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Underage Drinking And The Military Essay

2834 words - 12 pages

Fighting for a War or a Privilege?
While drinking in the military is a part of culture and tradition, they should not lower the drinking age for active duty because it gives them power they may not be ready for and it creates another set of ethical issues when the member is home. Taking into consideration that the legal age limit for consuming alcohol in most states is 21, lowering the age to 18 for an active duty military creates problems while that member is home. Here the arguments for and against explain the base of concern regarding active duty along with arguments already a concern for lowering the general drinking age. The major concern is whether or not it is right to allow ...view middle of the document...

So if their country is allowing them to go behind enemy lines in stick their neck out and be willing to give the ultimate sacrifice, why should the rest of America take away their right for military tradition as an adult.
Stephen Kiehl (2008), states “adults under 21 are deemed capable of voting, signing contracts, serving on juries and enlisting in military, [and yet, they] are told they are not mature enough to have a beer” (p. 7A). This strong argument says legal adults should be allowed to drink alcohol. Ironically, an 18 year old can be drafted and perhaps die in war but cannot have a drink. That is irrational. Whether a person is mature enough does not depend on his age; it depends on his behaviors and thoughts. Society should teach 18 year olds to gain knowledge from their experiences and struggles. Drinking teaches 18 year olds how to be accountable in drinking and possibly in other aspects such as becoming conscious of the consequences of drunk driving. When determining whether an 18 year old can drink or not, one should consider more facts than simply highlight the age difference.
Citizens learn from experience and young adults are not getting the chance to experience what it means to have the responsibility to fully be an adult. Not only does it create inequality, but it builds a cloud of questions. Young adults under age 21 can do so much more than just join the military. They can make a decision to the fate of others, but cannot go into a restaurant and sit down at a bar. This illustrates that the government does not trust the young adults of our nation with their own decision making skills.
Reducing the legal drinking age will lessen the amount of alcohol connected deaths. Consumption in the United States is out of control and increasing the age requirement has done nothing to assist it. Muhlenfeld (2008) writes that the dangers of the drinking age being at 21, “…binge drinking (consuming 5 or more drinks in a row) has been on the rise since the National Minimum Drinking Act went into effect” (p. 54). Binge drinking is the most awful type and has become tremendously popular with the rise of the legal drinking age. This is one more chief cause in accidents associated to alcohol. Reverting the drinking age back to 18 years of age will deter people from leaving the country to get alcohol and lessen the amount of binge drinkers. It will in turn produce fewer deaths that are related with alcohol.  Allowing people to legally drink at the age of 18 will permit better supervision. Muhlenfeld (2008) shows that college students “have had some experience with alcohol in high school- nearly always unsupervised…” (p. 53).
If the age is lowered then parents and peers can assist in regulating the amount of alcohol 18 to 20 year-olds consume. It will allow young adults the opportunity to learn the appropriate ways in which to handle whether or not they want to consume alcohol. This process can train confidence and help...

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