T Nation

HR 4752


Official Title: To provide for the common defense by requiring all persons in the United States, including women, between the ages of 18 and 42 to perform a period of military service or a period of civilian service in furtherance of the national defense and homeland security, and for other purposes.


See you in uniform. Peace be with all!



Universal National Service Act of 2006 - Declares that it is the obligation of every U.S. citizen, and every other person residing in the United States, between the ages of 18 and 42 to perform a two-year period of national service, unless exempted, either as a member of an active or reserve component of the armed forces or in a civilian capacity that promotes national defense.

Requires induction into national service by the President. Sets forth provisions governing: (1) induction deferments, postponements, and exemptions, including exemption of a conscientious objector from military service that includes combatant training; and (2) discharge following national service.

Amends the Military Selective Service Act to authorize the military registration of females.




Charles Rangell and other such anti-war types introduce similar bills periodically to fuel exactly this type of reaction.

I'll worry about this when I see someone introduce it who actually wants to pass it.


The constitutional amendment writing discrimination into the document stands a better chance of passing than this does.


Might not be a bad idea.


Very shortsighted. Ask any of the generals who have served or are currently servering (behind closed doors, of course) if they'd prefer to keep the military all voluntary. The answer would be an emphatic, "yes," for most.

By keeping the military voluntary it ensures a more stable and elite force which can hold tight to it's traditions of regimental life. I don't see how the military could keep its unique culture if this were to happen. Of course, this only matters if you believe that military culture and tradition is important to its own benefit.


It is possible to have separate forces.

There are lots of benefits to compulsory military service, which aren't necessarily military in nature.


This was one of the reasons National Service dissapeared from the UK many moons ago. Conscripted troops have many disadvantages over voluntary.


Well, I wouldn't pay good money to train non-volunteer forces and then equip them with weapons that they probably shouldn't have. But yeah, perhaps forcing Americans into a seperate service to clean the toilets and feed the troops might be a good idea. It would increase the morale of the troops who are forced to rotate on those jobs and take some of the wind out of Haliburton.
Sorry, I couldn't resist that one.


If not mandatory military service, there needs to be some type of CCC program where you serve the country.


Why not just throw everybody in jail for a couple of years?


Well, I will be first to say that I would dodge a draft. Forcing military service from a "free" nation is a joke. Any country that cannot get enough people to volunteer to fight for it doesn't deserve to be fought for.

Perhaps our military wouldn't be overstretched (though I would hardly say it is) if we didn't have so many people deployed that do stupid shit like run dangerous convoys in order to get the next shipment of ice cream in to the chow hall.



We had to have a draft in WW2 after being attacked at Pearl Harbor and with Hitler storming across Europe. There will always
be pussies who are afraid to fight.


Military virtue can be very constructive for a republic.

Not everyone gets the kind of education at home that would lead to patriotism and a view of the world beyond one's own immediate interests.

The idea that regular military service shouldn't be a part of every citizen's life is a recent one.


I think that conscription was invented by the French when they were invaded in 1792 by the Austrians. No doubt the were inspired by the stories of Spartans and republican Rome, but those systems were different.

As I have stated before, I am generally in favour of conscription. It makes politicians think....


Joining the military doesn't make one patriotic. I was in with many who would not fit this discription. Many had nothing better to do because of their previous lives.

And if you think that most people in the military think beyond thier own backyard you'd be wrong. Many are uneducated and haven't a clue about current affairs other than pop culture--I am speaking for the younger generations which make up approx 80% of all forces.

Now, maybe forcing people to join might changes those statistics but it would also hinder those that have nothing left to do but join on their own. There are 380 million people in this country last time I checked. In the current military there are aproximately 1.5 million active and I think another .5 million reserve.

If we started forcing people to join we would have to make stricter rules to be eleigable for service becasue we would have a much larger pool to choose from. There would need to be a way to weed out the lesser. How would we do this...and who would we most likely do this to?


The comments about the all volunteer force being important for the military culture are on the mark.

Additionally, it would be highly impractical for the United States to set up a compulsory military service structure similar to the old German Wehrpflict. What you have to understand about these systems is that they are tremendously hard to maintain. They require adjudication officers and tremendous amounts of administration and supporting infrastructure.

These things may be doable in a relatively small and crowded country like Germany. However, the United States has three and a half times the population of Germany living in over 26 times as much land area. Who is going to chase truants into the hills of Idaho or Tennessee? Who wants to pay for all of that transportation?

Besides all of that, is it really a good idea to force all Americans into the same mold? Wouldn't that engender an atmosphere of group-think? I think our diversity of thought, backgrounds, and skills is a real blessing for this country.

It is easy to make a knee jerk statement, and say that compulsory military (or public) service would be good for America. I believe that such a system would have deleterious effects on the country.



I'm with you here, especially in wars where civilians are targets. The 18-42 range is a bit broad but a percentage based phase-in of every graduating HS class might be a better idea. Another issue that concerns me, it seems abroad we are perceived as cavalier/unilateral/commanding/etc. and we can usually write it off (at least in part) to freedoms we establish or will establish. I'm not sure a conscripted standing army would help this image any.


I wonder if this would include options such as emergency services.

This country is sorely lacking in it's response to homeland disaster. Things such as hazardous materials response, disaster response, etc.

I think this would be a good idea as long as there's options that don't include armed services. Otherwise Vroom's gonna get absolutely surrounded by hippies :slight_smile:


It is a great idea and would increase voter turn out as a result.

Everyone would have skin in the game at all times.