Teen national service proposal


Katie McClellan

Staff Reporter Nicholas Scoggins shares his view on required national service.

Nicholas Scoggins, Staff Reporter

America has a problem, kids these days are apathetic. Many don’t help the communities around  them. Many don’t choose to fight for their country and freedom. In addition, our country faces massive threats to its security. There is a solution for this problem. All citizens upon reaching a certain age should be required to do a mandatory time of national service to either their state or their country. Here are some of the benefits it will bring to us as a nation and how it has helped another country as well.

My idea is that all U.S. citizens would be required upon their high school graduation to complete a fixed term of service in a capacity of their choice. This could include charitable work, law enforcement, military (active duty or reserve) or state guard. The use of a national service system has worked very well in several countries.

In Switzerland, all males are required to perform 260 days of military service. After they are discharged from their duties, they can buy their service weapons to keep. It is often said in Switzerland that the idea of every Swiss man trained to use a rifle and armed with one is why the Nazis did not invade Switzerland during WW2. They could have mobilized 850,000 soldiers out of a population of 4 million.

I also see the idea of young men receiving firearms training as a very positive thing. As a WWII/Vietnam War reenactor, I have been a gun owner for almost a year. However, I will be very quick to point out many people do not know how to use firearms safely and correctly. There have been numerous times during an event or when I have been at the range when someone nearly hurts themselves or someone else. I think in addition to much different socio-economic and population factors is why Switzerland has much less gun deaths than here in the United States.

Now some people would have opposition to mandatory military service to all, however there might be a compromise. Citizens upon their graduation from high school can choose between service in the military or in a civilian capacity, for example as a police officer or working for a community soup kitchen or volunteering for a nonprofit. Plus the military service can be conducted in a reservist capacity such as in the National Guard. 

I personally think a program like this is what are country needs. Our citizens need to be taught the value of giving back to our communities. It will also help to secure American national security and ensure that our military has the manpower it needs. In addition, civil service volunteers will contribute to our communities in various different ways.