All 18-Year-Olds Should Be Required to Perform Military Service Term Paper

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Justification for Compulsory Military Service at Age 18

Prewriting for a Thesis:

In my personal experience, many 18-year-olds fail to make much productive use of their time, especially those who do not pursue education beyond high school. Many of my high school acquaintances spent the first several years after high school at dead-end jobs where they earned their own "pocket money" but failed to make much progress toward any long-term goals. Enlisting in the U.S. military is more beneficial than working just to earn pocket money while living with your parents, and it often provides training that qualifies as work experience after military service. Eighteen is an age where many people engage in harmful, reckless, or self-destructive activities, but it also the age where athletic ability and physical capacity for strenuous activity are highest. In an unstructured environment, many 18-year-olds make poor decisions, but within a disciplined environment, their energy can be channeled more productively in socially beneficial ways.

According to my friends currently serving overseas, the U.S. is presently in desperate need of military recruits to support its extended commitment in Iraq and the global War on Terror. Media sources also report that the U.S. military is already stretched very thin and in danger of not being able to fulfill its missions in the event that further projection of U.S. power or intervention becomes necessary while we are simultaneously deployed in Afghanistan and Iraq

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In my opinion, those combined factors justify compulsory military service at the age of 18.

Term Paper on All 18-Year-Olds Should Be Required to Perform Military Service Assignment

Some disagree, because military service in not necessarily right for everyone and because they consider compulsory service an unjustified loss of their freedom. Still others might support compulsory military service in principle, but consider the U.S. presence in Iraq (and/or Afghanistan) unjustified, and object to compulsory service unless it becomes necessary for circumstances that justify that measure. Possibly the strongest basis for objection is that experience shows that it is very difficult to implement or administrate compulsory service fairly so that the burden does not fall disproportionately on the economically and politically disadvantaged.

Presently, military service is not compulsory in the U.S. But I would expect those who are of age to benefit from that to appreciate that others, both in the recent past, (and possibly in the future), did not have the options available to 18-year-olds today. I would hope that people of military draft age would make productive use of their comparative freedom that might not be available to them under slightly different circumstances.

Thesis:

Compulsory military service for all 18-year-olds is a good idea for them and it is presently justified by necessity in the United States.

Plan of Argument:

The United States armed forces are currently stretched dangerously thin and might not be able to fulfill their necessary missions if their presence is required in a third theater of operation while so many forces are still occupied in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Eighteen is an age where risk-taking behavior and irresponsible or destructive conduct peak. Without a structured environment, it can be the most dangerous period of adulthood, but with discipline and structure, the same energy can be channeled productively.

Many 18-year-olds do not make productive use of the first few years after high school, especially if they do not continue their education. The military provides training in many vocational fields that make it much easier to start a productive career at an age when many people have no idea what they want to do with their lives.

Support:

Recent changes in global geopolitics in general, and the War on Terror in particular, have significantly changed the circumstances of the United States. The aftermath of September 11th and the simultaneous involvement of U.S. forces in concentration in Afghanistan and Iraq have depleted personnel resources significantly, to the extent that it has potentially compromised the ability of U.S. forces to fulfill their commitments in the event

U.S. intervention becomes necessary in other theaters across the world while we are still pursuing the War on Terror and simultaneously engaged in Iraq. The World War II generation endured tremendous sacrifice at home throughout the duration of the war.

Currently, American enlisted troops are shouldering the load of two major conflicts, at least one of which (if not both) is directly in the interest of all Americans. Compulsory military service is necessary for the military to continue performing its role overseas to protect the country at home.

It is rather well-known that 18 is a comparatively dangerous age, primarily because, with the exception of consuming alcohol and tobacco products, it marks a period of youth where one enjoys all the legal rights of adulthood in the U.S. despite the fact that most psychologists and adolescent behaviorists consider this chronological period an intermediate" stage between childhood and true adulthood. This conclusion reflects the common observation that for most individuals, social and interpersonal judgment and skill both remain relatively under-developed until the mid twenties.

Generally, the age of 18 marks a psychological period characterized by relative immaturity, particularly in complex thought processes involving behavioral choices and their consequences. This is precisely the reason that automobile insurance rates are highest for drivers under the age of 25. Likewise, the relative irresponsibility associated with alcohol and the well-documented disproportionate representation of alcohol-related driving fatalities in this age group justified the nationwide adoption of 21 as the legal age for alcohol consumption in 1980.

Conversely, at 18, most individuals are likely to be entering their physical prime when athletic abilities and recuperative capacity are both at their highest. On one hand, lack of external motivation or direction at age 18 combined with the natural desire for independence and autonomy from parental authority makes this the period of life where young adults often make decisions harmful to themselves and take unreasonable risks. On the other hand, it is also a period of life where external direction can motivate many young adults to establish long-term goals and a productive course of life.

Conclusion:

Compulsory military service is necessary in times of immediate emergency and also in certain circumstances where the demand for U.S. troops in multiple theaters exceeds the capacity of the U.S. Armed Forces. The current global War on Terror and simultaneous extended deployment in Iraq requires compulsory military service.

Eighteen-year-olds are best suited to military duties, because they are in their physical prime and also because it is a time of young adulthood where many fail to make productive use of the time and engage in unproductive, potentially harmful activities. The structured environment of the military provides guidance for channeling energy more productively and also offers vocational training in many areas that are helpful toward the goal of establishing a career after the military commitment is satisfied. Therefore, compulsive military service for 18-year-olds is presently justified.

Final Draft of Essay:

The United States Armed Forces does not currently require mandatory military service but does require Selective Service System registration for males at age 18.

Americans who remember the Vietnam era recall the compulsory wartime draft that sparked widespread civil unrest and demonstrations campaigning against mandatory military service in the 1960s and early 1970s. In several other countries, compulsory military service (and subsequent military reserve duties) have been required by law for decades. In Israel, for example, a military tour of service is mandatory for both males and females, starting at age

18, after which all adults below the age of 45 must participate in ongoing reservist training and are subject to recall to active duty if necessary.

Recent changes in global geopolitics in general, and the War on Terror in particular, have significantly changed the circumstances of the United States. The aftermath of September 11th and the simultaneous involvement of U.S. forces in concentration in Afghanistan and Iraq have depleted personnel resources significantly, to the extent that it has potentially compromised the ability of U.S. forces to fulfill their commitments in the event

U.S. intervention becomes necessary in other theaters across the world while we are still pursuing the War on Terror and simultaneously engaged in Iraq. The World War II generation endured tremendous sacrifice at home throughout the duration of the war.

Currently, American enlisted troops are shouldering the load of two major conflicts, at least one of which (if not both) are directly in the interest of all Americans. Compulsory military service is necessary for the military to continue performing its role overseas to protect the country at home.

According to some, military service in not necessarily right for everyone and compulsory service is an unjustified loss of some of the personal freedoms for which this country stands. Others recognize that compulsory military service is sometimes necessary in principle, but consider the U.S. presence in Iraq (and/or Afghanistan) unjustified, and object to compulsory service unless it becomes necessary for circumstances that justify that measure. Possibly the strongest basis for objection is that experience shows that it is very difficult to implement or administrate compulsory service fairly so that the burden does not fall disproportionately… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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