US Army Command and General Staff College Fort Leavenworth United States
As near-peer countries compete with the United States for world power, military and political leaders must determine how to maintain Americas strength and influence. The United States, while still externally engaged in conflicts overseas, continues to clash internally as well. This division stems from disconnected values amongst the citizens. At a time when the global playing field seems uncertain, the United States cannot afford to be anything but cohesive. This thesis examines the case study of Universal Military Training as a preparedness strategy prior to World War I and following World War II. It compares and contrasts each historical period and conscription legislation to discover which similarities and differences of world affairs led to this proposal, and conversely, the lack of its adoption. During both time periods, leaders within the United States and its Armed Forces suggested Universal Military Training as the solution to reinforce the national defense policy. Additionally, they recognized many other benefits of the training namely citizens imparting their civic duty to their country. The author considers this policy as a means to secure and unite the country by providing a common experience for all citizens to draw from. The research demonstrates parallels to todays threats and explores if National Service should be implemented to secure the United States future as a strong nation and world power.