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Military service – voluntarily or obligatory?

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Imagine how it would feel to have your right of a civil life withdrawn for the sake of your country‘s safety. And how would it feel having to too give up your current educational program and be a part of a group of people who are willing to risk their lives in the name of their countries? Similar situations have been causing difficulties for many young people around the globe, and obligatory military service is still being utilized by many countries. But which consequences do obligatory military services have? And should this be equal for both men and women?


Obligatory military service, also known as “the draft”, is a rather concerning title for many of today’s teenagers. A country that practices this matter makes it Obligatory for teenagers to take part in the army for a certain amount of time, usually a year or two. Of all countries only 32 utilize this act, among them is Norway. But how can a year‘s training in the army have such serious consequences for your life? Well, what many people don’t know is the fact that if there was to be a war, then all of the candidates from the draft would be obligated to be part of the military acts. This would cause a big impact to the individuals’ lives, but there is still more to it.


Being a part of the army is not only about training and other physical tasks, but it also focuses on the mental aspect of the human mind. Joining the army requires you to leave a lot of materialistic and mental values such as family, friends and education behind. You also have to adapt to new environments and expectations. While in the army you will probably change both mentally and physically, and share new bond with your fellow companions. The more integrated you become, the further away you will get from your ordinary life. But these changes can also have a positive side effect; while you spend your time in the army, you also get more disciplined. While the training makes you stronger, the tough living rules can make you a mentally better person. This can come to good use when you leave the military and return to your ordinary life, as you gain a lot of valuable experience and information. Generally speaking, your time in the army offers both positive and negative side effects. But in addition to these statements, can the military affect us in more indirect ways?


As mentioned earlier, obligatory military service causes huge drops within the education of individuals. This has become a clear fact as many students actually give up their current education because they are called in by the army! This has become a rather concerning matter, as well educated people are the key-factor in a well-established society. The fact that the military changes the attitude of many people can make it hard for young men and women to continue their studies after their time spent in the army. This fact has seen a lot of discussions within social networks. The military does, however, offer privileges for the participants in the obligatory military service. In Norway for example, people who have served their period in the army get “student points”, these points can aid in job seeking in future life. In addition to this, the army also offers a number of educational programs such as engineering and medical studies. Many of today‘s youth say that taking your education through the army offer more opportunities. Add the fact that you actually get paid during your education and you have a complete future plan. But the big question remains; Are YOU willing to give up your family and friends for these privileges?


Whether obligatory military service should be kept or not, is a big discussion itself, but if we take deeper step in this case, we can ask ourselves another vital question: Should this be equal for men and women? But before we directly answer this question, let’s take a closer look at how women engage in today‘s society. It is obvious that both genders seem to be treated in the same way, something that can be observed in the politics of many countries. This fact can be used as a statement supporting women‘s engagement in the army; If they are to have equal treatment in their social lives, the same idea should count in the army. This does sound logical, however, there is naturally a counterpart saying the exact opposite. Medical studies have shown that men in fact are more capable of dealing with tasks in the military than women are. This statement is supported by the fact that the bodies of men are physically stronger than the body of women‘s. Among many ethnic groups the women are also the family‘s “caretakers”, Neglecting the idea of joining the army. These two major opinions have led to big discussions, and the answer of the earlier mentioned question varies from country to country. In the situation of Norway, women are NOT obligated to take part in take part in the army.

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