Singaporeans are well-aware about three things: great deals, great food and—like it or hate it— the mandatory national service (NS).
While some of you may feel like NS stole two years of your life, it is actually a pivotal period for any Singaporean man (and woman).
From forming strong bonds during BMT to gaining practical life experiences, NS is and will always be a rite of passage for us.
If you’re feeling life is unfair, did you know that South Korean’s military service is 21 months for Army/Marines, 23 months for Navy, and 24 months for Air Force?
Yeah, and in Israel, it is compulsory for women to enlist as well.
In fact, here are 10 other countries that require males to serve NS.
1) South Korea
Unlike Singapore’s BMT, South Korea’s BMT is standardised regardless of your weight—5 weeks.
In South Korea, holders of masters degrees in engineering can choose to serve their military service in a research facility.
Other methods of “keng-ing” out of the military service include young men starving themselves in order to fail the medical examination, spotting large tattoos to indicate their unsuitability due to organised crime membership, or using extended overseas studies as excuses.
In 2013, Norway pushed through a bill that made conscription in the army (or NS) compulsory for females.
They pushed through the bill in a bid for gender equality as joining the armed forces was a huge achievement in Norway.
Things are a bit different in Norway. The male and female recruits room together in a unisex bunk where they sleep, rest and bond together.
Israel citizens over the age of 18 are conscripted; 2 years and eight months for men and two years for women.
But women were restricted from combat duties up till 1994 when Alice Miller sued the Israeli Defence army for not allowing her to fly a plane.
Now, women can engage in all combat positions.
Gal Gadot of Wonder Woman fame also served as an enlisted soldier in the Israel Defense Forces.
Conscription in Turkey is slightly different; the duration of the basic military depends on your education level.
For those who don’t possess a 4-year university degree, they will serve 12 months as privates and for those who possess a 4-year university degree or higher, they will serve 10 months as reserve officers or six months as short-term privates.
And for those who have worked outside Turkey for 3 consecutive years, they can be exempted if they pay a fee of sorts.
Brazil’s military service was made mandatory in 1906 for every boy who has turned 18 but most of them will get exempted due to the high population.
If a male citizen does not have the official document that states his exemption, he would not be able to qualify for a passport, enrol in universities or get employed by companies which depend on the government.
6) North Korea
If you thought 2 years of NS was long, then be prepared to be shook.
Men serve in the army for 10 years (an entire decade!) and women for 7 years, making it one of the world’s largest army, with 1.19 million full-time soldiers.
While Singaporeans might complain about cookhouse food, North Korean soldiers who are stationed outside of the capital are only given two to three potatoes!
7) United Arab Emirates (UAE)
UAE’s national service is quite young; it started its mandatory national service in September 2014.
Males between the age of 18 and 30 are liable for military service—those who have completed high school will serve 12 months while those who have not will serve two years.
Females can register too where they will serve for 9 months.
Taiwan has tried to abolish mandatory military service for quite some time but with low recruitment numbers, it has been pushed.
But they hope to abolish it by 2018.
Even when they have an all-volunteer force, males will still be conscripted but for only three to four months of military training.
Mexico has an interesting way of recruiting their soldiers.
While it is mandatory for all males who are 18 years old, their vocation is decided through a lottery system.
Those who draw a black will serve as a disponibility reservist which means he is not allowed to follow any activities or whatsoever for one year.
Those who get a white ball will serve in National Military Service Battalion which is made of one-year military service conscripts.
Pretty cool eh?
And women are allowed to volunteer as well.
Their military service is pretty short—a total of six months and those who do not wish to participate can join the civilian service where they would work in churches or in senior citizen’s homes for 9 months!
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This article was first published on goodyfeed.com
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