“The art of war is of vital importance to the State. It is a matter of life and death, a road either to safety or ruin.”
The modern world accepts laziness, disrespect, rebelliousness, and mediocrity. The days of hard work and discipline are long gone; replaced by decaying morals and nonexistent parenting. If this nationwide contagion continues to develop, the result will be a country unable to sustain, govern, or defend itself. The solution is evident: military service. Mandatory military service in the United States for individuals 18 years of age for a period of two years would have numerous benefits, as well as alleviate many problems facing America.
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Currently 34.9% of American adults are obese. The CDC defines “obese” as a Body Mass Index (BMI) greater than or equal to 30 (“Adult Obesity Facts”). For comparison, a 5”10” male who weighs 150 pounds would have a BMI of 21.5. That same male would have to weigh 210 pounds in order to be considered obese. Obesity causes numerous health problems. In a study on obesity in America, National Geographic stated, “Being overweight is associated with 400,000 deaths a year and an increased risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and colon, breast, and endometrial cancers. Most poignant is the psychological pain of those stigmatized by obesity. In one study at Michigan State University, undergraduates said they would be more inclined to marry an embezzler or cocaine user than an obese person.” 1 Obesity is also incredibly expensive. In 2008 alone the U.S. spent $147 billion on medical costs related to obesity (“Adult Obesity Facts”). “If every American were to lose an average of 10 pounds, the United States would save roughly $29 billion a year within five years.” says US News. 2
Clearly the U.S. has a growing problem with obesity and poor morals. So how can military service help fix these problems?
From the moment Marines Corps recruits step onto the pavement of Parris Island they are being tested physically, mentally, and emotionally. Recruits are constantly inspected by Drill Instructors searching for the smallest of reasons to yell and make the recruit do pushups. This is called “quarter decking”. Even smiling or laughing in the presence of a DI will result in an embarrassing, loud earful followed by pushups. Punishments like these teach discipline. Recruits are also taught respect. Months of, “Yes Drill Sergeant, no Drill Sergeant”, and quarter decking for slip-ups results in total respect for superiors. Daily the newcomers are given challenges that require them to make decisions that could affect the lives of their fellow soldiers. These challenges also test the recruits physically. The trainees who arrive overweight are placed in the Physical Conditioning Platoon until they can do 3 pull-ups, 40 sit-ups in 2 minutes, and run 3 miles in 28:00. Most graduates say it is the hardest thing they have ever had to do. The goal of boot camp is to completely break down the recruit and slowly build him back up to the status of U.S. Marine. By the end of boot camp these new Marines are changed beings; they no longer struggle with discipline or...