Most countries require that boys serve their country, for at least two years, following their graduation from secondary school. Prince William and Prince Harry of the UK are no exception to this mandatory rite of passage. It may seem harsh, to require these young men to experience two full years, of military training and providing their country with plenty of trained men, in case they were ever, actually needed, to defend their homeland. While training, as soldiers, these boys learn that they are, no longer, schoolboys. They become men, and by learning discipline, they learn to discipline themselves, which allows them to have a greater chance of graduating from a college and setting their feet on the right path, to a respectable, healthy life.
1. The 'discipline' in the military while necessary to make the military work does not automatically transfer well into the real world. In the military unless you are a high-ranking official who actually has to think about strategy and make decisions, then all you do is follow orders. It's important that they do follow orders in the military, but because that's all they are really being disciplined for is so that emotions will not be in the way of them obeying orders it doesn't help once you are in the real world. Yes in the real world of employment you have to obey orders to a great extent, but at least in the good jobs there is some creativity required. If you have spent years just following orders you may be unprepared for creative thinking and problem-solving and stuck at the bottom of the totem poll, or worse. You may even get an order like "write a report on X" perform it like an automaton and then even though you obeyed the order you are the first to get laid off because they are unimpressed with your writing style. It is a fact that veterans of wars deal with unemployment rates higher than the average population. It is a challenge to shift focus and deal with a normal life after having fought in a war.
If you are a strong person and if you already have ample self-discipline so you can meet the challenge of obeying your superior officer's orders while still honing and practicing more creative problem-solving skills, preferably towards a degree then you may be a great asset for the military while still setting yourself up for a good life after the military. But that doesn't describe everyone, particularly at a young age, and forcing everyone into the military isn't necessarily going to make people become that.
2. The military's morale suffers if too many people fighting don't actually want to be there. Conscripts will put their own survival first if they can get away with it (or even if they face a possible court martial). Conscription can also present more risk of a human rights atrocity since conscripts may be angrier soldiers. Furthermore more soldiers may misbehave in hopes of being discharged and this would negatively impact discipline throughout the military.
3. More and more technology makes up military strength, so it is better for the military to have skilled soldiers rather than unskilled soldiers. Volunteer soldiers will be more motivated.
4. When there is conscription the government has less need to get people to want to join the military. It can freely cheat soldiers out of pay and benefits that they deserve.
No, it is not. While the GI Bill and other education incentives exist for eligible veterans, compulsory service does not denote that these will be taken advantage of. The risks of serving in the military greatly outweigh the potential benefits of education. Especially during a conflict, the psychological effects of war are still far-reaching and misunderstood. These effects will also impact the veteran's educational ability, as PTSD and other potential risks may prevent the veteran from seeking further education altogether.