conscription, the draft, etc. etc. - U2 Feedback

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Old 11-20-2006, 06:27 AM   #1
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conscription, the draft, etc. etc.

Well I'm going to begin my national service next January. Approaching it with a fair amount of trepidation.

Singapore doesn't allow conscientious objection so I'm pretty much tied down.

But since the Internet is such a diverse place, I'm interested in hearing the conscription experiences of some of the folks here, as well as some general views on conscription itself.

Personally I hate the idea of losing two years of my life just like that. But there are certain benefits - higher starting pay, for example, in employment; and national service itself draws a monthly pay plus other bonuses for passing physical testsand so on - and of course there's the whole 'the country has done this for you, time to pay it back' thing.

Also interested in knowing but if you're in a country that currently doesn't practice conscription and decided to introduce it would you fight it?
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Old 11-20-2006, 07:42 AM   #2
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Turkey also has mandatory military service, from 6 months (as a private) to 1 year (as an officer, if you have a college degree). Officers are paid and its basicly like a day-job, you come to work at 9, go home at 5. On the other hand, privates are not paid and live in the barracks, so being a private sucks.

I havent done my military service yet, because I am doing a master's, but eventually all Turkish men have to do it before they are 40. A lot of people do see it as a waste of time, however.

On the other hand, I am studying in Norway, which also has mandatory military service (before university). It can be a great social equalizer, and since Norwegians are big fans of anything that has 'equal' in it, they of course have it. However, they see the military as a place where they can learn a lot, and even see the world if they are in the navy. A friend of mine actually told me a few stories about their life in the NATO naval base in Izmir, west Turkey. However, they all agree that being in the Royal Guard sucks, standing around 6 hours a day for no reason. Except for the Spring posts, because then a lot of girls who are graduating seniors from high school tend to run to the palace and flash them. They don't complain about this so much.

One option we have in Turkey is that if you work abroad for 3 years or more, you can pay around 10,000 dollars and do one month in service. Sounds like a payoff, but there is some sense to it. This is one of the huge reasons of the brain drain Turkey is suffering from, btw.
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Old 11-20-2006, 07:58 AM   #3
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Yes the equalizer reaosn is often used as well here. Although knowing Singapore I highly doubt I will see too many breasts.

Anyway what is the conscription period in Turkey and in Norway? Here it is two years (down from 30 months which used to be the standard). And what are you personally planning to do?
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Old 11-20-2006, 08:03 AM   #4
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In Norway, it is 2 years. You start of as a private and are promoted throughout the two years. If you want, you can stay in the military and make a career.

In Turkey, it used to be 18 months, but now it is down to 1 year, for the officers. Privates serve 6 months.

I am personally planning to work abroad for a few years, then when I have the option of doing 1 month or 1 year, I will decide on what I want to do. If at that point I want to go on with my current career, I will opt in for the 1 month option, if I am looking for a career change or a new outlook in life, I will serve for 1 year.
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