Breaking down the pros and cons of mandatory military service

Apr 17, 2023, 8:30 PM

U.S. Army soldiers wait to board their CH-47 Chinook helicopter during a joint military drill betwe...

U.S. Army soldiers wait to board their CH-47 Chinook helicopter during a joint military drill between South Korea and the United States at Rodriguez Live Fire Complex in Pocheon, South Korea, Sunday, March 19, 2023. North Korea launched a short-range ballistic missile toward the sea on Sunday, its neighbors said, ramping up testing activities in response to U.S.-South Korean military drills that it views as an invasion rehearsal. Dave & Dujanovic discuss the pros and cons of mandatory military service. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

(AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

SALT LAKE CITY — At the conclusion of the Utah Jazz 2022-23 season, Lauri Markkanen announced he would serve his mandatory military service for his home country of Finland during the offseason.

In Finland, every male citizen is required to complete military service by his 30th birthday. Markkanen, 27, who just completed his first season with the Jazz, began his military service on Monday.

Dave & Dujanovic break down the pros and cons of mandatory military service with University of Utah Law Professor Amos Guiora. Before coming to the United States, Guiora served in the Israeli Defense Forces, which also requires mandatory military service.

Dave Noriega asked, “What does it do for the country itself? Does it help bind the country together or bring people together?”

“One, we in Israel are not exactly surrounded by Switzerland, right?” Guiora said. “I mean, we live a particular part of the world where national security is a reality. So, we need soldiers. Two, it is in many ways the great equalizer in terms of that people of all walks of society, with two exceptions, served. Three, until a few years ago, it really was considered a great platform for careers afterwards.”

Despite Markkanen’s status as a professional basketball player, he doesn’t get any praise from Guiora.

“This basketball player, whether he’s good on the court or he is not good on the court,” he said. “Doesn’t get any accolades from me because he’s doing exactly what he should be doing according to Finnish law.”

Army vet gives his take on mandatory military service

 Army Veteran Braden Weyment also joined Dave & Dujanovic on Monday to discuss the pros and cons of mandatory military service.

“The United States Army missed its recruiting goal for last year by 25 percent,” said Debbie Dujanovic. “Fell 15,000 soldiers short of their recruiting goal.”

Dujanovic asks Weyment, “What do you feel about the idea of mandatory service?”

“I think it’s extremely honorable what Lauri is going to go do,” Weyment said. “I give him respect and well wishes.”

However, Weyment says its hard to put himself in the situation of others.

“It’s hard for me to put myself in other people’s shoes because we aren’t landlocked with other countries,” he said. 

As such, Weyment says the United States doesn’t have to worry about the threats that exist to Europe.

“I don’t think we need to worry about the Russia threat or other threats like they do,” he said. “So, I don’t think we need it at all.”

Noriega asked, “Is there a unifying factor to this mandatory service?”

Weyment says generations of people in Israel and Finland have grown up watching siblings and other role models go serve in the military.

“We haven’t been grown with that,” he said. “I think that would be good. But it would take decades and generations to instill that sense.”


Dave & Dujanovic can be heard weekdays from 9 a.m. to noon. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app, as well as Apple Podcasts and Google Play.  

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Breaking down the pros and cons of mandatory military service