Compulsory Military Service?


Active member
What is the country that requires there citizens to atend the army after age 18 or something for a couple of years? I think it is Israel and its men and women for 4 years... I don't know... HELP!
Several nations have that, which is known as "compulsory service," the most well known of which is Switzerland, and I believe Israel does use this method too, but sherman105 would be the guy to ask.
Germany and the Netherlands also do it. So does China. North Korea does, too. You would be suprised at the number of countries in the world that have compulsory service. Very few countries have all-volunteer armies.
Do those countries have the same problem the US did with the draft in the mid-late 70s with drugs and fraggings ect.?
Most countries with compulsory service allow peple that don't want to serve in the Armed Forces an "out". For example, I know for a fact, in Germany, if someone doesn't want to be in the Bundeswher, they can do some sort of civil service.
It's the same here in Norway.

Men have to join the Military (10-12 months) when they are 18 (max 28), and you have to do do civil service (13 months) if you don't want to join.
But in the recent years, with a lot of budget cuts, the number of soldiers in the Norwegian Defence has been reduced a lot.
100% of the men are supposed to do military service, but in reality only 40-50% are used now.
We do also have a small number of professional soldiers.

Girls can also join the military, but they have to volunteer for that.

Israel has compulsery service. women do 1 year 9 months, men do 2 years 9 months. The reason is that with a population of 6 million and a constant state of war, Israel must use all personnal available. Reasons for "outs" are-religion(if it's against your religion, you dont have to), medical, Facifist(bastards) and natinal security. The people who dont do military service because of religion sometimes get other duties, like teaching and stuff...
Tervetuloa Acilius.. :D
(hope I have spelled it correct.. :? )

It's the only finnish word I know, exept for Kippis and Lapin Kulta... :cheers:
Redleg said:
Tervetuloa Acilius.. :D
(hope I have spelled it correct.. :? )

It's the only finnish word I know, exept for Kippis and Lapin Kulta... :cheers:

Yes, you got it right allright! ;) Your finnish seems a lot better than my norvegian. :lol:
Compulsory Service

Hey guys - I am ex-Navy. I've discussed the topic of Compulsory Service with friends for quite awhile and I finally decided to put up a website specifically to debate the issue.

I am in favor of CS, but not necessarily military. I believe ANY community service would be good for kids.

Anyway, pop your 2cents worth in if you're so inclined:

God Bless (...oops, am I allowed to say that??)

Add sweden, its either civil service (like electrision or firefighter)
Women get to chose all though thats about to change as their success in the military :)

Had a hottie joining when i was tested if i was fit for service, which i wasnt as i have a knee injury, its a shame but what can you do?
cryhavoc said:
You will see it here in the United States again soon. Once the stop holds are allowed to leave service they won't be able to make up that loss with volunteers. The only reason the services are meeting the recruiting goals is the stop hold policies.

I sincerely think you are wrong one this one. A free society should NEVER compel its citizens to serve! As Robert Heinlein once wrote ".... a free society that can't find enough volunteers to defend it probably does not have a right to exist...." (or words to that effect).

I am all for service to one's country or nation, but speaking as a soldier, I want the people with me to be convinced that serving the military is the right thing to do. FYI, the policy that cryhavoc refers to is Stop-Loss
Gunner13 said:
I sincerely think you are wrong one this one. A free society should NEVER compel its citizens to serve! As Robert Heinlein once wrote ".... a free society that can't find enough volunteers to defend it probably does not have a right to exist...." (or words to that effect).

I agree with you in that generally speaking it would be a bad idea for the US or UK for instance to reinstate the draft. People who are doing compulsory service have very low morale when shipped abroad.


I can't agree with you universally. For instance I am quite certain that there would be no lack of volunteers should Finland be attacked (According to polls over 80% think that we should defend ourselves with arms even if the outcome looked bleak.) Nevertheless we are in a very secure situation right now and people do not like to have so much trouble if they do not see it to be necessary. (If nobody is going to attack anyway, why serve?) Under such circumstances only perhaps half of the age cohort, if that, would do military service voluntarily during a time of deep peace.

While this would be more than enough say in UK if they had such will to defend their country, it will not do in Finland. Why, you ask.

Uk has a population about 59 million. In comparison Finland has a population of about 5 million, and it is geographically larger than the UK. If 40% of men in each UK birth cohort volunteered for service each year, they could train about 150000 men for reserves each year. If each man would volunteer for a year and then spend 5 years in reserves, then UK could have a volunteer army of 700000 to 850000 men (Not everyone would be available at all times.) that would have a mean age of 22 or so years. (Physically very fit) This is much more than the UK Armed forces (Including the TA) have now. So in UK 40% volunteer rate would indeed bring more men than necessary.

In Finland however 40% volunteer rate would however enable Finland to train mere 12000 men yearly. Now we need a field army of 350000 men (Minimum) to defend Finland. So even if we'd have the incredible 40% of each birth cohort volunteering for a year of service (which we actually just might get :shock: ) , we'd need the volunteers of 20 birth cohorts to fill the ranks of the minimal war time army! So in Finland it would be 1 year of active service folowed by 19 years of reserve servive. Does that sound tempting?

As things are now we need only 12 birth cohorts to fill the ranks. This reduces the time spent in the primary reserves to 11 years or so. This means that the mean age of the wartime force is lowered from 30 to 25. (Meaning a generally fitter field army)

In addition the "oldtimers" are also trained should they want to volunteer come an invasion. Very little time is needed to brush up the skills of once compulsorily trained reservists in comparison to training the other 40% that volunteer once the fight breaks out. We do not have the time or the resources to start training men after the fact. A potential overwhelming enemy is mere 200 miles from out capital!

These are only the practical reasons, why compulsory service is in some conditions very much needed. While I'd prefer that each man would want to voluntarily learn how to defend Finland already in peacetime, I don´t think that will ever happen. People are just generally too lazy. Nothing wrong with that per se, but it is too late to start training when incoming artillery hits your neigbours house. And we all know the fate of untrained volunteers on a modern battlefield. :(
Good points acilius.

I would say that much of the points does also apply to Norway.
We have almost the same amount of people and land mass as Finland.

Yes. People may not volenteer during peace , and then how will you have a ready, trained army for war. Israel has too many enemys. Even if we have an amazing volenteer raete, it still wont do.
Hmm good points all around..heres a couple of cents worth...

A draft, or conscription, to me is an emergency type management tool to provide manpower in case of a long, drawn out conflict, where numbers make the distinction critical. There is no garrantee that a draft will get good, qualified personnel that can be trained to perform under the militarys discipline and rules to order: A draft can acquire exceptional personnel its true, but can acquire other personnel that simply cant adapt to that way of life. A draft does not have a real purpose during peace time other than to keep man power availability artifically high during periods of non-conflict when they may or may not be needed. And because a major conflict is a all or nothing deal, you can expend everything in your bank account on it. As it has been said, "It take millions to win a war, but to lose one takes all you have."

A required national service commitment, such as the Israeli or the Dutch Army, is practical in that it allows a small population country a trained civic body of personell to be recalled in case of conflict. Once again, national service does not garrantee the quality or the depth of the commitment of the combatant. If you were to try that type of system in the U.S., you might find that the numbers of personell put into the system would rapidly drain the treasury down quick. Lots of people, lots of pay, materials, and housing would need to be expended to keep that type of system going.

In america, the ideal that the military reserve and national guard would provide a trained, committed combatant without the uneeded expense of maintaining a large standing military has always been reconised. And i feel that the combination of a small volunteer core of permanent military, with the addition of reserve and guard, works perfectly for the small conflicts we have been involved with since 1962. retrospect, I believe that

1. registration for a draft or national service is a needed to provide a contengency body of personnel should the need arise.

2. a national service system just isnt practical for the U.S. as the present system works just fine.