Discuss some issue of personal, local, national, or international concern and its importance to you.

Final Draft

Mandatory military service is an issue that not only concerns me, but nearly every young man in Korea. This is a 50-year-old tradition originated in the war between South and North Korea from 1950 to 1953, which never formally ended.  Due to the division between the two countries, every single male citizen of South Korea is required to serve in the armed forces for a minimum of 21 months. During the 21 months in the military, one has to stop whatever he was originally doing to undergo military service, during which he is vulnerable to a variety of dangers, including the risk of death.

No matter what kind of job one has, whether he’s an athlete or a university student, even one studying abroad, he will have to spend at least 21 months away from civilization in a training camp or on a military base. For athletes, having to pause their careers and their daily training routine for almost two years can be devastating. The required service is problematic for students as well. Since taking two years off in the middle of a stable job generally isn’t a good idea, it is common for people to begin their service in the first or second year of university. The belief is that once they get military service out of the way, they can focus on finishing school and finding a job. However, when these students are discharged, they often find they have forgotten a lot of the material they were studying before and face a difficult time catching up with their classes.

Having to be isolated from civilization for a long period of time, can be psychologically and physically damaging. According to a recent study, 23.1% of the drafted soldiers in 2013 were suffering from minor mental illnesses. Though it is possible that many of them may have already had these problems, being isolated from their friends and families and living in harsh, sometimes inhumane conditions undoubtedly can worsen their conditions. Moreover, although most of the soldiers will never see combat, their training is still potentially dangerous. The soldiers frequently train with dangerous weapons in mountainous terrains and extreme weathers, and although deadly accidents are not common, they do happen.

Although serving one’s country can be considered an honorable thing to do, the way that most South Korean are forced to serve their nation is potentially damaging to their mental and physical health and even their long-term career prospects. As I was born in South Korea, the risks existing in my country’s mandatory military service are of major concern to me, and this is an issue that I feel deserves some discussion or perhaps even re-evaluation on the national level.

449 words

 2nd Draft

    Mandatory military service is a major concern for all the entire male population in South Korea. Due to the division between the two countries, every single male citizen of South Korea is required to serve for a minimum of 21 months. The government made this a law so that there are citizens that are aware of what to do, just in case of a war situation. In fact, South Korea is currently in war with North Korea since the Korean war in the 1950’s. During the 21 months in the military, you have to stop what you were originally doing, while possibly becoming vulnerable to many dangers including death.

    No matter what kind of job you have, whether you’re an athlete or a university student, you will have to spend a minimum of 21 months out of civilization. Athletes having to pause their career and their daily training to keep in form, for almost two years is devastating. Since having to serve in the military in the middle of working with a stable job isn’t a good idea, it is common for people to serve military in the first or second year of university. Once they get military service out of their way, they can focus on school and getting employed. However, when these students are discharged, they forget a lot of the material they have studied before and go through a difficult time catching up.

    Having to be isolated from civilization for a long period of time, many soldiers suffer both physically and mentally. According to statistics, 23.1% of the drafted soldiers in 2013 had minor mental illnesses. To live in poor and unusual conditions every day, many soldiers become mentally exhausted and eventually end up being psychologically damaged. Training in the military is also extremely tough and dangerous just like it is in a war. Soldiers have to train with weapons in extreme locations, which could possibly severely injure, disable, or even kill them.

    Although serving for your country may be an honorable thing to do, it is also a distraction and a life-risking task they all have to go through. As I was born in South Korea, this is a major concern for not only me, but also a nation-wide amount of males in Korea as well.

1st Draft

    Mandatory military service is not only of concern of mine, but every single Korean male’s concern as well. Technically, South Korea is currently in war with North Korea since the Korean war in the 1950’s. Due to the division between the two countries, every single male citizen of South Korea is required to serve for a minimum of 21 months. The government made this a law so that there are citizens that are aware of what to do, just in case of a war situation. During the 21 months in the military, you have to stop what you were originally doing, while possibly becoming vulnerable to many dangers including death.

    No matter what kind of job you have, whether you’re an athlete or a university student, you will have to spend a minimum of 21 months out of civilization. Athletes having to pause their career and their daily training to keep in form, for almost two years is devastating. Since having to serve in the military in the middle of working with a stable job isn’t a good idea, it is common for people to serve military in the first or second year of university. Once they get military service out of their way, they can focus on school and getting employed. However, when these students are discharged, they forget a lot of the material they have studied before and go through a difficult time catching up.

    Having to be isolated from civilization for a long period of time, many soldiers suffer both physically and mentally. According to statistics, 23.1% of the drafted soldiers in 2013 had minor mental illness. To live in poor and unusual conditions everyday, many soldiers become mentally exhausted and eventually end up being psychologically damaged. Training in the military is also extremely tough and dangerous just like it is in a war. Soldiers have to train with weapons in extreme locations, which could possibly severely injure, disable, or even kill them.

    Although serving for your country is an honorable thing to do, it is also a distraction and a life-risking task they all have to go through. As I was born in South Korea, this is a major concern for not only me, but also a nation-wide amount of males in Korea as well.

Brainstorm

Thesis:

During the 21 months in the military, you have to stop what you were originally doing, while possibly becoming vulnerable to many dangers including death.

Outline:

Intro: General information of mandatory military service in South Korea

P1: Military service being a distraction to life

  1. Athlete
  2. Normal people
  • University student

P2: Military service is dangerous

  1. Psychological issues
  2. Poor conditions
  • death

Conclusion: Military service is a concern for the entire male population in Korea.

Reflection 

This was also one of the writing pieces I actually enjoyed writing because the issue I wrote about is a big issue that I think about everyday. If I decide to not go to the army, I would not be able to live in Korea for quite a period of time. But I can’t imagine myself not in Korea at least once a year.

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