‘National service’ – time we brought it back?

National Serviceman At A Depot In Kingston-on- ThamesYoung-offender--007

The old fogies in Britain have gone on for decades about the need to bring back ‘National service’, whereby youths are required to join the Military for a couple of years. But there is a groundswell of the new generation coming round to that point of view! Why is that? It is because many young adults are diligently striving to make a good life for their families, and see a hoard of couldn’t care less young British citizens, living on benefits, begetting children willy-nilly, and swelling the ranks of arrested or convicted ‘Youth Offenders’ [getting on for one and a half million].

Our UK society has degenerated into an unacceptable level of youth lawlessness, due to poor parenting & lack of effective control by our society, hasn’t it? The perception is that military training would put a stop to all that, without doubt. This is a view of course of those who have no direct experience of National service as such (seeing that it was well before their time) nor have they any real knowledge on how it worked in practice! BUT are they right though? You judge for yourself.

In Britain doing National Service (conscription), was a legal requirement for all medically fit males from about eighteen years to do military service – meaning become soldiers and the like. We did it in the UK because of the two World wars and it ended basically last time here in nineteen sixty three [in Bermuda, a British territory, we still have conscription]. During the last war it was definitely an invitation to get killed & many conscripted men between eighteen & forty did (some men were exempt from conflict though because they worked in essential civilian industries, critical to the war effort – such as coal mining, forestry & heavy industry). [Females were liable to be called up as well – but marriage was a good let out!].

After the ‘peacetime’ following the end of the World war, we were later then still at battle stations in Korea, Malaysia, Cyprus, Kenya, & Suez so we carried on with our conscripts. Doing your National service could be ‘delayed’ if you went to University and that was a good ploy latterly used by many to wait until conscription ended (is that is why we have so many well educated old people?).

So in the UK we only use conscription when we need to bolster our standard regular army’s permanent forces. The reason for that? The military certainly DON’T want to share their ‘professional’ lifestyle with what they see as a crowd of amateurs do they? They want to be highly paid and you can’t achieve that when any tom dick & harry can walk in and be trained to do the job as well can you?

But aren’t our armed forces in decline? Yep – because we can’t or won’t afford them. The game plan now is to have fewer permanent forces and have Reservists successfully standing in the wings (that has never happened or worked before of course but we might win the lottery, eh?). So couldn’t we make up the shortfall fairly cheaply with National servicemen & women to good effect?

Some Television programmes have been made showing naive spotty faced raw recruits arriving for training at a military camp and (having been shown how to shower, clean & all else) a matter of weeks later can be seen transformed by some kind of magic into a unit of terrifying force (all done by military instructors’ kindness of course!).

[It is a bit of a conundrum that people joined the armed forces to kill or be killed but all hell breaks loose when some of them get killed in action – strange that?]

What about other countries – do they go for some form of National Service? YES, many have stopped, but still some do albeit at different levels including combat roles, like Finland, Ghana, Greece, Israel, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Switzerland, Taiwan, and Turkey, to name some.


[So what did British National service actually DO? Well, at minimal cost, it took in the standard youths of Britain and turned them, in a relatively short time, into trained fit capable civilised responsible adaptable resilient disciplined, healthy capable young men. They then rejoined civilian society. Why the heck should we want to do that these days?]

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