Posted on Oct 2, 2014
CW5 Desk Officer
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I do apologize if this has been asked before. Lt Col (Join to see) replied to a different topic (about undocumented immigrants being allowed to join the military), and that reply prompted me to ask this question.

I am 100% FOR mandatory military service, with an allowance for those who cannot do military service, conscientious objectors, etc., that allows them to do some sort of public service (hospitals, schools, etc.) Germany has a similar program.

I submit that this sort of requirement has all sorts of benefits. One of the greatest benefits is giving something back to this great country in which we live.

What do you think? Should public/civic/military service be mandatory for everyone at a certain age (say, 18 or 24 months of service at some point, starting between the age of 18 and 21)?
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Responses: 39
SSG Jacob Wiley
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Edited 7 y ago
I voted no.

My rationale: I don't want someone here, that doesn't want to be here. Nor do I want a cop/firefighter/EMS worker etc. do perform that function because "they have to". The desire to do something produces far better performance and end result than simply being mandated to act.

The awesome thing about being free and living in America is that people have paid that price for us. Sure, we (current/former) have continued ensuring those freedoms by choice - and it's truly a great thing. Many times, especially lately, it's taken for granted and not appreciated. That's life, part of the game, unchangeable. Point is we folks, through a single four year contract or a retirement after 20 years, have done our part when others wouldn't. That in itself speaks volumes.

Now - should a candidate for President of the United States be required to have served honorably in the US Military - you're damn right he/she should.
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SSG Jacob Wiley
SSG Jacob Wiley
7 y
SFC James Sczymanski I hear you...

Marinate on this though. Natural born citizens can run - the majority of folks in the military. Who's to say any officer, from the self serving BNCO, or the CAB/CIB chasing PL or enlisted fellow, be it the private than can barely tie his shoes or the CSM who is a dick, doesn't plan to run for president some day? Any of us could have that dream/goal some day.

I'm just saying. I'd want my Commander in Chief to know something about the military other than 'they're the guys wearing those green outfits'.
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SSG Jacob Wiley
SSG Jacob Wiley
7 y
Very true - we are supposed to have that split. I believe balance is easily attainable. Just think - end of the duty day, you took off your uniform and were honey, dad, James, Jim - whatever. You left SFC Sczymanski on post. Same idea (my head at least)

I don't think anyone should rightly have power over the military and be Commander in Chief, unless they have done their time. We all make MOS jokes - set em down. We are all a team; from the PAC clerk to the 11B - two very separate jobs, one very significant common ground: service in the military.

I hear what you're saying about it excluding too many others. Oh well would be my answer. One has to be 35 years old to be president. That in itself is a discriminator, along with natural born citizen and live in the US for 14 years.

I think the best answer/step to combat that is: Those are the requirements to be the leader of the country, period. If you're 29 and a political genius and you have everyone's backing - outstanding!! Keep on it and wait til you're 35. Its hard to put into words what my thoughts are...I think it's only fair. Like you said, there is supposed to be a military/civilian split in our government - then make a service requirement for the office of president. This ensures the person filling the slot can relate 1st hand to those men and women in uniform, and maybe - JUST MAYBE - not shoot from the hip and make rushed decisions on the "go here, deploy there" business.
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SFC Jason Bautista
SFC Jason Bautista
7 y
I can't say I'm for or against mandatory service. I have been and worked in many countries with mandatory service militaries. What you usually get is a strong work force labor a substandard military and 90% of the time poor military tactical skills. I agree more should serve in the military, a public service or attend a secondary school. However, I believe incentive and personal choice far out weigh a mandatory service (or as some might call it a sentence).
I believe one way around this, is to possibly have a mandatory basic training and MOS training (of citizens choice). Afterward those deemed "fit for service" would remain in an inactive reserve status but with the choice remain inactive, volunteer for active reserves (one weekend a month, 2 weeks a year), or volunteer for active duty.
The inactive reserve force would only be called upon when a draft is activated. Since these are the people who really don't want to be in the military, they will only be called up for a mandatory service like the draft. Obviously upon a draft, those who are "inactive" (still physically able and of service age) would have to go through re-training (maybe even MOS change to fill needs) but at least they have already had some training. Its much faster and cheaper to re-train someone than to start from the beginning.
With this, the US can have/create a "mandatory service" but only those who volunteer (for incentive reasons, new found patriotism or whatever) will actually be part of the "active military components".
A volunteer military is the best functioning military, in my opinion.
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MAJ George Hamilton
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This is a dangerous road to go down, and steers away from being a free people. While the concept seems like it would do more harm then good, I would argue the opposite.

Forcing civil service from a population as large as ours would be difficult and most likely very unproductive. I think a better route would be to offer incentives to serve for 2 years right out of high school (i.e job placement services, college scholarships etc.) versus just forcing people into service.
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CW5 Desk Officer
CW5 (Join to see)
7 y
MAJ George Hamilton, I like your counter-proposal, sir. That's a good point about our large population. SSG Colette Simons posted about the Texas Conservation Corps, and I think something like that could work for the USA. I should amend my original question to make military service one of the (many) options young people could choose to give something back to our great country.
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CSM Director, Market Development
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I can think of a lot of folks that would benefit from that!
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