The Instigator
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
Pro (for)
Winning
6 Points
The Contender
BlackVoid
Con (against)
Losing
4 Points

Serving in the military does more harm than good.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/30/2011 Category: Society
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 9,881 times Debate No: 17711
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (16)
Votes (3)

 

F-16_Fighting_Falcon

Pro

This debate is on whether serving in the military is more harmful than it is beneficial to the person serving. I will use the United States Armed forces as an example. I will be taking the Pro side and arguing that the people should not enlist in the military because they have more to lose than to gain. Note: this refers strictly to whether military service is useful to the individual, not the nation. This is because all countries require militaries to defend themselves and the benefits to the nation are for most purposes, not debatable. Con must argue that serving in the military is beneficial, not just argue that benefits and harms are equal. The limit is 6000 characters so that people can read it quickly. First round is for acceptance and any clarifications/definitions though you can also do these in the comments section. Second round for opening arguments. Third for rebuttals and cross examination. Fourth is for defending your original arguments against the rebuttals, answering cross examinations (if any) and conclusion. My argument is going to be along the lines of risks to life and limb, PTSD, delay of veteran's benefits and more.
BlackVoid

Con

I thank F-16 for creating an interesting topic that hasn't been done a lot. I know several people who've been in the military, and all of them feel very strongly that it was well worth it. I will attempt to provide empirical data which show that serving in the military benefits both the member and society in general.

Good luck to both of us.
Debate Round No. 1
F-16_Fighting_Falcon

Pro

I'd like to thank Blackvoid for accepting. I apologize for the late reply but I really wanted to make a good argument with a lot of research. This is going to be a very interesting debate. Here is why I feel that for the average individual, serving in the military is bad idea and does them more harm than good. I will argue 6 main points:

1) Risk of death or injury
(a) Risks
More than 50,000 people died in the war on terrorism [2]. Over 50,000 US soldiers died in the Korean War and over a 100,000 were wounded [3]. Over 50,000 died in the Vietnam war and over a 150,000 were wounded [4]. With such staggering numbers, the risk of injury or death is not negligible.

(b) After-effects of physical injuries
Now that we have seen that soldiers get injured in war, lets see what happens when they return with those injuries. Two of the major physical injuries suffered by personnel in current engagements are traumatic amputations and burns [5]. As of August 1, 2008, more than 1,200 service members had suffered amputations [5]. Because of these, military personnel may come back with missing arms or legs unable to enjoy the same quality of life that they otherwise could have.

2) Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
While physical injuries may leave former military personnel disabled and unable to live the life of an able-bodied person, the effects of psychological injuries could be just as bad. PTSD affects between 5 to 15 percent of servicemembers [1, page 54]. According to Mayo clinic "Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event" [6]. This is a huge blow to the quality of life of a former soldier.

3) Authoritaran chain of command
(a) Cannot choose the war
It starts with the president and the US government. They are the ones that decide whether to go to war. They also have a record of engaging in wars such as the Iraq war which have proved to be generally unpopular with the public. Engaging in unpopular wars increases the death toll and individual soldiers have no control over which wars they would like to fight. So, they will not be fighting for something that they believe in, but rather for something that the government believes in, even if the majority of the nation including the soldier, disagrees.

(b) Stifles creativity
Soldiers have a very authoritarian chain of command in which they must obey their superior officers at all times. While this may be beneficial during wartime, it crushes the individual soldiers creative spirit. They would not be able to function with the same amount of creativity and free thinking that they would if they had graduated from college and just moved on into the corporate world. While a certain respect for supervisors is necessary in the corporate world, it is far from the authoritarianism at the military where the individual is forced to let go of their individual identity and become a part of the group.

4) Sex Misconduct
Sexual Harassment of women is unacceptably high. According to an annual report by the department of defense [7], there were over 3000 cases of sexual assault in 2009 alone. 12.9% of women and indicated recieving unwanted sexual contact[8]. And here is the biggest issue: 56% of women and 12% of men indicated experiencing sexual harassment. So the military is not just a hostile environment for women but also for men.

5) Delay of veteran's benefits
Almost 30,000 war veterans from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars are still waiting for the Department of Veterans Affairs to distribute checks to pay for their tuition and living expenses [9]. Veteran's benefits are not something that can be counted on to arrive on time. The country is facing a budget crisis, and the government will always put the interest of the nation first. The individual soldier gets screwed over.

6) Discharge and military record
The military controls where the soldier is placed, and when and whether he can leave. If a servicemember is dishonorably discharged for some reason, there entire career will be damaged. Employment applications commonly ask if members in the military were discharged by any standard other than honorable. While the servicemember serves in the military, they also do not have a right to a trial in a civilian court. In fact, cowardice can be sentenced with death [10]. It is natural for people to feel afraid while in combat. Subjecting themselves to a situation where they can be killed for running away does not help them in any circumstance. Of course, it helps the nation by keeping the soldiers in line but I don't see the benefit to the servicemember.

Conclusion
It cannot be denied that every nation needs a powerful military service, if not to attack, then at least to defend themselves. However, from the arguments that I have given, from a purely selfish and individualistic point of view, the individual's potential risks outweigh any benefits. Given a choice, the average person should not join the military as he has much more to lose that to gain.

Sources
[1] http://www.rand.org...
[2] http://siadapp.dmdc.osd.mil...
[3] http://siadapp.dmdc.osd.mil...
[4] http://siadapp.dmdc.osd.mil...
[5] http://www.fas.org...
[6] http://www.mayoclinic.com...
[7] http://www.sapr.mil...
[8] http://www.sapr.mil...
[9] http://www.thedenverchannel.com...
[10] http://usmilitary.about.com...
BlackVoid

Con

Thanks to F-16 for his impressive opening argument. In this round, I'll show the primary advantages of enlistment and, due to round structure, show how they outweigh in the next.


C1: Economic benefits


A. Up-front money

The Congressional Budget Office offers the most direct statistic: In 2010, the median salary and cash compensation of military members equaled around $50,000 (1). This pay increases as the member moves up in the rankings. For instance, military officers make well over $100,000.

50,000 may not seem like that much. However, living in the barracks means you have no house payment or utility payments. This is usually true because most people who join are teens who are just getting out of high school, and as such don't own a house yet. The money saved from not needing a house is immense. Also, military pay is tax free, so the actual money made is extremely high.


B. Indirect money

The military offers significant if not entire coverage for medical care, child care, spousal care, retirement, and others (2). By assigning a monetary value to these benefits, these indirect payments literally DOUBLE the amount of money the soldier has access to:

"In earlier work on military pay, CBO estimated that the combination of noncash and deferred benefits is about equal to regular military compensation. In other words, the value of noncash and deferred benefits adds 100 percent to cash compensation."

So after direct pay and benefits, the average solder makes 100,000 dollars a year, without tax or house payment. My linked source explains that military members are actually paid more than government employees. This is a huge advantage of joining.


C. Specific advantages

The military will pay for some or most of your college tuition after you are discharged (3). This is an immense benefit considering that college costs run in the tens of thousands of dollars, and thats just for one year.

Under the health insurance plan TRICARE, all active military members will have any medical problems paid for (4), and other benefits can be pursued after discharge. You might think the risk of being injured in battle is what mandates this. However, this is merely a stereotype; the vast majority of soldiers don't go anywhere near hot zones.

The military offers three different retirement plans to servicemen once they're finished working. The most common plan is Final Pay, which gives retirees monthly pay equivalent to the amount they made while they were in service, times 2.5% for each year served (5).


C2: Employment

Veterans get jobs before other people. The USFG offers "Veteran's preference" to soldiers who are applying for federal employment (6). They will be looked at before everyone else. Government work gives several benefits in itself, especially in tax breaks, so this is another opportunity to increase quality of life.

In general, vets get hired over the average citizen. The University of Phoenix writes that servicemen can easily get into the business field over others because they have been trained to lead and make high-risk decisions (7). GiJobs has a comprehensive list of the top 2% of franchises that are considered "Military friendly". Several of these companies who hire them at a high frequency are At&T, T-Mobile, Lowes, Bank of America, U-Haul, Walmart, etc (8). This should show that companies in all types of business look to hire people with military service. This is obviously because employers know that servicemen have been trained in discipline and leadership, and as such will make efficient workers.



C3: Personal improvements


A. Physical health

Basic training brings the full physical experience. Weightlifting, push ups, endurance runs, and obstacle courses are regular occurrences throughout the military career. These exercises greatly improve strength, endurance, and physical health in general.

To make it through basic training, members are required to pass a fitness test. Needless to say that it requires extreme durability and strength. While the training in boot camp and the fitness test can be difficult, 90% of servicemen still make it through (9). So when joining the military, there's a 90% chance that you'll gain excellent physical conditioning.


B. Experience

Joining the military puts one on the fast-track to their dream job. After basic training, soldiers sign up for one of several hundred different jobs in anywhere from aviation, computer tech, mechanics, law enforcement, logistics, engineering, medical, and others (10). This benefit is particularly useful because you actually get years of practical experience in the field of work. When they actually get out in the real world, they can tell the job interviewer that they've done this work before, which means that military members are more likely to succeed in life and do so faster than the average citizen.


C4: Most people who join the military don't regret it

Vietnam veterans have been through hell. Yet according to the Chicago Tribute, 91% of them are glad they joined the military (11). While modern war scenarios may not be the ideal environment, they're probably still better than the horrors and massive-casualty battles of Vietnam. Therefore, its reasonable to suggest that modern members regret joining at an even lower rate.

While we may try and decide whether the pros of the military outweigh the harms, some part of this must be left to the person who is actually in that position. The fact that soldiers in the Vietnam War don't regret joining, despite the horrors of those battles, goes to show that the benefits did outweigh 91% of the time in their eyes.




I again thank my opponent and await his next round.






1. http://bitURL.net.... 5)
2. p. 7
3. http://bitURL.net...
4. http://bitURL.net...
5. http://bitURL.net...
6. http://bitURL.net...
7. http://bitURL.net...
8. http://bitURL.net...
9. http://bitURL.net...
10. http://www.military.net...
11. http://bitURL.ne...
Debate Round No. 2
F-16_Fighting_Falcon

Pro

I thank my opponent for his opening argument. I will use this round for rebuttals as agreed in the initial round.

C1: Economic benefits

A. Up-front money does not justify long hours

My opponent says that the median salary is around $50,000 and tax exempt. However, military members are considered to be on duty at all times [2, pg2]. A salary of $50,000 does not justify the long hours that military members work. According to my opponent's source, the $50,000 actually includes overtime pay [1]. By comparison, a typical civilian works 8hrs a day compared with a military member who works an unknown number of hours and is on duty 24hrs a day. Military members are also unable to resign, change jobs at will or negotiate pay [2].

While military members have their housing paid for, they live in barracks with a roommate or two. Their right to privacy is severely limited and it is difficult for them to spend time by themselves to relax or have sex with their partner (or themselves). In fact, having sex is frowned upon by the military [3] and may lead to pregnancies. Withholding the right to have sex for years can have a negative effect on the person's morale. Even if they do have sex, they cannot do so without anyone watching [3]. Therefore military housing is not worth it.

B. Indirect money

The ability to get health insurance is not specific to the military. Many civilian jobs also offer health insurance as well as retirement plans and pensions. My opponent's contention that military members are paid more than government employees is outweighed by my previous point that they work overtime and are on duty 24hrs a day.

C. Specific advantages

The three specific advantages offerred by my opponent are college tuition, health care and retirement plans. Retirement plans are also found in civilian jobs without the associated risks.

College tuition can be paid for through student loans, financial aid and scholarships none of which require an arm and a leg which the military literally might require. I also pointed out during my opening argument that Veterans benefits and college tuition may not always come on time and the individual is powerless to contest this against the might of the military.

Medical care in the military is not at all what it is cracked up to be. According to the Washington Post, Walter Reed, one of the Army's top medical facility is in a terrible condition with mouse droppings, belly-up cockroaches, stained carpets, cheap mattresses [5]. "Disengaged clerks, unqualified platoon sergeants and overworked case managers fumble with simple needs" and soldiers feared Army retribution if they complained publicly [5].

C2: Employment

As per my opponent's source "Veterans' preference does not guarantee veterans a job and it does not apply to internal agency actions such as promotions, transfers, reassignments and reinstatements." This means that the federal government can transfer the veteran to whatever department they wish. Also, if a servicemember had chosen to get relevant work experience in his chosen field, he would be preferred or at least be on the same level as a military member without work experience who was wasting his time serving in the military

While my opponents points employers who are military friendly, it must be kept in mind that serving in the military takes years which could be used to gain relevant work experience. For example, while some employers may prefer a military veteran who served 5 years in the military all other things being equal, a candidate who used their 5 yrs working in a relevant civilian job will not only be preferred but will get a higher pay due to their years of relevant experience.

C3: Personal improvements

A. Physical health

Physical health of the military cannot be denied but there are two points to consider: Firstly, the high risk of physical harm outweighs the benefit of physical conditioning. People returning with severe injuries will almost certainly not be in great physical health. Secondly, civilians too can be in good physical health if they work out. In this case, they would actually have more inner motivation to work out as there is no one yelling at them to do push ups and the drive needs to come from within.

B. Experience

My opponent says that members can get relevant experience in the military but here's the problem: They can't choose their jobs. Military assignments are extremely complex. Here is how they work.

First duty assignments: The deciding factor in assignments is where the military needs the member the most. If that's where the member wanted to work, it works out, if not, he is sent there anyways. Talk about getting screwed! Although future assigments give a little more leeway, there are riddled with restrictions. [5]

Careers: For a member to get a job of their choice, not only must they be qualified for it, there must also be an available vacancy which is entirely a luck of the draw [6]. Relevant work experience is not a reason to join the military. Choice is the main reason to avoid the military whether with jobs, assignments etc because, in the military, the military chooses, not the servicemember.


C4: Most people who join the military don't regret it

Veterans make up 25% of homeless people though they only form 11% of the general population [8]. While my opponent points out a survey that shows that most Vietnam veterans don't regret serving, here is an article from the Times which shows that the 6000 veterans took their lives in 2005 alone and the rate of suicide among veterans is twice the national average [7]. In fact, more American military veterans have been committing suicide than US soldiers have been dying in Iraq [7]. This shows that the physical and mental damage that comes from joining the military is not worth it at all.


Sources
[1] http://1.usa.gov...
[2] http://1.usa.gov...
[3] http://bit.ly...
[4] http://wapo.st...
[5] http://bit.ly...
[6] http://bit.ly...
[7] http://thetim.es...
[8] http://usat.ly...
BlackVoid

Con

Thanks to F-16 for continuing this very informative debate. I hope my opponent has learned just as much as I have form this round.

As per format, I will only refute my opponent's case in this round.


C1: Risk of injury


Despite stereotypes, the military is relatively risk-free. Pro claims that 50,000 people have died in the War on Terror. However, only 6,000 of these are military casualties (1).

Lets find an actual percent chance of death. Over 1,400,000 people are in the military. 6000 have died in a span of 9 years in the War on Terror, so that's an average of 667 deaths a year. That means you have a 0.05% chance of dying. This is negligible and should not carry significant weight in this round. Additionally, Pro claims that 1200 servicemen suffer amputations. This is 0.1%. There's a one in a thousand chance of this happening.

Also, most servicemen aren't anywhere near danger zones. Between Iraq and Afghanistan, we have about 150,000 troops in these areas, which is only a tenth of our military force. So chances are, you won't even be sent overseas, let alone shot or killed.


C2: PTSD

My opponent says that 5-15% of servicemen suffer PTSD. However, Psychology Today indicates that 8% of people in general will suffer from it(2). So the chances of getting PTSD are no greater in the military than they are in regular civilian life.

The military also offers counseling for soldiers who've seen some nasty stuff. For instance, soldiers returning from Iraq are required to meet with a psychologist to help them deal with what they've been through (3). So while some soldiers suffer psychological trauma, mandatory counseling helps several of them recover.

Also, my opponents source 5 indicates that the Army is accountable for 67% of PTSD cases that do occur. The alternative then would be to just join the Navy or Marines, which would make this risk even smaller.


C3A: Cannot choose the war

Remember that 90% of troops don't even go to war, so this is another exception. Then you take the 10% of people who ARE fighting, assume that 50% of them are against the war (though this number is probably much lower), and you have a 5% chance of this disadvantage actually applying.


SPB: Creativity

Every job has a strict chain of command, not just the military. All workers have to do what their boss or superior tells them, lest they be fired. For instance, if a patrol officer disobeys the county sheriff, he will be written up and punished accordingly. There is nothing wrong with this system. My opponent would have you think that having to obey a superior at all times is "stifling creativity". Whether or not you think this is true, it happens in every job, so its not a reason to reject the military.


C4: Sexual misconduct

According to Sexual Harassment Law Firms, "anywhere between 40-70% of women and 10-20% of men have experienced sexual harassment in the (average) workplace. (4)" By comparison, 56% and 12% in the military is fairly good. The stats show that you are actually safer from sexual harassment in the military than you are in regular civilian life.

Also, my opponent suggests that 3000 servicepeople are raped every year. However, out of the 1,400,000 people in the military, this is about 0.2% of the military population. So this is yet again, another minuscule exception.


C5: Delay of veteran benefits

I'd like to point out that his source is only for the delay of college tuition, not benefits in general, so the impact here is very limited.

His source on this is from 2009. However, the GI Bill that gives these veterans benefits has been reformed drastically since early 2011 (5). His criticism is of a bill that no longer exists.


C6: Dishonorable discharge

My opponent admits in the comments that the percent of people who are dishonorable discharged is "not too many", making this another exception. Keep in mind that in order to receive a dishonorable discharge, you either have to 1. Kill someone, 2. Rape someone, 3. Take hard drugs, or 4. Commit various types of robbery and fraud (6). As long as you don't plan on committing any felonies during the tenure in the military, there's not a problem here.

My opponent's source does indeed say that cowardice can be punished with death (lol?). I'm not sure if this is a typo or what, but I am pretty sure that this is never actually enforced.


Conclusion

I'll close by saying that five of my opponent's six arguments are extremely rare exceptions. For instance, he wants people to not join the military for the 0.05% chance of dying, the 0.02% chance of rape, and the 0.08% chance of being amputated. The other disadvantages, such as sexual harassment and PTSD, are just as likely to happen in regular civilian life. Dishonorable discharge only happen to servicemen who commit felonies, which is probably a small minority as well. The only consistent criticism is that some soldiers might get delayed college benefits. However, this program has been reformed drastically since the year of my opponent's evidence, so this doesn't apply either.

In comparison, the economic, employment, and health advantages of joining the military occur almost 100% of the time. All service crew are paid at least 50,000 with no house or utility payment, all members who don't commit crimes will get employment advantages, and everyone gets retirement and medical help, as well as physical conditioning.


I wish my opponent luck in his final round.


1. http://siadapp.dmdc.osd.mil...
2. http://www.psychologytoday.com...
3. http://abcnews.go.com...
4. http://www.sexualharassmentlawfirms.com...
5. http://military-education.military.com...
6. http://www.ehow.com...
Debate Round No. 3
F-16_Fighting_Falcon

Pro

I thank Con for his argument. Here I will provide my defence and conclude.

DEFENSE

C1: Risk of Injury
My opponent says that only 6,000 people have died in the war on terror in 9 years. I'd like to point out that the war of terror is one of many conflicts that the United States has fought in the past 9 years. When my opponent takes the entire US military force with members who served anywhere between 5 and 45 years and counts the number of people who died specifically in the War on Terror in the past 9 years, he will get the percentage of the US military that died in the War on Terror in the past 9 years, not the total percentage of deaths. It is very difficult to actually quantify the percentage as many people have served for different amounts of time and we would need to add up all the deaths that occurred in a specific number of years. And how many years could we choose? 5 years? 9 years? 45 years? It is impossible to come up with an accurate percentage. For this reason, my opponent's statistical analysis on deaths and amputations is skewed.

Regardless of my opponent's analysis, it is not just the injuries but the risk of injury that weighs down on military personnel as they go to war. This fear is not genrally seen in civilians as they go to work.

My opponent's claim that the military is "relatively risk-free" is a stretch at best. Enter at your own peril!

C2: PTSD

Psych Central says that while 7.8% of Americans have PTSD, at least 26% of Vietnam war vets have PTSD and and at least another 21% have partial PTSD putting the total at 47%. It is difficult to accurately determine the exact number of PTSD cases, hence the different numbers from different websites. However, there is no doubt that war veterans experience higher cases of PTSD than civilians as the same website that gives both civilians and veteran's PTSD shows veterans to be higher. [1]

My opponent mentions counseling available to military members but it also available to civilians.

C3: Authoritarian

(a) Cannot choose the war


My opponent had no answer to how the soldier might feel being sent off to a war that he doesn't believe in, to shoot and kill and maybe be shot and die for a cause that he disagrees with. My opponent provides the same statistical analysis which isn't really accurate because he includes the entire US armed forces. As I have shown in C1, it is difficult to determine a "chance" of going to war.

(b) Creativity

While Con claims that "Every job has a strict chain of command", it is common knowledge that military chain of command is entirely different from a civilian one. Drill Sargeants don't yell at new recruits in the corporate world. Creative ideas are far more welcome and appreciated in a civilain job compared to a military job. It definitely stifles creativity when the military member can do nothing but say "sir, yes sir" everytime he is given an order. While it is true that the boss has the final say, civilians often have a chance to discuss ideas to be implemented before a final decision is made. It is a good reason for independent individuals to stay away from the military to avoid falling into a pattern of unquestionable obedience.

C4: Sex misconduct

"According to Sexual Harassment Law Firms, 'anywhere between 40-70% of women and 10-20% of men have experienced sexual harassment in the (average) workplace.'"

Again, this is a stretch. My source is directly from the Department of Defense's annual report [3]. My opponent's source [2] takes you to a website which asks you to enter a zipcode to talk to a lawyer and at the bottom of the page says "Studies suggest anywhere between 40-70% of women and 10-20% of men have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace." There is no mention of what those studies are. A random unsourced quote from a law firm trying to get more people to call their lawyers is hardly as accurate as the Department of Defense's annual report. To conclude this point, Sexual Harassment is unacceptably high in the military but my opponent has provided no reliable proof that it is just as high in the civilian world.

C5: Delay of veteran benefits

The GI bill was revised but nowhere in my opponent's source does it say that the delay of veteran's benefits has been fixed. There were positives as well as negatives to the new bill.

C6: Discharge

I did mention in the comments section that there are other ways to get discharged. They are General discharge, Other than Honorable discharge and a Bad Conduct discharge all of which will hurt the member's career, none of which require the commission of a felony. The first two can be given for purely performance related reasons.

Con has no answer to my contention as to why would anyone want to join an organization where cowardice is punishable by death. My opponent is flabbergasted and wonders if my source made a typo! (lol) That is funny but not legitimate. Extend argument.

Conclusion

My opponent's entire argument seems to be that the chance of getting hurt are low but as I've already shown, analyzing statistics on the military is not as simple as my opponent claims it to be. He has never directly sourced any of those figures but rather did the math himself.

I'll close by saying that when a servicemember joins the military, the military owns him/her. They must obey their superiors like a robot to an extent unheard of in civilian life, endure sexual harrassment, fight and maybe die in wars they don't believe in, face the possiblity of an other than honorable discharge, come back with PTSD in a wheelchair with amputated arms and legs, have delayed or no veteran's benefits and a lifetime of unemployment and homelessness. Such is the fate that awaits those (the ones that aren't dead already) who buy into the glamour of the military and bravely set forth to "defend their homeland."

Sources
[1] http://psychcentral.com...
[2] http://bit.ly...
[3] http://www.sapr.mil...;[pg 3-4]
BlackVoid

Con

I thank F-16 for this fun and informative debate. I really want to talk about some of his round 4 points, but as per format, I'll only defend my case from his round 3 argument.


C1: Economic advantage

A: Up-front money


Pro's claims military crew work "long hours". Since he hasn't actually said how many hours this is, I have found the numbers for him. The Bureau of Labor indicates that servicemen often work standard (40 a week) hours (1). This only goes up if deployed on a long mission.


My opponent criticizes living in the barracks because they're crowded and offer little privacy. This is just false. According to Rod Powers, most soldiers get their own rooms (2). Additionally, "Many bases (in all the branches) are converting to more modern dormitories, which include two to four bedrooms with a shared living room and kitchen." Increasing in rank also allows soldiers to move off-base for free, which would solve my opponent's Sex disadvantage.

This shows that the barracks do maintain a stable quality of life. As before, this means soldiers don't pay a house or utility payment, which can easily amount to an extra $10,000 in saved money each year, plus the $50,000, tax-exempt base pay.


B. Indirect money

My opponent claims that you can get health insurance and retirement in regular jobs. This is contradicted by the fact that 44 million people have no health insurance and another 38 million have inadequate service (3). Also, only 31% of regular workers get offered a standard retirement pension (4). Contrast this to the military, who gives these benefits to the vast majority of its members and lasts well after they have retired from service.


C. Specific advantages

Pro says you can use a scholarship to get into college, rather than using the military benefit. Actually, you can use both. Use the military benefit to pay for college, then keep all the scholarship money for yourself, since aid comes in the form of direct cash or credit. Thats thousands more dollars in your pocket.

Medical care

Pro criticizes military medical care by listing one facility in bad condition. However, this evidence is outdated. The Walter Reed facility he refers to was closed months ago (5). Additionally, the flaws in this facility drew attention from the higher-ups, and in 2007 the Department of Veteran's Affairs ordered a review of over 1,400 military hospitals in an effort to maintain or improve overall quality (6). Medical care is quite improved since my opponent's 2007 link.


C2: Employment

My opponent writes two paragraphs here but they both use the same argument: Relevant work experience outweighs the veteran's preference when getting a job. This is responded to by my Experience argument under C3, which indicates that those in the military do get practical experience in the field of work, since the military offers training in just about any occupation. This gives them both years of work experience AND veteran's preference, which is basically an instant hire.


C3: Personal improvements

A. Physical health

This point is basically conceded; he's never disputed that virtually everyone in the military gains strong physical conditioning and health. He does say that the "high risk" of physical harm (0.1%) outweighs, but this is already responded to. He also says that the average civilian can work out as well to gain strong physique. But according to WebMD Health, over 61% of Americans are overweight (7). So non-military persons don't exercise as much as my opponent thinks.


B. Work experience

My opponent has conveniently left out his source's info on Preferences, where the jobs the member would like to have are taken into consideration.

As far as soldiers sometimes having to go to a job where they are needed, my opponent refutes this himself when he says that this is only for first duty assignments, and afterwards you have much more of a choice of which job you can go to. Pro says there are "restrictions" on this, but the only one his source talks about is difficulty getting a job in an overseas base. Getting a job you'd like here in the US is not that hard. Therefore, extend that soldiers will get work experience in the desired field, in addition to Veteran's Preference. This makes achieving one's dream job that much easier.


C4: Most people who join the military don't regret it

My opponent doesn't actually respond to this point and instead makes new arguments about high suicide and homelessness rates among Vietnam vets. But remember, the US had the draft during Vietnam. One reason the military offers so many benefits today is because its all-volunteer, and needs to give incentives to join. Back during Vietnam, they could just force people to sign up, meaning they didnt have to give good soldier pay, veteran's preference, or any significant benefits to encourage people to join. This contributes to the high rate of homelessness among them today. However, today's military gives so many advantages after discharge that this is a non-issue in current times.

Pro brings up that veterans commit suicide at twice the normal rate. Well according to his own source, the actual rate of death is 18.7 per 100,000. This is a 0.02% chance of suicide. The standard rate of suicide is 0.01%, so he's making a big deal over a difference of one hundredth.


Remember what this argument is actually about: 91% of Vietnam vets are glad they served in the military. He has dropped the argument that modern support is even higher because the current wars aren't near as horrifying as Vietnam. So we're probably looking at a 95-96% chance that if someone joins the military, they will be glad they did so. This shows that the people actually in the military feel that the benefits do outweigh the harms.




Once again, thanks to Pro for this intense and competitive round. Learned a ton on both sides.





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Debate Round No. 4
16 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by zAmerican 3 years ago
zAmerican
"The nation which forgets its defenders will be itself forgotten." Calvin Coolidge A truer statement never spoken. Freedom isn"t free. The military doesn"t receive the benefits they should; even if a terrorist kills soldiers (Ft Hood), our president calls it work place violence removing their benefits. 60 to 70% of Military qualify for benefits; 15% take them. We have become a society of takers; few willing to sacrifice anything for their country. You"re right; it starts with the president even if he states "the military should pay for their own war injuries, they new what they were getting into". Snoops says not so but here is the video. You do what you are ordered; you can"t choose if you want to fight, ITS YOUR JOB. Most who complain want the benefits; not the cost; just the entitlements. You stated, "According to an annual report by the department of defense, there were over 3000 cases of sexual assault in 2009 alone. 12.9% of women and indicated receiving unwanted sexual contact. And here is the biggest issue: 56% of women and 12% of men indicated experiencing sexual harassment" but you failed to mention less then 10% actually occurred. So 300 cases occurred, still bad enough but not close to the civilian rate of 27.5%. The delay in benefits is because of the red tape the politicians in hopes you will give up. Our president said he"d streamline it; once again an empty promise. We have politicians who openly show hate our military; read "Dereliction of Duty" by Lt. Col. Robert Patterson and you will see. Dishonorable discharge are seldom only occur with say sexual assault, rape, and a few others; enough said. Make no mistake; the military isn"t perfect; it"s a hard job with few understanding the sacrifice. We have the best most ethical military ever seen; fighting blindfolded with hands tide because of our politicians. If the draining of our military doesn"t stop soon, it will be forgotten then we will be forgotten.
American Patriot http://theamericapartyusa.b...
Posted by BlackVoid 5 years ago
BlackVoid
Lol, that was exhausting. But I've probably learned more from this debate than any other. Awesome round.
Posted by BlackVoid 5 years ago
BlackVoid
Nothing, I just think it looks nice.
Posted by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 5 years ago
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
hahaha, that would have been really funny! What does the picture on your avatar represent anyway?
Posted by BlackVoid 5 years ago
BlackVoid
Argh, just now thought of this. I should have changed my avatar to Uncle Sam when this began.
Posted by BlackVoid 5 years ago
BlackVoid
You add up the Hostile deaths with Non-Hostile deaths on the three military operations.
Posted by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 5 years ago
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
Where did you get the number that 6000 people died in military deaths? I can't see it in the source.
Posted by BlackVoid 5 years ago
BlackVoid
"I meant cx in the round, not the comments but that's okay"

Oh, my bad. I've seen it done both ways so I wasnt sure.

The tournament has its eight members. Me and two others are working out all the rules. I'm really looking forward to it as well.
Posted by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 5 years ago
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
I am really looking forward to the debate tournament too! How is that going?
Posted by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 5 years ago
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
I meant cx in the round, not the comments but that's okay. Since you asked in the comments, I will reply in the comments.
1) They are on duty at all times 24 hrs. The number of hours they actually work is unpredictable. By unknown, I meant unknown to the serviceman i.e. unpredictable.
2) I don't know. But I admit, probably not too many. But there are other discharges between honorable and dishonorable that could also be career damaging.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by larztheloser 5 years ago
larztheloser
F-16_Fighting_FalconBlackVoidTied
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Total points awarded:31 
Reasons for voting decision: This debate showed the peril of a too restrictive round structure that limited engagement. I wanted to see more responses on both sides. By the end I was convinced that the military makes you rich and depressed at being ordered about. The other points were all well-refuted in the little space the structure allowed. Pro showed, quite nicely, that depression is the bigger harm because it leads to suicide, implying that the wealth is worthless. Clear aff win.
Vote Placed by xxeightydxx 5 years ago
xxeightydxx
F-16_Fighting_FalconBlackVoidTied
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Reasons for voting decision: I felt BlackVoid did a better job at minimizing F-16's arguments while strengthening his own.
Vote Placed by imscrappy 5 years ago
imscrappy
F-16_Fighting_FalconBlackVoidTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: As a former military member, I think that serving is beneficial to an individual. However, Pro did make some valid points that were unable to completely be countered by Con.