6 Advantages and Disadvantages of Compulsory Military Service

Compulsory Military Service or conscription is practiced by numerous countries worldwide wherein able-bodied men and women at a certain age bracket are required to enlist in military service. This has existed way back the time of Hammurabi, which was more than 1700 years B.C. and in modern times, there are still countries like Singapore, Cuba, North Korea and Taiwan, among others. Some have both compulsory and voluntary military service. This topic remains to a contentious one because of the views of supporters and critics. Here are the two sides of this military service.

List of Advantages of Compulsory Military Service

1. It ensures national security.
With all eligible men and some women joining the military to work both in the frontlines and other areas of the military, there is an assurance that the nation will be safer and more secure at times of conflicts with other countries. This also ensures diversity in knowledge and skills from different enlisted men and women who have different educational backgrounds.

2. It promotes unity among the citizens of the nation.
Since almost all the citizens of the country will have to serve in the military at a certain point in their lives, there will have a sense of unity among the people. This will also make the citizens have a sense of patriotism and nationalism which are important values. In joining the military service, the people will also learn about how it is to work together and fight for their country.

3. It fosters equality.
Another advantage of this type of military service is the principle that everyone who is required and eligible to enlist is mandated to do so, regardless of social status or profession. This means that there are no special favors or exceptions except for what is required.

List of Disadvantages of Compulsory Military Service

1. It goes against personal freedom.
Some critics find this practice against the right of a person to act and decide on his or her own free will. Since all citizens of a country who fall under this category are required to join, people who are afraid to be in the battle field or are not interested in military service will be forced to leave their private lives and serve the country.

2. It leaves families devastated.
Deaths in wars are inevitable and the thought of having a member of your family fight in another country out of obligation is difficult and painful. The members of the family who are left behind can also be traumatized especially if tragedies strike like their son or daughter being killed while on duty. Moreover, it risks the lives of young people who should have been enjoying life instead of fearing for their lives.

3. It can compromise the quality of service and the security of the nation.
Opponents also argue that not every person is cut to be in the military. Having said that, it is possible for a person who was enlisted and does not have the heart for military service to not be able to function and carry out orders. This can compromise the operations and can have a negative impact. Also, it takes proper training and skills to be in the military. If someone has a different educational background and was drafted to be sent to war, the time to train might be insufficient.