While I don't think the United States should require everyone to actually serve in the U.S. military or perform civil service, I do think it's important to maintain a draft and that all males should be required to sign up for it at age 18. It's doubtful that this will ever be needed again, but it became customary in 1940, and has been a tradition since, just to make sure that the U.S. has enough forces if needed.
Recently I changed my view, and I am now for some sort of civil service. Reason being people today do not know what war is, not that they should go into it, but they neither know nor care about basics of the military. How can a people be expected to know how to use their military if they have no idea what it takes to be in one.
Is not a good idea for any nation to have a cadre, a...Military class that is continuously asked to do more and more without paying more in return. The overwhelming amount of the military is christian, and yet policies are now in place to make you feel ackward about it. More regarding in the military believe society should learn from them, with good reason, yet society wants the military to be more like it.
Lastly, how can leaders be expected to lead when they have no clue if the advise their advisors are giving them is good or bad. I can have 10 medical advisors but if I have no knowledge of basic medicine how do I know what they are telling me is good or bad?
The social contract originally part of the republic is to pay taxes, and pool resources for the enabling of free trade and its protection. But who leads the forces meant to be protecting? Who shares the burden? Not a good idea for any nation to demand sacrifice from so very few, and meanwhile electing officials who cut their benefits slash their salaries.
At one point those soldiers giving up so much will ask themselves who is more dangerous, the ones shooting at them, or the ones stabbing them in the back. Only way to mitigate this is through civil service.
While a required military service is too far in my opinion, the idea of a required civil service sounds very tempting. It would be a good way to ingrain the importance of work and culture in our society, and would allow for the government to use these work opportunities to advance their workers.
Heinlein said it best: "T. A. N. S. T. A. A. F. L": There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch. Obtaining all of the benefits of a society without significant costs degrades the value of the attachment to that society, And that will eventually erode the society itself. Offer two year terms to those who volunteer for the military, Three years for everyone else, But include in those three year terms meaningful training. The two year terms get four years free education; the three years get two years free (which would cover most trade school programs). And, Everyone serves, No matter who or what your are. Disabilities must be accommodated, As must self-inflicted injury.
The United States shouldn't require a draft or civil service unless there is a nationwide emergency. Until that point, the volunteer army is plenty because the Department of Defense pays soldiers plenty of money. Furthermore, there is a tradition of service among families and generations whereby people willingly defend our freedom.
It goes against the values of liberty for the United States to require its citizens to undergo some sort of civil or military service to be considered citizens. The only thing citizens of this country need to be doing is to pay their taxes so the government can provide back for them.
I think the idea of a National Draft is a bad idea. America is the country of freedom and forcing people to join an armed service they may not agree with, goes against that basic principle. Service in the armed forces is a big deal and forcing someone who doesn't want to be part of it, has the potential to harm our nations security. The purpose of the armed service is to protect the people and having an unwilling participant in that is a dangerous thing.