Exciting times are ahead for our young French counterparts as the French government has just recently announced the re-introduction of national service for all 16-year-olds in the country. Initially mooted by President Macron, the final iteration of the plan that is dubbed “Universal National Service”, is a watered-down version of the National Service that we Singaporeans are more familiar with. The program would consist of two phases: a compulsory one-month attachment to a military or civil service unit and following after, a voluntary phase whereby participants are encouraged to serve “in an area linked to defence and security”. Previously, France practiced mandatory conscription, which was abolished in 1996 when President Macron was just 18. Ironically enough, the young president had wanted more military involvement in this new version of National Service, but was met with disappointment when concerns of overburdening the French Armed Forces were brought up.
Written by Adib Jamil