever did become implemented, the required minimum would most likely be for 2 to 4 years fresh out of HS...not just 1 year....where they could also force deployment to war/battle zones.
Also IMV, it gives me the deep feeling/impression of being a back door type draft only without the "This is to inform you......." letter. ummmm.....shady **** always rubs me the wrong way.