DECEMBER 2023: Mandatory National Service

Topic: On balance, Mandatory National Service would be desirable.

Please use this research page to learn about the “Compulsory Service” topic. Many of the videos and articles listed below are a requirement of the class, yet please feel encouraged to use your own research skill to find other interesting sources of information to add to your topic knowledge. Thank you!


Mandatory national service (also called compulsory service) is a requirement that people serve in the military or complete other works of service. Modern propositions for compulsory service envision that young Americans could join the military or do civilian projects such as teaching in low-income areas, helping care for the elderly, or maintaining infrastructure, among other ideas. —Pro & Con: Mandatory National Service (Britannica, Nov 22, 2021).

Benefits of Mandatory National Service (PRO):

  • Mandatory service would foster unity and bring people from diverse backgrounds together.
  • Compulsory service would save the government money and provide benefits to all citizens.
  • Performing national service would help young people mature and serve as a bridge to adulthood.

Harms of Mandatory National Service (CON):

  • National service doesn’t need to be mandatory because the volunteer system is booming.
  • A mandatory service program would be manipulated by the rich and unfairly harm others.
  • Mandating national service violates the constitution and would infringe on the freedom to choose what to do with our lives.


Please watch all of the required videos (& take notes) before arriving to the first debate class meeting.
“WeTransfer” link for the videos & articles (expires November 2024): [Videos & Articles (WeTransfer) – soon!].

Required Research (Videos):

[Video] Service in the United States,
Khan Academy, September 1, 2020 [3 min].

[Video] Should [US] national service be mandatory?,
We Are the Mighty, May 30, 2018 [4 min].

[Video] Should we have mandatory military service?,
PBS News, July 30, 2018 [8 min].

Required Research (Articles):

[Article (or PDF)] …A national service program … heal a divided country?,
USA Today, April 17, 2019.

[Article (or PDF)] …America Needs a Mandatory Public Service Program, Foreign Policy, October 31, 2021.

[Article (or PDF)] The Case for Mandatory National Service,
New York Times, August 4, 2022.


Please consider watching/reading the following research areas in order to prepare for upcoming events.

Optional Research (Articles & Videos):

[Article] Mandatory National Service (Top 3 Pros and Cons),, Last Updated: July 8, 2021

[Video] Should National Service Be Mandatory, Bipartisan Policy Center, August 13, 2013 [4 min]

[Article] Pro and Con: Mandatory National Service, Encyclopedia Britannica, July 8, 2021

[Article] Advantages & Disadvantages of Conscription, Environmental Conscience, Last Accessed: October 2023

[Article/PDF] 10 Meaningful Pros and Cons of Mandatory Military Service, Connect Us, July 26, 2018

[Article] The U.S. Army Has a Recruitment Problem. Here’s How to Solve It, TIME Magazine, March 7, 2023

ADDITIONAL RESEARCH (Evidence & Outlines)

We provide students with some sample evidence and/or outlines to help them prepare for any upcoming events. This research can be copied word-for-word, or can be modified to fit the students needs. Copying these and other outlines is proper (it’s not cheating). I hope they are useful for you.

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