Michelle Rosenthal

social worker, Dr Susan Smith McKinney Nursing and Rehabilitation Center

This conversation is closed.

Should we raise the age that an individual may join the military to 21. Individuals under 21 are not legally adults. Is it child abuse?

Should we allow minors under the age of 21 to enroll into the military and participate in war? It seems like it is a form of child abuse and neglect. Lets demand the military refrain from recruiting new members in the High Schools across the country. Should we pass a law in the USA making the minimum age 21 to enlist or be drafted into the military?

Often innocent teens just seeking assistance in paying for college sign up for the military. Lets just give them other opportunities for financial aid and technical training.

They may have a glamorous idea in their head about fighting for our country however often many atrocities are committed in war to our soldiers and in truth by our soldiers.

Lets encourage our youth to seek other nonviolent career paths. Lets support peace not war. I hope all war children are freed from war including our own under 21.

How many youngster die needlessly in war and never get the opportunity to live their life. It is really unfair to put them into that situation.

We need to try much harder to develop other peaceful interventions to world problems and solve our disputes through courts not battle fields.

We really need to follow the international laws of war and not knowingly kill innocent civilians. Many of our soldiers suffer from post traumatic stress disorder, psychosis, wounds, disfigurement, biological and or chemical weapon exposures, amputations and death.

Should a proposal be entered into the UN calling for a worldwide resolution to ban soldiers under 21 from military service and give our kids a chance to live?

What do you think?

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    Nov 14 2011: Yes, Michelle! I think the age should be raised to 85! Anyone left on each side can mud wrestle for the outcome of the 'war'!!
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      Nov 14 2011: I agree but on second thought the minimum age should be raised to 185 that includes for robotic soldiers as well since any one alive or thing still operating by that age must really be invincible! If we did that we would have to find some other way to solve our problems like talking, court, open sourcing, sharing, mutually helping each other. I really do not see how we humans can be so smart in science and technology, explore the genome, the universe the atom but we can not figure out how to be nice to each other and help each other and stop killing each other and the environment.

      We really best open our eyes quickly to these problems before it is way too late. We have to restor as much as we can of the natural environment.
      We should give our kids (and adults) a job but not one military in nature. Lets allow them to try to make the world a better place to live.

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        Nov 15 2011: You go girl!
        Maybe there should be one exception to the age limit and that is regardless of age if you vote for war as a politician must to send others to war- they have to be on the front line carrying the flag or a drum or flute but no weapons and the lline has to be ahead- far ahead of their antiquinarian troops.!
  • Nov 19 2011: Alternate suggestions....The simplest way to remove war consists of 3 actions...1) Any leader who commits a crime against humanity immediately becomes hunted, 2) Require all congressmen to serve as infantry men (or women) on the front line of any war they vote for for a period of 6 months or the president and his cabinet if they engage in an undeclared war. 3) Make it illegal for men to be elected to office. Number 1 solves most of the reasons for wars in the first place. Number 2 would stop war except (hopefully) for invasion. Number 3 would probably negate war in total. Most women do not want to see their children die. Now ask the question......why not? (and yes I know I am being left of center so to speak).
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    Nov 15 2011: How can we get the age changed to at least 21. I am going to write to President Obama, all the senators and my congress men but I am sure that will not result in anything but me sending a lot of emails. Social change is very difficult. I hope people will bet behind this effort and give our Youth a break. It really is unfair to them. Michelle
  • Nov 14 2011: A valid point. Indoctrinating someone of nonage in war does seem to be a kind of 'abuse' of a minor.

    I would add, however, that not all countries recognise an "adult" as being 21 years old. Most consider those 18 and over as adults. I opine that neither age demarcation is correct and adulthood varies with gender, education, socio-economic status, era in question, et cœtera. Only a comprehensive and contemporary IQ and psychological test could come anywhere near close to determining if one can truly be considered an 'adult'.

    As such, I do think when it comes to military service that there needs to be far more stringent measures employed to ascertain a person's qualification for such a bellicose vocation.

    Having said that, it's pretty naive to think that the military do not want 'kids' enlisting--they're the easiest to brain wash for what's effectively gambling with your life for what's oftentimes the bent of suits in ivory towers. E.g., why do you think shallow, first-person shooter war titles saturate the video gaming despite violence in interactive entertainment being under constant scrutiny? (Hint: They're grooming tools to ply impressionable adolescents for military service. Think about it ^_- )

    This conversation puts Islamist child-martyrs and those that 'program' them into some perspective, doesn't it.... ~_~
  • Nov 14 2011: To follow up my earlier comment, do not get me wrong, I joined the military at 17 and chose to get out at 21. I will admit, they were not my most mature years. I am not arguing the validity of your overall question, just pointing out that basing your argument on the claim that individuals under 21 are not adults, is not a true statement.
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      Nov 14 2011: I agree people under 21 can be very mature and very responsible members of the society, excellent parents and even great scientists and professional. The point is that under our laws they are legally not considered adults. I am trying to protect them (and ultimately all humans) from the horrors of war. Since they are not considered adults they are children and the military is no place for children even if they have reached the "age of consent". What do you think? Should the law be changed to require the age of 21 to join the US military?
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        Nov 15 2011: It is still a fact that the human brain continues to grow well into a person's 20s (as late as 29 by some accounts) and it is growing in exactly the areas that should pertain to war. The prefrontal lobes are where we integrate information and emotions- values etc. Surely if someone is to be expected to die for a cause they should have lived fully first.
  • Nov 14 2011: Your question raises interesting thoughts, however you have one fallacy. 21 year old people are legally adults. The only thing they cannot do is drink alcohol. In many states, Wisconsin included, you can even be charged criminally as an adult and placed in an adult facility, whether it be jail or prison,, at age 17. The only law in the whole country that uses the 21 yr old age limit is alcohol. We could also argue how if children had more responsibility, they would act and think like adults earlier in life, but that is another discussion entirely.
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      Nov 16 2011: Thanks for responding Lewis, If you see what I said I asked if we should raise the age to 21 not to 22. I am aware 21year old is considered an adult in USA. Michelle