By law, everyone in Israel must serve in the Israeli Defense Force — save Arabs, Orthodox Jews and citizens with certain medical conditions. So about 60 percent of the Jewish nation’s young people complete their mandatory military service. As a former IDF soldier, I believe America should also have compulsory military service. Here’s why . . .
The United States may be the land of opportunity but it’s also a land of social extremes. We’re home to the richest of the rich and the poorest of the poor, with everything in between. Politicians and other power brokers exploit the gap to create divisiveness and discontent, sowing the seeds of social disharmony.
Military service is the great equalizer, putting people from all walks of life together, all working together for a common purpose (no matter how pedestrian that might be).
Some of the kids that served in the IDF with me came from very difficult backgrounds; abuse, neglect, and crime. Their military service gave them basic discipline, learning skills and, in many cases, a direction in life.
National military service not only strengthens social bonds — promoting diversity! — it creates a resource for society at large.
In Israel, soldier/teachers and soldier/medics go out to poor communities. In the U.S., soldiers (and National Guard units) conduct supply and search and rescue missions in natural disasters. More generally, the reintegration of military veterans helps create a more educated workforce. Speaking of education . . .
Mandatory military service would do wonders for the cause of gun rights.
If all Americans had hands-on experience with rifles, firearms would be demystified. Citizens would understand what guns can and cannot do; that the person behind the trigger is responsible for what happens when a bullet comes out the business end. AND they’d be able to teach their children actual gun safety.
National service fosters a sense of patriotism and collective responsibility– which many Americans feel is on a downward slope. When we all do our part, give a little, sacrifice together, our social bonds become stronger. And we become more familiar with the ballistic tools we can use to keep us, our families. our community and our country safe.