OBLIGATORY MILITARY SERVICE WILL BE A GREAT OPPORTUNITY FOR EMIRATI YOUNGSTERS.
By Liam Mooney (Founder of Fit For Business), written by George Callaghan.
The Emirati Government has announced that compulsory military service is being introduced for all Emirati young men. http://www.arabianbusiness.com/uae-announces-compulsory-military-service-for-males-535193.html . Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai announced the move last week. He did not indicate when this new scheme will start. The plan is for most youngsters to spend two years in the military but those with degrees will be required to serve for only nine months. Women will be allowed to join the military but it will be optional for women rather than mandatory as it is for men. It is interesting to note that Qatar has mooted a similar scheme.
This is excellent news and a masterstroke by the Sheikh. Serving in the Armed Forces will be a tremendous gain for Emirati youngsters. It will improve their physical fitness, it will give them greater mental toughness, it will instil them with values of teamwork, leadership, graft and it will give them even more national pride.
Mandatory military service will also be a huge positive factor for the UAE economy. It will help the Government’s programme and goal of Emiratisation. Those who have gained skills and self-confidence in the military will arguably make better private sector workers and give them more confidence to enter the sector. The people will be more rounded as individuals and the private sector will also be keener to hire them. Serving in the military gives people a unified sense of pride in their country and in themselves. Finally it will raise activity levels of youngsters and perhaps help combat lifestyle diseases which seem to be a massive issues in the GCC. Winston Churchill once said, “Continuous effort – not strength or intelligence – is the key to unlocking our potential.”
Many Western countries abolished compulsory military service in the past few decades, including my own, the UK. I think the world can take note from the move in the UAE. In many western countries there is a common perception of young people being overindulged and disengaged. In the UK there are certainly big issues with youth unemployment, crime and activity levels. There is now an underclass, not even a working class because these people do not work and claim benefits. It’s a huge drain on the UK economy.
Of course there are many factors that contribute to these problems. However a big issue facing our youngsters are strong and positive role models, people that can show them a new direction and hope. National Service in the UK would certainly provide the role model aspect for them as well as essential life skills. Serving in the forces gives youngsters skills for life which will be more attractive to employers. It also dins into them the importance of some basic things that some people forget. Passing exams is only half the battle in getting a good job. Being intelligent is no use if you do not turn up on time and have a slovenly appearance. Youngsters will be forced to press their clothes, to polish their boots, to get up before dawn and to do plenty of exercise. By going without creature comforts for a few months these men will learn the value of money and they will develop a greater appreciation of the luxuries they have at home. Compulsory military service is a means of enhancing the unity of the country. Young men from different backgrounds and from different regions of the country serve together in the same unit. Of course some countries are against the military but there are alternative civilian/community service roles that could be performed.
So great move by the UAE, David Cameron should take note.