Should National Service be reintroduced in the UK?

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The last person was called up for National Service in the UK in 1960.

Ever since then, there have been calls periodically to reinstate it for many reasons, but primarily to give youngsters aged between 18-20 some discipline and also to provide exercise and a different way of life.

Many people who had to go into National Service now look back on this time nostalgically but tend to forget living in huts with just a simple coal burner in the winter or the discipline and hard exercise.

As he prepares to leave his military career next month, Prince Harry has called to bring back National Service after revealing how his experience helped him.

What do you think? Do you think national service should be introduced back into the UK? Would it help teenagers with find a trade, encourage discipline and comradeship with others or does it belong in bygone eras of the 1940s and 50s?

 

Should National Service be reintroduced in the UK?

1114 people have already voted, what's your opinion? Yes No

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GrannyJack
19th Jun 2015
1
Thanks for voting!
I'm sure it would be against their "human rights" but we could do with a few good young men instead of feral ones
stokie18
9th Jun 2015
0
Thanks for voting!
after watching midlands news where they reported a upsurge in children hitting and beating parents shows that we need to bring respect back into the country and by bringing back national service this would help bring respect into peoples lives
2348cotte
7th Jun 2015
1
Thanks for voting!
There seems to be a lot of comment from individuals who obviously have'nt served and therefore their comments are purely hypothetical claptrap and dont carry any weight whatsoever for me.Coming from a family born before the last war we had 10 boys and 5 girls.8 served in the forces and there is a distinct difference between us which we all agree is down to our military service the 7 younger ones who did'nt serve dont have the foresight,drive or determination has those that did and it is an obvious trait.As an ex regular soldier i am proud to have done my service and on demob went onto better things like being sel-enployed ,putting my boys through boarding school and being totally self reliant.Wilson should never have stopped NATIONAL SERVICE!!
SHOEFLY
14th Jun 2015
0
Thanks for voting!
How many would leave britain rather defend it?
Samwise
4th Jun 2015
1
Thanks for voting!
The youth of today seriously need to be taught some disciple and respect........ National service would do them no harm at all, and would probably go a long way to giving many of the less well educated the skills to make their way through life without resorting to a life on benefits.
SovereignInventory
31st May 2015
1
Thanks for voting!
If managed correctly and not military biased it could instill a lot of discipline and work ethic in some young people where it is sadly lacking. However, it would all have to be costed accordingly and we would have the humans rights and liberally minded complaining that people are made to do things they don't want to do. I don't believe any government would be capable of implementing it.
Philip PM
29th May 2015
1
Thanks for voting!
There could be a lot of merit in reintroducing it, provided it wasn't allowed to deteriorate to the level of 'if it moves, salute it, if it doesn't, whitewash it!'

I was too young to do it, but spent my teenage years in boarding school, so probably had a similar experience. The important thing to realise is that it isn't intended as some form of boot camp, simply to get the youth of the parish off the streets.

Providing life training and skills acquisition is an important part of the function, and it should apply to girls as well as boys.
fizzywiner
29th May 2015
1
Thanks for voting!
I can understand why it might be thought to give structure, discipline and comradeship to the young and disaffected. It certainly would.

However, let's not forget this is 'military' service. Under the influence of warmongers and at the whim of politicians. The age of military service is just when our young are also so open to influence and propaganda of peers or state.

Do we have trust in our politicians? Enough to trust the lives and the minds of our young? For me the answer is an emphatic and resounding 'no'.
Robert2706
29th May 2015
1
Thanks for voting!
I think on the whole it is a good idea although I missed having to do it myself. My elder brother did and it made him a better person and taught him a lot about discipline , respect and working in a team.

It should not be reintroduced as a government plot to back up the reduced military numbers.

It should also be carefully scrutinised to avoid bullying and radicalisation of any kind.
rosie49
29th May 2015
0
Thanks for voting!
Yes yes yes!!
Instill some discipline with the younger generation and also it will give them a chance to achieve when they might otherwise not have a chance.
it will also teach them respect toward others. How about rounding all these football hooligans up for a start@@@
Phyllis
29th May 2015
0
Thanks for voting!
Would knock many layabouts into shape
maggie3005
25th May 2015
2
Thanks for voting!
Yes I agree that National Service is a great idea but speaking as an army veteran I am concerned that the cut in forces numbers means that there won't be enough qualified personnel to train these young recruits. The unemployment figures would drop, the young people could leave with a trade and this country would be able to function with a better trained work force. M
Gustavious1932
24th May 2015
3
Thanks for voting!
National Service is needed now as never before and should apply in some form to youngsters of both sexes. the modern level of self discipline and respect with young people today is pitiful. all levels of Society would benefit from National Service as did our Society of the 50's and 60's - The current levels of youth unemployment would reduce dramatically as would many other low values including crime. L
shunter
23rd May 2015
2
Thanks for voting!
Damn Good Idea ! I Remember Lads that were put in the various services to do their National service: On entry they could barely read & write, When they re-entered "Civvy" street Two years later they Were armed with a trade , And there were those who decided to make the services their career & remained in.
Thing is though they probably entered as scruffy rebellious teenagers but the majority came out as smart respectful young People,
Soozie63
22nd May 2015
3
Thanks for voting!
It does not necessarily have to be National Service exactly as before but I believe this would be good for young people who have had no discipline in their lives and can learn a useful skill for the job market rather than languishing on the dole etc. it could also boost their self esteem.
Milrighall
22nd May 2015
2
Thanks for voting!
I belong to the generation who knows/knew people who did National Service. I have always been struck by how many of them said it was one of the best times of their life.
I also meet a lot of teenagers from disadvantaged or difficult home backgrounds who have no idea what they want to do and are drifting with little or no home support. What they lack is stucture and motivation in their lives. The discipline and boundaries of service life 'could' give them what they need at a vulnerable and vital time.
JOESKY9
20th May 2015
4
Thanks for voting!
National Service belongs in history and I hope we never ever have to rely upon the system. We have a professional army, albeit small but nevertheless it is fit for purpose. If we removed all the strange bits such as boy and cadet service, had joint service logistics like Canada and a quality National Guard instead of the out dated reservist/ta, things would improve.
scandiman
19th May 2015
4
Thanks for voting!
It just might instil in some young people a sense of responsibility and discipline. I know it does not apply to all of them, but it seems to me that so many of them are feckless and idle. Service to the country might make them grow up.
silverlady57
18th May 2015
3
Thanks for voting!
national services reintroduction would be a good suggestion for emptying all these young offender units..and prison cell holding muggers or anyone committing a similar crime.... them being put through strict disciplines....taking orders from senior military day in day out ....... to instill respect..self discipline....and obedience.... all which are lacking in todays society....the same stretch or even an extended one being subjected to this would definitely benefit SOME of todays society as they have no good values at all .... which is why they are where they are in the first place...what happens when they come out of a correctional facilitys....within a very short time...the reoffend....they may be locked up.... but they seem to have too much free time ....which is not good ....and they only mix further with the wrong crowd....instead of rewarding bad behaviour too where alcholics and drug users are concerned ..... extra money to further fund their habit....and the daily champagne run from the chemist [methadone]....get them all enlisted....It is well overdue that our streets and property ... are deemed as safe !!!!...and more importantly we are able to sleep without fear of being hurt or damage being done....the sooner military training is reintroduced....the sooner we will have a safer place to live....and there will be more self respecting and disciplined in the communities....
mick2e1hzm
18th May 2015
6
Thanks for voting!
They could use the American system, 5 years in jail or 2 years military training that way they get the discipline and a trade. How many came out at the end of there national service better than they went in, I think there are about 7 countries that have some form of military training
Grandma SS
18th May 2015
4
Thanks for voting!
I definitely think National Service would benefit teenagers nowadays. It would teach them discipline, how to manage their tempers, they would also learn a trade. However, I do not think those on National Service should be sent to a war zone! They have neither the age or experience to cope with this kind of deployment!
Westminster
18th May 2015
4
Thanks for voting!
All National Service did was teach young men how to skive and dodge the column, and on ocassions to paint coal white!
It was a waste of time and money, and a source of low pay for the conscipts who only received £2 or so weekly plus board.
If it was re-introduced now, girls would have to be conscripted as well as boys, imagine the protests.
In my time, many young men changed their names to avoid the call-up, and some even pretended to be homosexual, as homosexuals were not allowed in the Forces then.
Re-introducing National Service would be a recipe for so much social chaos, and I don't think the Muslim community would support the notion either.
judyap
18th May 2015
2
Thanks for voting!
It would be very easy to suggest National service for all young men, to teach them how to behave and keep them off the streets but there are many problems here. We have a very small army nowadays and who would be available to teach the recruits? Even young men who want to join the army are turned away. Then, who would pay for all this, the taxpayer? Im afraid National service is in the past. And I quote,"the past is another country, they do things differently there" or something similar!
Tigermoth
18th May 2015
3
Thanks for voting!
I agree, but not in the Armed Forces, they do not have the capacity to deal with this number of people, not the jobs for them to do. However, an extension of the National Citizen Service scheme to all young people not otherwise engaged in education or apprenticeships etc. would be very desirable. It should engender a 'fellowship of adversity' by using a similar form of initial training that the armed forces use.
Think that re-introduction of National Service would be of vast benefit to the country in all sorts of ways but this should be accompanied by a decent wage instead of what they used to get. My husband was a regular in the Royal Navy and he didn't feel it was fair that N.S. boys were expected to work just as hard for around a quarter of the wages.
Issy
18th May 2015
2
Thanks for voting!
I think it would be good for teaching the young ones discipline and respect for others, also it would let them see a bit of life elsewhere and just maybe appreciate what they do have here instead of taking everything for granted my husband did his service in Cyprus and made many friends while learning about responsibility to work and bring up a family to be proud of there was no loitering about the streets up to no good in these days
Bazeley
18th May 2015
1
Thanks for voting!
I think as an idea its a good one - the lessons learnt are no doubt invaluable for all the reasons everyone has said but it is totally impractical. We are seeing cutbacks within our Armed Forces at the moment and the infrastructure for supporting such a programme simply doesn't exist. Perhaps a better way of engendering some sense of responsibility and purpose would be to make some kind of support/work in the community mandatory.
Baxi
18th May 2015
4
Thanks for voting!
I think it's a good idea because it will give young people a chance to experience a structured work environment and possibly to travel. It could help them decide what they want to do for a career so instead of doing some random degree (like David Beckham studies) they they might learn a trade or study something they will use in their careers. So many young people don't know what they want to do with their lives at 18 this will give them some experience.
NevilleS
18th May 2015
1
Thanks for voting!
Yes it should. I had to do National Service in 1952 and wanted to go into the R.A.F. so to make sure I volunteered for three year's service. One of the best things I ever did and of course had I know then, what I know things would have been vastly different!
maggie10
18th May 2015
3
Thanks for voting!
I believe at least 1-2 years of National Service would be of great benefit to our youth. It would teach them discipline that's sorely lacking today, give the a sense of purpose and self worth and hopefully teach them a trade. I have just returned from Cuba who although poor have an excellent education system and from college they then complete a year of National Service before going into university or a job.
rudgy
18th May 2015
2
Thanks for voting!
We can't afford the services we have in this country .They have made service personnel redundant .
This to me would be just to get the youth of the unemployment register .Just give them decent jobs .they would do a couple of years and be thrown on the scrap heap again .
Jo Kingham
18th May 2015
2
Thanks for voting!
This would do the youth of today a lot of good - 2 years for all would be my suggestion. My father was a paratrooper and much of the training, discipline and values taught have stuck with him for life. It could also help some of our younger people who struggle academically and find it difficult to get jobs.
Munsterlander
18th May 2015
2
Thanks for voting!
I did 2 years natiuonal service in HM Army and while it was a hard time I got a lot out of it and have friends for life. I think we should get it back. Many kids would really enjoy the outdoor life and find fresh challenges. We should pay them a wage and make sure everyone did it even if they want to go to university
Wilf
18th May 2015
3
Thanks for voting!
National Service should be reintroduced for 18 months. It would give young men a sense of discipline and adventure and would also ensure that many got a lot fitter. My dad was in the RAF just after WW2 and while he said it was tough he also said it was a great learning time for him and he got a lot out of it. I think a lot of youngsters could also learn a trade which would be helpful.
blackdog2
18th May 2015
4
Thanks for voting!
I did not want to do National Service in 1953, I was everything and anything against the system and against everything that didn't suit me, I grew up in the roughest of the roughest in the East End of London. Once in tried to rebel against the discipline and thought I knew best but I learned the hard way that I was not going to win. It was the finest thing ever, I learned so much that haven't got time or space here, it heloed to make me the better person I grew up to be and many many times I bitterly regretted coming out I loved it that much. Yes bring it back!
Wilf
19th May 2015
4
Thanks for voting!
Great blog Blackdog..yes agree bring it back & give the kids outdoor life and exercise

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