Mandatory Military Service of 18-21 Year Olds

It is amazing that all civil service jobs, only the military department has mandatory youth services targeting the youth aged between 18 and 21 years. In the view of McCormick, “it is almost always means a compulsory type of military training,”. Most European nations have compulsory military training with the exception of UK. This is because UK abandoned compulsory military training in favour of professional training. The proponents of mandatory military service for the 18-21 year olds argue that this is the age when humankind of sound health and robust energy. On the other hand, there is constitutional right for any individual to make own choice. The 18-21 year olds are adults and their decision to joint or not to join military services should be out their own conviction. This essay looks at the reasoning for and against forced military service in order to make an informed decision on whether to support the idea or not.

Mandatory military service for 18-21 year olds is discriminative as it does not apply to other sectors of civil service that is dominated by the elderly. Why should the youth be forced into the military when the elderly too are healthy enough to serve? Somin, opines that, “Unlike the young, the elderly usually won’t have to postpone careers, marriage, and educational opportunities to fulfil their forced labour obligations.” The age group, 18-21 years, is the beginning of building professional careers; therefore, it would be wrong to deny the youth chance to further their education. Focus on mandatory military service for the youth is then attributable to political weakness. Indeed, this is confirmed by demographic study that showed that they “are less likely to engage in political activism, and have lower political knowledge levels than other age groups,”. The spirit of the constitution recognises freedom of choice and according to Hamilton, Madison, and Jay, “Happy will it be if our choice should be directed by a judicious estimate of our true interests, uninfluenced by considerations foreign to the public good,”.

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On the other hand, “Today, National Service is usually spoken about in the British context in the same terms as hanging: as a disciplinary sanction which the state should reclaim,”. Mandatory military service for 18-21 year olds can help to reverse increased criminal acts that befell modern societies and improve level of maturity of the group. Rising levels of insecurity results from the group’s exposure to social rot in the society. The service will preoccupy them until maturity where one can then enrol to offer service to national building. The only excuse to mandatory military service should be on health grounds or if an individual is in some other apprenticeship programs. In addition, there is no crime in defending one’s country instead of staying idle and claiming benefits from central government. The mandatory military service will equip the youth with relevant skills in addressing modern world challenges while at the same time earn money to invest in other preferred occupations. This is helpful in reducing real cost of higher education institutions for those willing to further education while those willing to work are well equipped with vocational training.


In conclusion, whereas it would be a violation of human right, the freedom to make on choice, mandatory military is likely to benefit the society. The idea to keep the immature minds preoccupied with responsible training is vital in stumping out social problems facing modern societies. In addition, vocational training offered in military is adequate to secure a job position or just start academic career. The notion that mandatory military service is a violation of basic human right is untrue because the training is recognised under state and federal law.

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