selfishness attitude that is embedded in every teens. As a matter of fact, communityservice that organised by national service can be the best way to inculcate the racialintegration that should exist in every youth to build a unity community even thoughthere are people of different races and religions.Besides, exercise in group will enable the form of racial integration. Innational service, the teenagers will divide in group when they want to do activity likecultural night event. In this event, each group can plan for implementing culturalvalues and heritage to present in front of their friends. As we know, Malaysia is richwith various races such as Malays, Chinese, Indian, Sikh and many more. Theexercise that given by their instructor, national service members can apply their ownculture in terms of food, traditional clothes and others to share with another differentnation. For example, many non-Malay women wear traditional Malay
inthe cultural night event. Furthermore, Indian foods like
become a favourite of other communities. Indeed, what we can conclude here isexercise in group like held a cultural night event in national service programme cangenerate respect between each other as well as help to promote racial integration inour country.Finally, national service helps to promote racial integration by held an eventfor Independence Day. Each year on 31 August, the government will provideopportunities to teenagers who participate in national service to celebrate theanniversary of Malaysia’s Independence Day with festive events. They are flying theflag of Malaysia also known as
, marching activities, joiningtraditional dance performances and many more. Hence, by joining these activities,
Those first five weeks involve spartan living, extreme cleanliness of accommodation, equipment and individuals. Figuring out the need for mutual support is left to the recruits, but they learn fast. The reward is sleep – precious oblivion between the frenzy. Sandhurst reckon that they squeeze 11 days of extra consciousness out of the Officer Cadets in the first 35 days.
Muster at 05:30 expects that you arrive on parade having washed, shaved, dressed in immaculately ironed clothes and parade-shined boots, with the correct gear – and that you have made your bed, complete with ironed fold-downs and pillow cases. Those below the standard may find their beds and gear fired out of a window and represented that evening in a more acceptable state at a grid reference on Barossa common, the military training ground near Sandhurst. Breakfast follows, then duties, then physical training – with a run across the training area, through streams and bogs, before another shower – gear into the wash to be dried, ironed and ready for inspection for the next day – those chores to be completed in the short periods between normal training. The training in the first five weeks requires one to master military skills, first aid and theory, including military history. It takes a lot to stay awake, and falling asleep in a lecture is normally rewarded with another run for all 30 men and women of the platoon.
Muster at 05:30 expects that you arrive on parade having washed, shaved, dressed in immaculately ironed clothes and parade-shined boots
So how do you cope? Well, you can’t. That’s the point. Only by dividing the work between teams can it ever be done. A team does the wash, a team irons – and everybody keeps everybody awake in lectures. In the field, a team makes the tea and cooks the scoff while others put up the shelters. If anybody is unlucky enough to be summoned to Barossa in the evening with their bed and locker to be presented immaculately, then it takes a whole section of eight to get the bed, locker gear and victim there on time and acceptably dressed. A ratio of eight or 10 to assist one, normally, for a pass. Oh, and then there is the foot drill – hours of it, learning to move as a squad in pace and in time.
The point is that by minimising the extra runs and visits to the common you get to sleep. Those who get to sleep a little do so by helping each other. By week five the exhausted recruits can deliver themselves and gear to the right place at the right time, like clockwork. They are a team – and that is when the military starts to train them for real.
It is the bond formed in those five weeks that makes it all worthwhile. Friendships can last lifetimes. It really is like becoming part of a new family. For those youngsters from dysfunctional families or those from the more sheltered migrant communities, it would be a first real taste of British society at its best; for many, their first idea of a real family that cares for and values them.
In the Seventies and Eighties, most countries in Europe had National Service. Today only 11 countries around the world do. Some you would expect: Israel, Turkey, Greece and Taiwan. Other nations, such as Singapore and Malaysia, have it because they desire to forge a single identity from diverse ethnic groups. In Malaysia, the stated aims include: “enhance unity among the multi-racial communities in the country”; “instil a spirit of caring and volunteerism among society”; and “produce an active, intelligent and confident generation”. Military readiness is not paramount. In Nigeria, they have the National Youth Service Corps, which posts members to cities far from their city of origin. This, too, is designed to bring about unity and help young people mix other ethnic groups.
Interactive: Conscription world map
Does it work? Well, for some countries National Service is a badge of honour without which it is hard to get on. In Finland, for example, employers are reluctant to hire anyone who has no National Service record.
Is it the answer for our Army? No. Our professional Armed Forces don’t want or need National Service recruits. Indeed, there is a waiting list to join some regiments. Instead, I suggest we emulate those countries that have a civil scheme – compulsory service in the NHS, fire and rescue, or even as classroom assistants would make admirable alternatives to Army life for a year. But whatever they go on to do with their National Service, the key point is that all recruits do those first five weeks of basic training.
The shadow army of emerging citizens so forged would be a hugely positive thing. It would help break down the very real barriers that exist in some British communities and foster a valuable sense of countrywide togetherness. National Service merits a debate. What country would not benefit from better neighbours who value each other and have seen at first hand how serving others is of benefit to all, including themselves?
Col Tim Collins OBE is a former SAS officer and commanded the 1st Battalion, Royal Irish Regiment during the invasion of Iraq
What is Basic Training?
• Five weeks long
• Rigorous focus on cleanliness and timekeeping
• Muster at 05:30
• Physical training plus first aid and military theory
• Miscreants punished with a run - for the whole platoon
• Foot drill teaches recruits to move as a squad in pace and in time
• Recruits are forced to work as a team. Individual success is impossible
• It would be a terrible idea to bring back National Service, and here's why