Military Service in Germany

Essay by badballCollege, UndergraduateA, August 2005

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Every man in Germany has to join the military service for eighteen months or serve an

alternative social service. However, an examination is given to those men who intend to

render the alternative service that lasts 22 months. Less than thirty percent of all those

who take the exam pass the very demanding test. The conscientious objectors have to

prove that their moral beliefs don't allow them to use a weapon. Discouraged by the high

failing rate and the necessary, time-consuming preparation, a lot of young men don't

even try the test. The men who serve their military service have to cope with a totally

new world. The work conditions are physically very hard and the discipline is rigid. The

young soldiers also have to face an incisive change in their social life that sometimes

can lead to serious emotional problems. A lot of men are very unhappy in the period

of their military service because they have to master so many challenges in the army

and changes in their usual life.

Most of the men who serve the compulsory military service have just finished school or

an education. Some of them didn't have physical exercise for years. Now they are

confronted with a hard bodily drill that many can't handle. Especially the first months

are very difficult because the instructors try to get all the cadets to an equally high physical

level. The most severe exercises are the marches. The soldiers have to walk between thirty

and sixty miles. To cope with such a distance in a specified time, the men are forced to

walk at high speed. They even have to run special marked tracks. Additionally, they are

obstructed by the baggage they have to carry, weighing approximately forty pounds

including gun and ammunition. Sometimes a man...