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Mandatory Military Service/Draft

2555 Views 12 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  MickeyC
In an effort to start a little friendly conversation I wanted to discuss with you guys what you thought of the current state of our military. I know a few of you are former military and many may have served during the Vietnam war. At a time when the only thing more unpopular than the war was the military, most guys did only 1 tour to the combat zone, at least that is what I have been told.

Fast forward to today and look at our current state. I personally have been to Iraq 2 times, 7 months the first time and 12 the second time. I am preparing to go back again sometime this next year for 8 months. I want to put out now that I am not complaining in the least bit. I love my job and will continue to deploy in support of my country for as long as I believe that it is the right thing to do. I will also acknowledge that different services deploy for different amounts of time, fortunately for me the Army is the longest (I love the Army, almost as much as my wife ;D).

In a time when our military is stretched thinner than ever and military personnel are spending more time away than they are at home there has to be a better answer.

I lived in Italy for 2 years and was able to see first hand what mandatory military service does for someone. It seemed to me that it instilled discipline, patriotism, confidence, and all those other cool adjectives that describe someone WHO has spent time honorably in the military.

I know we have people on this forum from abroad and welcome their insight in the matter. I am not sure that mandatory service is the answer for us, nor a draft. An all volunteer Army is a great thing, one of the most powerful things a commander can have on his side. I know as a commander I would much rather have 5 guys that wanted to be there than 50 that didn't.

I know there is lots of debate about this and most would just say that we should pull our military back home and sercure ourselves here first. I have seen first hand the good we are doing in Iraq, especially during the initial invasion in 2003.

I am sure I will have more thoughts on this later and welcome what you guys have to say. I was just sitting around thinking and thought I would share.
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I for one do not think a draft or mandatory service would work for us. As you pointed out when people are required to serve that do not have the pride and motivation that is required to have an effective service.

When I was in the service, I was stationed in Spain for two years and got to know a Sergeant from the Spanish Air Force. Personnel in the Spanish Air Force are require to have there families support them; the service only provided very basic needs for the service member.

As a result may people in the Spanish service had very little motivation to do more that what was required of them. Pilots did not have much confidence in there planes due to the poor morale among the mechanics.

I should state this was just after Franco died and the country as a whole was not doing very well economically, I hope that things have improve for the service people there since this time. I understand that the EU has spent a lot of money to get the infrastructure up to modern standards in Spain of recent.
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While some nations seem to do it successfully (Israel?) it is not something that I would want to see here. Whatever your opinions on any particular conflict, I think it would always be preferable to know that the majority of the people there want to be there, or an least joined by choice knowing that going somewhere would be a possibility.

If, as a nation, you can't get enough volunteers to support your efforts, I think that long term thats got to say something about the state of affairs as well.
Hey Roy, You still have 'National Service" in Austrilia? That's the draft to you non-blokes. It has it's pro's & con's. I think that 2 years "National Service" would be good for us, military or "substitute service" for those unfit for military service. Ever consider an American Legion? Honorable service = citizenship. :firepower:

No they dropped the National Service in Australia unfortunately. I think it's a great idea and should be mandatory unles you can demonstrate a career path that would be damaged by serving ones country.

I'm all for it, and I know a hell of a lot of young punks that could use it.
I know two young punks right now that want in but are refused. #1 just got kicked out of the Army failing a drug test-- has wife,1 year old,& 1 on the way, no job last 3 mo. #2 was on probation, got a P.I., Ordered to 6 mo. jail. Told me x-mas that he would rather join the Army than sit in jail. He has already contacted recruters, but the ways things are now he'll go to jail. When I was in high school the draft was on & the military took troubled kids & made men of them. I know several people that streighten out after doing service time.
As a platoon leader I had several young soldiers that had a judge tell them they could go join the Army or spend a few years locked up. Turned most of them around.

As for mandatory military service, I would like to see something here, though I think the "warfighters" ie. door kickers, should still be volunteer. I think it would instill a sense of pride in ones country if each person at the age of 19 had to choose to serve in the armed forces or maybe in some other civil capacity (think national parks, museums, the list is endless).
Clearly there's a diversity of opinion and a lot of the responders seem to be a lot younger than me. I wasn't drafted, I voluntered in the Vietnam era. Yeah there were problems with draft dodgers and slackers in uniform and abuses of wealth/power getting people out of it. But, for good or bad, the nation as a whole was invested in the outcome unlike our current situation where most sheeple are blissfully ignorant of the danger we are in from global terrorists. Some, many of them democrats, seem to be hoping we'll lose just so they can grow their power in politics.

My opinion is we should reinstate the draft, but as Aziator suggested allow non-volunteers a non-combative alternative. Our current forces are stretched very thin. People with little or no experience in or around the military would be amazed at how many support people it takes to allow one door kicker to operate at peak efficiency, or how many hours of maintenance and training it takes to allow a helicoptor or airplane to fly one hour in combat. All of these support positions are also manned by volunteers which are barely adequate.

Either we need to increase pay, benefits and respect for all our military personnel to get enough volunteers or we need to institute the draft again.
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I was all big and on the mandatory service like Israel first by looking around at people, but then I took a second look, personaly most arent up for it... not in the United States, we're freakin fat and ignorant, you said it I'd rether have 5 who want to be there then 50 who dont, problem is most dont and wont, thats why those who do and will will work there buts off with so many rotations...
I've been told more then once I shouldnt join becuse I dont have to, other people will. Im not great with words, but if every one had that attitude well where would we be then.

You are wise beyond your years!
Being a Desert Storm vet myself, with a son who has completed two tours in Iraq, and is headed back for his third - I find that the biggest problem to be WHY - such as WHY ARE WE THERE?

No before anyone lights up, let me state that I was proud to serve my 10 years active duty, and my son is equally proud serving his - and has no doubt as to why he is there. BUT the problems seem to be the misconception of the AMERICAN PUBLIC, and the world in general - as to why we are there.

I agree that the media, and the current administration has done a POOR JOB of communicating why we are there, and contend that this is the primary reason there is such a poor attitude amongst the ignorant majority.

Now I realize that this may be a charged statement, but if the fricking price of gas were to drop $1 at the pumps because of the "war" - the American public would likely wave flags on every street corner, praising the current administration and touting the military as heros for making it possible. Of course, this is a fantasy, because it will never happen - but the point is that much like the Vietnam era, we lack the full support of the nation in regards to the war effort, all becuase our leaders seem to lack good, solid public relations skills. They need to wag the dog.

Look back to Desert Storm... when Schwarzkopf and others conducted their briefs to the media. These guys were articulate, and had the media (mostly) under control. This is clearly not the case these days...

Now let's discuss pay...

I looked at my sons LES and here is the breakdown...

E4 Pay = $1883/month
Flight pay = $165/month
Combat pay = $225/month


So for about $1800/month (after taxes) - he serves as a volunteer, proudly, like the majority of the other service members out there.

Do the math...

When you are in country, there are no "DAYS OFF" and there is no way to escape. You are on duty 24 X 7, and that equates to about $2.50/hour bring home pay.


But yet he is anxious to return, and I am proud of him - as I am all other service members - for the sacrifices they make.

So back to the original post - Mandatory Service/Draft...

Although I can see great merit by instituting mandatory service (even if for only two years) - I don't see it as a reality for us - with the wussy mentality of so many - and I agree with Ranly about how the majority are so FAT and LAZY.

Reality is that the "few" will continue to volunteer and serve... while the rest sit on their fat asses and complain about how much the war is costing.

[glow=red,2,300]God Bless the American Servicemen and Servicewomen who give their all for us.[/glow]

MY :2cents:
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I was all big and on the mandatory service like Israel first by looking around at people, but then I took a second look, personaly most arent up for it... not in the United States, we're freakin fat and ignorant,
Nothing like basic training for a weight loss program, that and SERE school. I think that the mentality of our nation would change on a larger scale if everyone knew that they had to conduct some sort of service to the country. In Italy when I was there you had the option of serving in the military or if your religious beliefs prohibited you from serving in the military, you could serve in some sort of civil capacity. If you elected to not serve in the military I believe that you lost all privileges to own any firearm for the rest of your life and there was talk of denying said people the right to vote.

Not sure that it needs to be that extreme here but I strongly feel that way to many people don't have anything vested in this country. They are riding high on the pig but giving nothing back. I understand that there are circumstances that would prohibit every single person from serving but for the most part everyone could do something. Heck, my local wallmart has a parapalegic mentally handicapped girl as a greater and she is great.

I agree that our leadership does a poor "marketing" job. I also feel that we give too much access to the media. As far as people going back a 2nd and 3rd time, most have to do it because they are "stop-lossed" between deployments and are unable to seperate from the military. I love the Army and will definitely do at least 20 years.

I don't have all the answers, just a little insight from talking to my soldiers and how they feel. I think if they changed some of the benefits it may help. More pay is always nice...How about the gas station on post selling gas for what they pay for it instead of passing the federal taxes onto us (which they are not required to charge and keep as profit).

Ranly, I commend you for having vision and knowing what you want. Military service is very rewarding and is about the best thing you can put on a future resume.
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Why, because your government sent them there. Emotion and ignorance ruled that decision. Afghanistan made sense but Iraq was just dumb, but also not the point of this topic.

Yes, the pay sucks, but you get to blow shit up? I could easily spend my whole year's tax bill in a morning on a range. I agree that combat pay sucks but at the end of the day it's just a supplement to regular pay. Also if you're in a trade position like aircraft maintenance you are getting paid to learn a valuable skill and getting paid to gain experience. It's a good deal, yes it could be batter, but it's still beats working at McD's house of pain.


Mandatory service is a good idea, but it's better to use those troops for home duty and not combat. Denmark uses conscripts in rear echelon tasks and the professionals as it's combat troops. It also means that the professional military can go and do their thing and the less intensive tasks can be done with draftees rather than $500 per day contractors, and I'm not referrring to the Blackwater folks. There are all manner of tasks from supply through logistics and maintenance being done by contractors for ridiculous sums of money.

It works well in Denmark and also for the French, the snotty gits. They almost always fight with the volunteer French Foreign Legion and leave their national army at home.

I agree with the fat and ignorant comment that Ranly made but service would resolve part of that. I'm a better man today because of my service, and I suspect this would be true for many others.
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