HR 163: The Universal Draft

There’s a bill fermenting in Congress (which of course nobody is going to touch until after the national election) to require every American between 18 and 26 – male and female – to do two years of mandatory military or civilian service. No college deferments.

It seems too ludicrous to ever pass, but then again, the government has certainly done some ludicrous things. Not to mention the fact that you’re going to see a lot of people deciding not to re-enlist or join the guard/reserves after the events of the past couple of years. So you never know.

To see the bill, go to and type HR163.

I’m hoping this was just some representative’s lame attempt at doing his own version of “A Modest Proposal.”

Replying to myself…

It looks like the congressweiner who proposed this was trying to make a political statement:

But still… Be a bitch for you 26-and-unders if this thing makes it to the House floor.

There’s a feeling that young people in this country aren’t involved with the govenment. Switzerland has something like this, as does Israel (for obvious reasons, I hope no more Israel in this thread,) the hope is that people feel connected.

Rangel keeps doing this, despite the fact that US Army doesn’t need or want a whole pile of draftees. The armed forces are not mechanisms for social change, they’re there to win wars and keep us safe. The fact that sometimes social change comes about because of them is completely accidental.

Ve must haff a reliable source off cannon fodder for the fodderland! As the Oil Wars continue and intensify… (Well, back to work on the ol’ apocalyptic novel…)

Talk about the worst possible time to introduce a good idea.

Its a horrible idea.

Agreed, though I’ll be 27 in a little under 2 months, my wife is only 23

Switzerland has something like this, as does Israel (for obvious reasons, I hope no more Israel in this thread,) the hope is that people feel connected.

Practically every country in Europe had something like this until fairly recently. I’m sure there’s lots of countries elsewhere with a similar practice (I think Taiwan is one, not surprisingly). AFAIK the U.S. has never ever had a peacetime draft, which is fairly unique.

There’s nothing wrong with the idea of national service, as it’s known in Europe. A year or two in the army might just slap some discipline and respect into our whiny punk-ass youth and go some way to doing away with the entitlement culture that’s under the discussion in another thread.

I’d vote for it.

Yeah, our history is…unique. Letting rich people buy their way out of the civil war, for example.

Probably not in the army, as they neither want nor need millions of people who don’t want to be there. Probably a CCC or local Peace Corps. The Clinton administration founded something like this, but I can’t remember the name offhand.

It would be a really good idea if it fell between the high school and college years. If I’d had had the opportunity to hang out with a bunch of people my own age and screw around for a couple years first, I might not have wasted my college opportunities like I did. Now that college has become expected for all lower-middle class and above in America, it’s not taken very seriously at all by the students. Moving the college experience that much further past the last remnants of adolescence would help.

Yeah, our history is…unique. Letting rich people buy their way out of the civil war, for example.

That’s not unique.

Welcome to america, the land of freedom -Except those 2 years of indentured servitude…

hrm. i think it is an interesting idea, and not necessarily a bad one. until it was accepted, though, it would be hellish to administer and enforce. and i think it would take a looong time until it was accepted.

and like other people already pointed out, what the hell is the armed forces going to do with millions of generally immature short term recruits that don’t really have any interest in being there?

Actually, the reasons for it in Israel are not entirely obvious, and they do relate directly to why you might want to have it in the US.

Israel’s a very fractured society, with lots of little groups (Yemenits, Russians, Western Europeans, and on and on…) that don’t interact with each other very much on a regular basis. The army (in theory) provides a big melting pot, forcing folks to get to know each other at least a little bit, and to create at least one common bonding experience.

Does it work? To some extent it probably does.


Not just the armed forces – it says social service, too. So the government could make you care for the infirm or build highways.

Hey, it’s a great idea for punk kids. But it’d throw a hell of wrench into the plans of kids who have their act together and are planning to go to college after high school and launch their career path.

Plus it doesn’t take into account kids. What about about those 18 to 20 year olds who have children? (Yeah, I’m of a firm mind that nobody should be allowed to breed before 25, but it happens.)

While I won’t deny this as one reason for Israel’s required service, I think the most important reason would be the fact that Israel is surrounded by populous countries who would like nothing better than to see Israel destroyed (especially earlier in Israel’s history).

Damn punk kids. I’ll send you all to the ARMY, that’ll teach ya. <shakes cane>

Seriously, I hope everyone over 26 who supports this has already put in their 2 years.

It’s a stupid idea - heck I don’t even live in the US of A and I think it sucks.

Mr Whitta, going out on a limb here, but have you ever been in the army? If so, did you volunteer or were you drafted? (I don’t know how old you are), if you got drafted did you like the idea,… then again - if you got drafted why didn’t you volunteer?

Do you have kids that would fall into this age group? Would you be happy for them to be put into the army , possibly sent off to another country instead of going on with what they want to do with their lives and possibly killed?
There’s other ways to teach good discipline, one of them is good parenting and education. :roll: