Warning

 

Close

Confirm Action

Are you sure you wish to do this?

Confirm Cancel
Member Login
Posted: 3/14/2002 12:56:49 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/14/2002 12:57:49 PM EDT by ChrisLe]
http://stripesonline.com/article.asp?section=104&article=7269 Bill would mandate post-high school training, fitness, service 'boot camp' WASHINGTON — Students with no interest in military service might not have a choice if Congressman Nick Smith gets his way. The Michigan Republican is seeking passage of the National Service Bill, H.R. 3598, requiring that all high school graduates sign up for a mandatory, six-month-minimum boot camp program focused on physical fitness, vocational training and community service. The bill is co-sponsored by Rep. Curt Weldon, R-Pa. "We have not had any period of conscription since 1973," said Smith, a Vietnam-era draftee. "Those people are approaching their 50s or are older. In a few years, there will be few, if any members of Congress, who have served in the military. We need more people with these views and experience, especially after Sept. 11. "Other nations have instituted similar programs with great success. Today, more than 90 nations make young people subject to conscription. It’s time America takes a look at doing the same." Timing is everything, Smith said. Although the bill has been "sitting on my desk as an idea for four years," he’s capitalizing on the wave of patriotism that has followed the terrorist attacks. About 1.5 million students would be eligible, beginning with the class of 2004, Smith said. The bill excludes students with disabilities. Joel Shnowski, a senior at Ansbach Middle/High School in Germany, said he’s glad he won’t be part of it. He said forced boot camp is overkill and forced community service is offensive. "It comes down to individual preference," Shnowski said. "If an individual feels like they want to give back, they will. They shouldn’t be forced. This push to volunteer is another aspect of government to hold onto people and to have government control over us, and I don’t like that feeling. "I already give 12 years of my life to formal education," said Shnowski, who plans to study film or broadcasting. "I totally wouldn’t want to go to boot camp. Not to mention, it would delay me going to college. What about that?" Fellow student LaChe Sykes, a future teacher or lawyer, thinks delaying college is wrong. Sykes said in a recent telephone interview that she believes the program also is redundant. "Everything he’s talking about is already taught in school," said the 16-year-old. Not necessarily. Taxpayers already fund 13 years of formal education from kindergarten through the 12th grade, Smith said. "This would be just another six months." The rewards, he said, can’t be measured in dollar figures. "The feeling of responsibility and patriotism is going to add to our security," he said. "There’s no price for that."
Link Posted: 3/14/2002 12:57:21 PM EDT
Part 2.... The bill would require training in physical fitness, international relations, military tactics, homeland security, U.S. and world history, and vocational training. Smith drafted the bill because of his childhood as a farm boy and his Air Force experience, he said. "My thought is that it would be good for young people to have the same kind of experiences," he said. "Growing up on the farm, I had to have the discipline of getting up at 5:30 in the morning, making my bed and making sure my clothes were pressed — that type of boot camp atmosphere." The notion of caring for others seems to have been lost on this generation, Smith said. But teaching such values is not the government’s role, said Jessica Haas, who is planning to study aerospace engineering. "It’s the parents’ responsibility," said the 17-year-old. So are parents failing? Smith’s parents insisted on two years of volunteer work, and he chose serving on a school board, which led to a career in politics. Smith doesn’t see today’s families making the same push. But if the notion is ingrained in students, they’re likely to carry the practice through adulthood, he said. "Individuals tend to be a little fearful of things they don’t know about and understand," Smith said. "[Boot camp] could possibly lead them to being less nervous of the unknown and they’d want to enlist." The congressman acknowledged that boot camp would be expensive to federal and state governments. But it’s premature to put a dollar figure on the program, he said, because questions remain. Where would camps be held? How many camps would be needed? Would students live on campus or commute from home? How many instructors would be hired? Would uniforms be provided free? How much would state and local government kick in, if anything at all?
Link Posted: 3/14/2002 1:14:24 PM EDT
Link Posted: 3/14/2002 1:17:47 PM EDT
I would definately agree with this. If people were randomly send to different camps all over the US and were forced to see how the world works outside of their dinky little communities, it would be useful. This would also tend to work for the 2nd amendment since it would be a well regulated and trained militia. People might tend to feel a duty to their country and citizens, which would be quite useful in stopping crime.
Link Posted: 3/14/2002 1:34:37 PM EDT
Glad I'm out of the State Indoctrination Centers already. I concur that this program will only make young citizens more resentful of civil authority. (with good reason) 6 months of mandatory gym class and civics/loyalty instruction. What'll we call it? The Bush Youth? We gun-owning types generally stand for liberty, independence, and self-reliance. Don't reinfiorce the groupthink these kids have been doused in for 13 years previous. My loyalty is to God, my family, and my neighbors. Maybe the state. My taxes aren't enough? You demand a pound of flesh?
Link Posted: 3/14/2002 1:35:01 PM EDT
can you say "involuntary servitude"?
Link Posted: 3/14/2002 1:38:53 PM EDT
And who wouldn't want to drop everything in their lives and go get educated by the Government? This sounds like an old idea from our old friend Mao Tse-tung. This is asinine. The bills author probably can't figure out how to handle his kids so he wants to send them off and get yelled at by Uncle Hulka for a while. This jag-off wasn't even in the real military!
Link Posted: 3/14/2002 1:49:46 PM EDT
Originally Posted By lurker: can you say "involuntary servitude"?
View Quote
True. As much as I think everyone, and the nation, would benefit from the results of universal service, it's a terrible idea to compel people to take a government mandated job for a certain length of time.
Link Posted: 3/14/2002 1:56:16 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Dolomite: And who wouldn't want to drop everything in their lives and go get educated by the Government? This sounds like an old idea from our old friend Mao Tse-tung. This is asinine. The bills author probably can't figure out how to handle his kids so he wants to send them off and get yelled at by Uncle Hulka for a while. This jag-off wasn't even in the real military!
View Quote
I'll agree with you up to the "jag-off" comment - he was an officer in the USAF, that's plenty "real military" for me buddy (unless you're one of those Marine Corps zealots who can't see past your own globe and anchor, then there's no sense trying to argue with you). Yes, it probably would help our 2nd Amendment cognizance. Yes, it probably would be a boon to the "Gen Y" people, or whatever they're called, that will grow up in a time without mandatory conscription or parents who had served in a major war. But I never did like the draft, and that's essentially what this is. Civilians have no business learning "military tactics", nor should physical fitness and internation relation studies be beneficial for most people - these are things of personal affinity. If anything, save your $$$ and put a JROTC program in every high school. If anything, make it a mandatory elective for at least one semester/year of school - substituting a physical education or health and wellness course. All high school kids are subject to certain health and physical activity classes - why not combine them in the rigorous and more disciplined structure of the JROTC? I enjoyed my time there, I would recommend it for anybody.
Link Posted: 3/14/2002 2:05:04 PM EDT
Here's an exchange I had on another board on this subject:
[i]Posted by Dominus[/i] Re-instituting the draft would be a terrible mistake for the US. Conscripts make good cannon fodder, not good soldiers. If I'm ever in a heavy firefight, I don't want some dickhead kid next to me nursing conscript syndrome, wanting to run away and hide the moment they get a chance. I want someone who volunteered for service, someone who chose to be in that mess, by my side if/when I get wounded & need pickup. Forcing people to leave there jobs and lives to go risk there lives for the safety and security of a state that they don't give a rats ass about is idiotic to say the least. It won't instill any patriotic feelings or civic virtue; the poor saps will hate the government for it, and resent and rebel against any authority. Morale and discipline in the ranks will fall apart, because you won't have professional soldiers who all joined to be part of something bigger than themselves, and to sacrifice their lives/freedom for the greater good. What you'll have is an uncoordinated mob of individualistic, authority hating, resentful, uncooperative, Gen-X dickheads, who's main activities will be whining and bitching, weaseling out of duty, and getting drunk/stoned so they can escape the situation they are in. I'm currently 18, and I'm doing my utmost to prepare for military service, should the need arise. But I am acutely aware that I, someone who is seriously looking at a career in the military, am a tiny minority among people my age. I only know a handful of people who I think would be capable and willing soldiers. On the other hand, however, I know hundreds of people who are physically fit enough to go through basic, but should never, ever be placed near any kind of heavy weapon, and would never be able to function in a command structure. Try to lead any kind of high school organization, and you'll see just how true the cliche about teens with "Authority Problems" are. If you want to see what kind of a failure a conscript army can be, you needn't look any further than the Iraqi army in the Gulf War. After only 100 hours of ground war, literally tens of thousands of Iraqi conscripts either deserted and went home, or surrendered tearfully to American troops. I'm sure that the most common flag in that nation during the ground war wasn't that of the US or Iraq, but a plain white field. ------- I'm all for a larger US military, don't doubt that. But conscription is not the answer. Merely expand existing ad campaigns, and have more recruiters. Let the population know in no uncertain terms that now is the time to join up. Not after the next attack, or when the war expands beyond its current scope - Now. With the incredible resurgance of patriotism in the US today, you won't have a problem with the number of recruits you get. The only problem recruiters will face is how to weed out all the assholes who think wearing a uniform is cool & trendy, and don't pack the gear to actually serve.
View Quote
Link Posted: 3/14/2002 2:06:15 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/14/2002 2:08:55 PM EDT by Dominus]
[i]Posted by GoldenDragon[/i] The same thing was said about draftees in the 60's. When you are under fire you don't stop to think about how you wound up there. Some of the finest soldiers I served with in Vietnam were drafted. One of them was awarded the Medal of Honor. Perhaps generation X is different?
View Quote
[i]Posted by Dominus[/i] Certainly, some draftees can make good soldiers. If my post was taken as to say that draftees can't make good soldiers, then I was misunderstood. My point is that the [b]vast[/b] majority of conscripts [b]don't[/b] make good soldiers. For every draftee in Vietnam who recieved a Medal of Honor, how many deserted? How many were section 8? How many wound up in military prisons? How many were on drugs? How many were sent home due to self inflicted wounds? Hell, my grandfather used to make good money from people paying him to break their legs/arms in the Korean War, and I'm sure Vietnam was a worse war for that. Aside from the issues with the conscripts themselves, the institution of the draft would be an absolute political nightmare. Shit, you think it was bad in the 60s, just wait & see what the gov't would have to face now! Thousand of people march at the drop of a hat today for little fuzzy animals & WTO meetings. Millions would march at the thought of forcing their sons, brothers, grandsons, friends, husbands, boyfriends, etc off to war. Hell, once Oprah says something against it, there'd be riots. GoldenDragon, there's a book that I think you should read. Starship Troopers by Robert A. Heinlein. Not only is it a very entertaining read, but it goes into the benefits of a volunteer service in depth, and spends a lot of time discussing the reasons behind why men volunteer to fight & risk their lives. It might give you some perspective as to why someone could oppose the draft, yet support the military.
View Quote
I apologise for the format of my reply, but I think that I stated my opinion very well in that exchange, and didn't feel the need to write another 5000 characters on the subject. FYI, the board was ArsTechnica.
Link Posted: 3/14/2002 2:07:41 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Jewbroni: I'll agree with you up to the "jag-off" comment - he was an officer in the USAF, that's plenty "real military" for me buddy (unless you're one of those Marine Corps zealots who can't see past your own globe and anchor, then there's no sense trying to argue with you).
View Quote
My friend, The Marines wouldn't take me. Because I have an IQ over 85, they sent me to the Navy. In my experience Zero's, pilots or otherwise, just get in the way of any actual work getting done.
If anything, save your $$$ and put a JROTC program in every high school. If anything, make it a mandatory elective for at least one semester/year of school - substituting a physical education or health and wellness course.
View Quote
In all honesty, I think that is one hell of a better idea.
Link Posted: 3/14/2002 2:12:48 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Dolomite: My friend, The Marines wouldn't take me. Because I have an IQ over 85, they sent me to the Navy.
View Quote
Aren't you the funny one? I'll put my GT, ASVAB or SAT score up against anyone on the board, enlisted or officer.
Link Posted: 3/15/2002 2:55:05 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Dolomite:
Originally Posted By Jewbroni: I'll agree with you up to the "jag-off" comment - he was an officer in the USAF, that's plenty "real military" for me buddy (unless you're one of those Marine Corps zealots who can't see past your own globe and anchor, then there's no sense trying to argue with you).
View Quote
My friend, The Marines wouldn't take me. Because I have an IQ over 85, they sent me to the Navy. In my experience Zero's, pilots or otherwise, just get in the way of any actual work getting done.
View Quote
Well, I'm in intelligence - and within the next 3 years, I'll most likely be an officer. I hope you're not saying I'm completely useless??
Originally Posted By Jarhead_22: Aren't you the funny one? I'll put my GT, ASVAB or SAT score up against anyone on the board, enlisted or officer.
View Quote
ASVAB - 99 SAT - 1400 Thus, the Chair Force [^]
Link Posted: 3/15/2002 2:58:43 PM EDT
Just another example of the government trying to take away our rights!!! If I don't want to do something like that, why the fuck should I have to!! FUCK THEM! I joined the Marine Corps after high school anyway, but I still think this is totally fucked up! Maybe if it was voluntary, but then, of course, very few would do it.
Link Posted: 3/15/2002 3:22:15 PM EDT
I still do not get it. What is the point of the training-indoctrination, indentured servitude, feel-good legislation, forced community service, preparation for a massive war effort, trying to substitute for what these kids should have been taught in home, church, school? You cannot force people to be patriotic. I joined the US Army right out of high school. I left after 4 years and am going to college, but will be graduating in December. I will be going back into the Army after I graduate. My last duty station was in the ROK (South Korea) and they conscript the young men there into the service. You still get an effective fighting force, but it is softer than a volunteer force of equal size. I just do not think that forced servitude/patriotism is something that America should be involved in. The draft, in the case of war, is the exception to the rule.
Link Posted: 3/15/2002 6:06:05 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Jewbroni: Well, I'm in intelligence - and within the next 3 years, I'll most likely be an officer. I hope you're not saying I'm completely useless???
View Quote
No you're not useless, I enjoy reading your posts. In three years though, I agree - THEN you'll be tits on a boar.
Top Top