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to think Harry would have been ok without the Army and we don't need to reintroduce National Service

(25 Posts)
OrlandoWoolf Sun 17-May-15 18:09:07

Harry says that he doesn't know where he would have been without the Army and that we should reintroduce National Service.

I'm sure the Army did him well. He did well, got to fly helicopters and did well in Afghanistan.

I'm also sure he'd have been ok not being in the Army. Might have got a bit bored but he wouldn't have ended up homeless on the streets.

But why call for the reintroduction of National Service?Yes - there are some people who might benefit from it but I can think of many who wouldn't.

exLtEveDallasNoBollocks Sun 17-May-15 18:15:55

I completely disagree with Harry. The British Forces do NOT need conscripted men who are forced to be there. We are the best partly because we CHOOSE to be there. Our discipline record is envied the world over, the effort we put into training, into practice and into peace keeping duties and into learning and testing tactics and polices are why other countries cry out for our soldiers to help them. Conscripted men (and women? How would that work?) would not put the same effort in.

I couldn't disagree with him any stronger.

orangutanhihio Sun 17-May-15 18:17:14

I don't know much about national service but I like the sound of it - after more than a decade of free education, healthcare etc you give something back to the state.

I'm sure someone more knowledgeable will come along and change my mind though.

paxtecum Sun 17-May-15 18:20:23

It would probably only apply to those that don't go to Uni and no doubt strings would be pulled for middle class kids that don't want to do it.

CalleighDoodle Sun 17-May-15 18:21:56

I am all for national setvice having been a yeacher for 14 years (until by son turns 18 of course).

meglet Sun 17-May-15 18:24:46


zeezeek Sun 17-May-15 18:24:54

Not sure how being forced to join the Army would do anyone any good. Just another example of the Royal Family being out of touch with the rest of the population really.

Handsoff7 Sun 17-May-15 18:26:12

I don't think the army needs conscripts.

I also don't think we should be forcing youngsters to give up a year or two of their lives for a career they have no interest in.

I don't doubt Harry benefitted, but most wouldn't.

OrlandoWoolf Sun 17-May-15 18:26:14

I just wonder what Harry think would have happened to him. I can see how it helped him escape the limelight - as someone in his position would need.

But it's not for everyone. Some people do quite well getting a job.

OTheHugeManatee Sun 17-May-15 18:28:52

I think there are a lot of spoiled, lazy young people who would benefit greatly from learning how to get out of bed on time and take instruction. The Army is a great way of instilling that kind of basic discipline. I don't think making kids do a couple of years is such a bad idea, providing there is some kind of public service alternative for conscientious objectors.

pointythings Sun 17-May-15 18:29:50

I don't know much about national service but I like the sound of it - after more than a decade of free education, healthcare etc you give something back to the state.

Most people do, you know. They finish their education, start work and then give back - it's called paying taxes.

The people who want National Service back tend to have pretty negative views of young people, assuming that they need military discipline to be kept on the straight and narrow. It's bilge, the vast majority of young people are good and decent.

pointythings Sun 17-May-15 18:30:51

Annnnd... Someone makes my point for me. hmm

MinimumPayment Sun 17-May-15 18:33:27

I read an interesting book about National Service, love to be able to tell you what it was grin

Upshot was, it was great, for very poor children men, who sometimes got their first experience of a whole bed to themselves and regular meals, but on the whole it teaches peoplewhat they're already inclined to do better. So if they're good at being disciplined then they'll be great at the marching etc, if they're inclined to go looking for a fight, the Army can show them how to be a proper thug.

I don't think Harry needs a good meal.

DH is ex-army and he thinks it's a very bad thing, especially when National Service is talked of as a way of keeping unemployed youngsters off the streets. Why would the Army want them if no-one else does?

DeliciousIrony Sun 17-May-15 18:35:01

What a ridiculous thing for him to say. Him without the army wouldn't have looked much different to him with it, externally at least.
If it's done him good, then great. But ridiculous to think that your experience would be universal, especially given his place in society - both because being forced to do military duty would be at the detriment of many peoples' wellbeing, and because as a prince I can't imagine that Harry's experience of the army has been the same as the average Joe's.

BruthasTortoise Sun 17-May-15 18:38:24

I think if they're going to bring back national service then they're going to have to make it equitable so every man born after 1943 who hasn't already served would have to do a couple of years and every woman in the country who hasn't already served. Let's not discriminate against our young people - we could all benefit from giving up two years of our lives to give us all some discipline hmm.

As it is there are plenty of young men and women who manage to turn out just fine without the army having to instill morals and discipline in them so I don't think we need a return to National Service any time soon.

justicewomen Sun 17-May-15 18:45:58

This is not meant to be a goady comment- but why do so many ex-forces end up in prison? According to
1 in 10 of prisoners are exforces.

So, if we exposed more people to forces life might it be to the detriment to our society?

My suspicion is that some people join the Forces currently to escape personal problems and then find when they leave, they still have them plus difficulty readjusting to civilian life. So if greater number are required to join up, you might just increase the numbers with those problems.

DrankSangriaInThePark Sun 17-May-15 18:48:24

I did my thesis on compulsory military service and its sociological and psychological effects.
Harry is wrong. LtEve is right.
For many reasons.

DrankSangriaInThePark Sun 17-May-15 18:49:46

I did my thesis on compulsory military service and its sociological and psychological effects.
Harry is wrong. LtEve is right.
For many reasons.

FromSeaToShining Sun 17-May-15 18:54:01

Harry is an idiot. He doesn't know where he would have been without the army? Snort. He would have been precisely where he is now, among the most privileged people in the world. And if he genuinely believes his army experiences were on a par with those of the average soldier, he's even more deluded.

Reintroducing national service is a terrible idea.

Eigg Sun 17-May-15 18:56:18

I'm very pleased that the army was a positive experience for Prince Harry.

Why on earth he thinks his personal experience should impact the lives of everybody else's children is rather beyond me.

Trills Sun 17-May-15 19:07:41

Sounds like he could have done with some better teaching in school, really.

Army was good for him. Great. Maybe it was even "the best thing" for him.

Doesn't mean it'd be good for everyone, and definitely doesn't mean it woul dbe "the best thing" for everyone.

VelvetRose Sun 17-May-15 19:08:00

I can see how it would be a satisfying, eye opening experience for some young people but the thought of it being compulsory? No way! Some people are made for that sort of life and some aren't. I think it would be torturous for many.

DoraGora Sun 17-May-15 20:17:30

There is always the TA.

paddypants13 Sun 17-May-15 20:29:15

I know in Germany they had (not sure if they still do) national service but you could opt to do other work such as working with the elderly etc. I always thought that was a good alternative.
If they do bring back national service it should apply to men and women though.

ShadowFire Sun 17-May-15 20:32:01


It's great that Prince Harry found serving in the armed services to be a positive experience for him. I'm sure that many young men and women who choose to join the armed services find it to be a positive experience.

This does not mean that it would be a positive experience for all young people. Some young people may have their ambitions set on careers completely unrelated to the armed services, for instance, and feel that it's a waste of 2 years that they could spend studying or working in a field that they're actually interested in. Some young people will be completely unsuited to the armed services and find it to be a torturous experience.

It's somewhat lacking in imagination and empathy to think that something would be good for everyone just because he found it to be beneficial.

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