National Service (NS) is the system in which boys are conscripted into the army for military training. They have to be in the army for at least 2 years. Back then in the 1950s, the NS received bad response. The government decided to be firm in this important defence issue and made in compulsory in March 1967. Those who were found to be rebellious and against NS could be fined or imprisoned.
The boys in the NS had to endure the tough training behind the army doors. Waking up at 5am, doing strenuous activities, doing their household chores all by themselves were not easy tasks. These youths learnt to grind their teeth and do what their commanders instructed. After these two grueling years, the boys came out of the army triumphantly, claiming themselves to be ‘Manly’.
Now, should girls be ‘forced’ to go for National Service? I strongly believe that we should go for NS, maybe for less than 2 years so as to train themselves physically, psychologically and mentally.
Firstly, National Service should be made compulsory for girls to train them physically. Girls have often been thought to marry and have children. Since the ancient times, many girls stayed at home and were not supposed to be concerned about their ‘outside’ world. However, times are transforming and there are more sportswomen. If Tao Li and Yip Pin Xiu are so physically fit (and oh! So Muscular), cannot we? I mean, we do not need to do such rigorous activites but I feel that moderately-intense training is more suitable for us to be more muscular. In this way, our strong bodies can help to build more resistance and immunity against several diseases. We will not gall sick so often when we get stressed. Moreover, we will be able to concentrate better during work and lessons. Thus, National Service is beneficial for the girls as well.
Secondly, National Service should be made compulsory for girls to be trained psychologically. As a result of doing all these arduous training, the girls (and the boys!) will be inculcated a strong sense of endurance and perseverance. For instance, when the girls are faced with mounting stress and upcoming tasks, they will be able to take on then willingly and courageously, as well as to view these tasks as challenges. In this way, they will not give up easily or be demoralized when facing adversities or setbacks. Thus, NS is favorable in building up the girls’ determination.
Thirdly, NS should be made compulsory to train the girls mentally. By doing all these physically-challenging tasks, I am sure that these girls would learn how to be independent and self-reliant. They would also learn to be patriotic to Singapore and volunteer themselves readily when Singapore faces a war crisis. Girls should also join the National Service so that Singapore’s defence force would be strengthened. In the face of war, Singapore would most likely be more victorious in handling threats effectively and efficiently due to sufficient manpower. Therefore, girls should be conscripted in the military forces to be mentally-competent.
However, many parents complain that when the girls are serving NS, the duties of all the household chores fall on the parents’ shoulders. As there have been an increasing trend of working parents, it is understandable how burdensome it is for parents with only a child, especially if the child is a girl. Hence, the government should suggest half-day military training for a period of 1 year. In this way, the girls would be able to balance military life and home life. This skill can be honed to train the girls. By learning how to balance real-life situations, they would be able to handle life more easily, especially the usually-demanding work life.
In conclusion, NS should be compulsory for girls. However, in the light of their physical statute and duties of household tasks, their military training should not be too intense and last for about 1 year. Also, the government can make it an exception for those girls who need to help out with the family in managing household tasks. Hence, NS should be mandatory for girls.