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View Poll Results: Mandatory Service

Voters
104. You may not vote on this poll
  • Yes, I think people should be made to serve in the military if eligible under normal circumstances.

    30 28.85%
  • Yes, I think people should be made to serve in a civil, non-military capacity.

    29 27.88%
  • No, I don't think anyone should have to serve their country in a military or non-military capacity.

    52 50.00%
Multiple Choice Poll.
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  1. #1
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    Default Mandatory Military Service: Pros and Cons

    I've noticed that a lot of online discussion forums and whatnot have frequent threads about mandatory military service or mandatory federal service popping up every so often over the past few years as public support for the War on Terror conflicts plummeted along with enlistment rates, but we never had one here so far as I remember. Since we're now pulling our military forces out of Iraq and Afghanistan, it seems like a good idea to bring up the discussion and perhaps to reflect on what it really means in the context of these ongoing conflicts in the Middle East and elsewhere.

    Can we really afford mandatory military service for everyone in the draft age bracket when most of those people are ineligible for it to begin with and the washout rate in today's military being so high? If we can afford it in even a limited capacity, how long should it be for? 1-4 years seems to be what a lot of Libertarians and Conservatives agree on from what I have read.

    Should we put those who cannot or will not wear the military uniforms and adopt the military value system and culture into mandatory government service in other roles like the Peace Corps or some sort of domestic homeland security corps or some other government-related role that would be considered a public service?

    Would putting young men and women into mandatory military service really open up their eyes to the virtues of so-called "Real American Values" as put forth by the Conservatives and Libertarians who support the idea and emphatically state it would help bring them into the fold or would it create a ticking time bomb of resentment and anger combined with military training given the rise of anti-establishment home-grown terrorists that have come out of the armed forces in the past twenty years?

    Given the overwhelmed and some would say broken, Veteran's Care system that we have today, should those pushed into military service get the same benefits or should they get something different because they didn't sign up?

    Let's ask ourselves questions like these and discuss it like rational human beings if we can. I dare you. I double dare you. I triple dog dare you with bacon.
    Thus do we growl that our big toes have,
    at this moment, been thrown up from below!



  2. #2
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    Default

    At one point I would have been all for it. I served. My brother is still in. one of my cousins is still in. My dad and all my uncles and one grandfather (the other was exempt due to occupation).

    Now, we can't afford it. and I honestly believe there is no reason to afford it! There is no reason we should be occupying the world and doing the work for other country's on our taxpayer's backs. Honestly I'm for bringing home the vast majority of our military, closing bases and downsizing our role as the world's policeman.

    and lastly... hmmmm... bacon.
    ************
    "Of course it's hard. It's supposed to be hard. It's the Hard that makes it great."

    "Get up... Get out... Get Drunk. Repeat as needed." -- Spike



  3. #3
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    Default

    well i could see an argument being made for public service before college.
    especially if that service could translate into college credits, and/or if the reimbursement could also. though i have a feeling we're going to be needing a whole lot more plumbers than mba grads soon enough.


    3 members found this post helpful.

  4. #4
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    Default

    On one level the mando military service has some appeal. However, if parents aren't going to take the time to instill some respect and discipline in their kids, why should some poor schmuck of drill instructor be stuck doing it?

    On the practical level, it is crap. I spent 6 years as a junior officer in the Navy. The amount of nonsense pulled by people who volunteer for the service is amazing. I cannot imagine having to deal with 25 18-22 year olds who didn't sign up voluntarily. The biggest problem is that many never heard the word "no" until they got to boot camp, and with every passing year they hear it less and less there.

    A one year enlistment is a waste of time and money, for everyone involved. Two years only slightly less; they are still just chipping paint. By the time they qualify for something constructive, it's time to get out. You don't get any schools beyond boot camp w/ two year enlistment. From a return on investment standpoint, 4 yrs is more reasonable, but by the time they spend 6-9 months in an A school + 3 months at boot camp, they're on a ship barely 3 years. About the time they are actually proficient and knowledgable, most are on their way. There is a reason why some minimum enlistments are 5 years.

    Besides with all of the funding cuts, how are they going to be paid?

    The one thing that grates on me is when people come up with the "We support our troops" line from the comfort of their home. Care packages and letters are a pretty darn easy way to show your concern. Want to actually help me? Trot on down to the recruiter's office and sign on the dotted line and share my workload. Perfect example was in SE VA, there were yellow ribbons on the trees right next to the "NO OLA!" signs(Outlying Landing Area - where pilots practice night carrier landings) They are happy to "support the troops" as long it didn't infringe upon their happy little life. End of Rant.


    3 members found this post helpful.

  5. #5
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    As somebody told my husband the other day: the Army isn't what it used to be.

    Pro:
    People get to be some place other than home. Maybe even where they don't speak English. Become more self sufficiant, a la 'Your Mom does not work here, clean up after yourself'

    Can we afford it? Can we not afford it?
    I think there is the matter of how you set up the equation.
    You can, instead of marching them in circles teach life skills to the recruits.
    I am thinking in terms of disaster response, trades etc.

    However, the Army (and the rest of them) do not make a distinction between short timers and lifers. You sign on the dotted line your butt belongs to Uncle Sam.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mozart View Post
    Personally, I think the moderate use of shock collars in training humans should be allowed.



  6. #6
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    Now, we're cooking with gas...let's see what comes out of the pot....
    Thus do we growl that our big toes have,
    at this moment, been thrown up from below!



  7. #7
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    13 views with several posts AND only 3 votes? What's up with that?
    Thus do we growl that our big toes have,
    at this moment, been thrown up from below!



  8. #8
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    damn, you caught me.....
    Quote Originally Posted by Mozart View Post
    Personally, I think the moderate use of shock collars in training humans should be allowed.



  9. #9
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    [QUOTE]
    Quote Originally Posted by Alagirl View Post
    As somebody told my husband the other day: the Army isn't what it used to be.
    Neither is the Navy. I'd do it again in a heart beat.

    Can we afford it? Can we not afford it?
    I think there is the matter of how you set up the equation.
    You can, instead of marching them in circles teach life skills to the recruits.
    I am thinking in terms of disaster response, trades etc.
    The marching in circles is one of the most cost/time effective ways to teach the basic life skills: shut up, listen, and do what I tell you. Sadly, so many don't have that vital skill. Trying to do all these humanitarian missions without basic discipline would be a disaster. There is a reason the services get called on to do it, they train for big disasters. They just follow the procedure. I'm not knocking critical thinking, but the ability to just do as your told, even when you don't like it, is pretty important in those situations. That comes from 3 months of marching in circles.

    The thing is that parents are supposed to teach their kids the most basic life skills. That they would punt that off on the government is SCARY. The work load teaching "life skills" is pretty high - the little things: come to work (on time gets bonus point), don't sleep on the job, pay your bills, don't marry the gold digger you met a week ago...

    As to the trades, if someone really want's to do those things, many employers will already pay for their education. Want to be a welder? Apply at a shipyard, they have apprentice programs. Same for pipe fitters, electricians, mechanics, machinists, etc.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  10. #10
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    why would we want "mandatory military service" anyway? no one benefits, not the government, not the military, not the parents, not the poor kids, and certainly not the people.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  11. #11
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    We can't afford it. They are already cutting back as it is.

    And honestly, when I'm over there serving with people who are supposed to be your "family" who have your back, I want to be serving with people who WANT to serve. I truely believe that someone wanting to serve is going to perform better and have a better impact on those they are serving with than someone who is there because it was mandatory.
    "People ask me 'will I remember them if I make it'. I ask them 'will you remember me if I don't?'"


    2 members found this post helpful.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by wendy View Post
    why would we want "mandatory military service" anyway? no one benefits, not the government, not the military, not the parents, not the poor kids, and certainly not the people.
    A lot of European countries do it. Presumably they would not if there was no benefit to it.

    For the record this USNA alumni and former officer does not see the need for it and is of the strong opinion that will make the Armed Forces a less professional organization.



  13. #13
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    I would also reject (and disobey) any mandatory civilian service to the government.

    I am a free man, not a serf.



  14. #14
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    I served 5 years in the Canadian military, personally it was just what I needed to help me grow up and be a better person. I also have a friend in Europe who lives in a country with obligatory service, he hated every minute of it and I don't think he came away any better for the experience and possibly even a little worse off... When you force people into a culture they have no interest or desire to learn about never mind join and actively participate in, it can have disastrous effects on those people and it can also weaken the entire group as a whole...

    I don't think it should be mandatory but I think it should be encouraged more than it is. I agree with those who said a lot of kids today are lacking a lot of the life skills they should have been taught in school and by parents although I would rather see us trying to fix the education system than forcing everyone into uniform.

    CB
    Freedom is the ability not to care what the other person thinks...

    Got air?! Member of the Asthmatic Riders Clique



  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by canadianbacon View Post
    I served 5 years in the Canadian military, personally it was just what I needed to help me grow up and be a better person. I also have a friend in Europe who lives in a country with obligatory service, he hated every minute of it and I don't think he came away any better for the experience and possibly even a little worse off... When you force people into a culture they have no interest or desire to learn about never mind join and actively participate in, it can have disastrous effects on those people and it can also weaken the entire group as a whole...

    I don't think it should be mandatory but I think it should be encouraged more than it is.
    Those who have walked the walk agree with you.



  16. #16
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    I can see a choice of military service or some type of CCC; don't want to serve the military, then you can work on roads, government buildings, park trails, etc. Refuse to do either - then a certain amount of hours of community service are required, without the pay or benefits the others may receive (wages, health care, learning trades, etc.)

    Work out some type of a "exchange" : 1 year of work for 1 year of free schooling, whether college or trade school or with a skilled tradesman.

    People who have done a bit of hard work are usually going to have a sense of pride in what they've accomplished, and are going to be a bit more mature and ready to take higher education a bit more seriously, and/or have a better idea of what trade they would like to learn. And we need a WHOLE lot more of that!


    4 members found this post helpful.

  17. #17
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    Our current work study is an Iraq vet and she says "Don't give them to us!" The military is too important to leave to troublemakers and people who don't want to be there.

    Now, I think certain people could benefit greatly from mandatory civil service as an alternative. (Clearly, there are too many young adults with free time, no imagination, and a whiney desire for other people to solve their problems for them at the moment.) Minimum wage Civilian Conservation Corps work would suit them nicely. Heck, you could pay for it by forgiving part of their federal student loans. Send them to clear trails in Denali or something useful. I'd like to see everyone have to do manual labor and live outside the comforts of urban/suburban life for a while. Not everyone was lucky enough to grow up with rural experience.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  18. #18
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    MOAR SAYS I!
    Thus do we growl that our big toes have,
    at this moment, been thrown up from below!



  19. #19
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    I support mandatory service of some sort, along with paid higher education. I would not serve in the military as I am a pacifist for religious reasons (some may notice this is at odds with the fact that I own a gun that I'd use for self-defense...PM me if you want my thoughts on that, they're complicated...also this is not an indictment of anyone who doesn't agree, I have many friends and loved ones in the armed forces and I respect them for their sacrifice and think they are just on a different path than me, which is fine, so are a few billion other people ). As a result, I would not support compulsory military service for everyone. However, I would support a choice of military or civil service.

    I think this would be difficult to implement with the way the US is currently running, though. I don't know how practical it would be, but in theory I think it is a good idea. It would help us all to broaden our horizons and spend some time doing something for our community, country, or planet.

    I do think that regardless of whether it is compulsory or not, we should pay our military folks more, at least at the enlisted level. Seriously, I have friends who are currently serving in war zones and I make more than them sitting at home doing improvements on search engines, and let's not even touch on how much more the people who send them there (as in, Congress) are making... That's just wrong IMO.

    edit: I voted for civil, non-military but like I said I'd support a choice of either military or civil service.


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  20. #20
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    I'm enough of a libertarian (small "l") to feel that this is a bad idea.

    I'm also a retired Naval Aviator with 10 years Active and 14 years Reserve experience. I've always worked with volunteers (the Navy has not drafted anyone since 1945). I have serveral Army and Marine Corps friends, though, who did work with draftees (both in Viet Nam and non-combat areas like Germany and South Korea). They, too, generally don't favor the draft as you get a lot of "problem children" that cost more to manage than they produce. Given that I've had my share of "problem children" from a voluntary system I'd be very reluctant to wish draftees upon others.

    That said, I'm also in favor of highly encouraging military/naval service for the vast majority of young men. I see way too many that that are slovenly, unfocused, and unmotivated. They have no world view beyond their neighborhood (or maybe family/clan). They are easily manipulated by those who seek something from them. They think a free beer is the hightest and best goal in life. A couple of years under external discipline might well help them develop some internal discipline.

    No guarantees, here, but that's been my professional experience.

    G.

    P.S. IMO there is no Constitutional authority to draft people for non-military service.



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