With the present constant threat to national security and the many advantages that military service imparts to the individual, I take the position that every able-bodied citizen (male and female) should have a two-year military service.
The first advantage of military service is that it pushes a man to develop personal discipline. In American society today, many youths were not able to develop any personal discipline (Armstrong, 2006). People who are undisciplined are usually the cause of trouble and more likely to commit many criminal offenses. That is because, people like them do not know how to take care of themselves and their society. They are lazy and just want to hang out in the streets and having nothing else to do, get themselves into drugs or other illegal activities.
They are usually the ones who cannot find jobs or were constantly got fired. In the end, they became a menace to society. In reality, parents of this youths often cannot make them reform. Requiring this kind of people to enter military service for two years is the best means for them to develop personal discipline, whether they like it or not. In military, failure to obey commands or follow rules means facing the corresponding military consequences. As I came from a military family (my dad, mom and step mom and three uncles are working in the military), I can attests that people from this service are well-disciplined individuals.
Next, military service helps to “structure” a youth’s life. Most youths after high school will still be confused or unsure of what career to take in life. The underlying cause may be because they do not know themselves very well yet. They still do not know their strengths, weaknesses and what they really want in life. In short, their life still lacks “structure” from which to build a foundation.
Having no compulsory military service to look forward to, these youths may waste their time with unnecessary experimentations, doing drugs or getting into close intimate relationships resulting to unwanted pregnancies (Armstrong, 2006). Mandatory military service will help these youths think of their options in life. In the military camps and training grounds, they will come to know their weaknesses, fears as well as strengths and the skill how to handle them. Free educational opportunities will also help them to get better acquainted with their interest and provide direction to their civilian life later on.
Entering military service includes teaching combat skills and survival methods (Armstrong, 2006). The individual will come to know how to protect himself or others in danger. When he become a civilian later on, these skills will be helpful to ward off rapist, gang assaults, and other personal emergencies. He will also develop the skills how to be alert, to be able to detect suspicious activities around him. This is especially helpful in stopping or intercepting terrorist activities that is now constantly threatening the country. The military and the police had always wanted the civilian to cooperate and be on the alert regarding terrorism but most often than not the citizens were not of a much help due their ignorance or incapability.
The best benefit of military service are the many lessons it will impart to the individual that may take a longer time to be learned if he is not in the military. He will get to have the chance to travel to many places and meet many kinds of people. He will learn independence, courage, self-determination, loyalty, responsibility and attention to details. Many men in history, US presidents specifically, made the right decisions because of the lessons they learned in the frontlines.
For example, George Washington as a general knew the seriousness of the threat of British invasion, so that as a President in spite of much opposition to his decision he signed an unpopular treaty that prevented the British from ever successfully invading the country. Andrew Jackson was a major general who fought against the mighty British Army, and when he won, it had given him the courage to face other personal and political foes of his life. And lastly ( although there are still others), John F. Kennedy, as a lieutenant had acquired the ability to pay attention to details and how one slight mistake can cause larger problems .This attitude had helped him make better decision during the Cuban missile crisis( Kliff, 2008).
Many feared that to enlist in military service is to make an early appointment with death. However, it must be understood that many men, young and old, died outside of military service. Their deaths were often due to lack of personal discipline. In fact, whatever disadvantage a man may think about military service, the advantages outweighs the disadvantages.
Take for example the lessons he learned in two years in the frontlines. These briefly learned lessons will guide him throughout the many years of civilian life ahead of him. The conscript will become a better mother or father later on. Aside from that, if military service is mandatory, the military will benefit because they will have many members who will protect the country and the millions of money originally allocated for recruitment will be channeled for training. The country, on the other hand, will benefit because its citizens will be well disciplined, mature, and able to defend themselves (Armstrong, 2006).
1. Kliff, Sarah.(February 2008). Lessons From the Front Line. Newsweek. 151(6).
2. Williams, Armstrong. (June 2006). Mandatory Military Service will Benefit the US. Newsmax. Retrieved February 14, 2008
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