Compulsory Military Service Pros and Cons

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Should serving in the military be required of all able bodied individuals? There have been times when compulsory military service has been required in the US and other nations. Whether through a draft or other form of required duty, there are some pros and cons which must be evaluated in making military service mandatory.

What Are the Pros of Compulsory Military Service?

1. It teaches core values.
Family structures today are very inconsistent. Broken or blended homes, single parents, and uncommitted parents all teach the next generation of children inconsistent values. Military service would be able to provide consistency in this area.

2. It would provide needed vocational skills.
Socioeconomic factors limit the opportunities for many young adults today. Compulsory military service would level the playing field because everyone would get a fair chance to learn, no matter what their background may be.

3. It creates a sense of teamwork.
In the Greatest Generation, there is a sense of community amongst all because of the compulsory service that happened in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam from an American perspective. Even strangers are still looked at as teammates and that’s a sense of community that only military service could provide.

What Are the Cons of Compulsory Military Service?

1. It limits choices.
Compulsory military service limits the choices of young adults who are trying to make their own way in life. Even when service is limited to a specific period of time, say 4 years or less, that is still time that could be spent pursuing other vocational, creative, or learning opportunities.

2. Not everyone is geared to fight.
Some people just don’t have it in them to fight others. Although the military has different areas of service for different skills and talents, there will always be the chance that one day the self-defense of others may require the taking of a life.

3. PTSD rates could go through the roof.
Military service creates a unique set of stresses that not everyone can handle on their own. It is very common for veterans to come back from service with conditions such as PTSD that have their own unique costs… and not all of those costs are financial in nature.

Compulsory military service pros and cons must look to see if the rewards would outweigh the risks and costs. There are times when a large fighting force is necessary to protect a nation or a way of life. Even then, should everyone serve? That’s the question that we must answer.