What would happen If the drinking age were lowered for those In the military? Xx xx English 123 Mrs.. Xix 20 Par XX Military Drinking Age 1 What would happen If the drinking age were lowered for those In the military? When I started this paper, I didn’t want my own views to sway my opinion on this question. The more I researched, the more I had even my own views expanded. I wanted to know what military people thought about this topic, what civilians thought and even President Obama. I wanted to explore why age 21 was chosen and when the age was lowered and then raised again and why.
For many people In the military I am sure have a different stance on this than clansman or maybe not, but this Is why I researched the information that I did. The first thing that I typed in my Google search engine box was, “Should the drinking age be lowered for the military? ‘ I found that President elect Obama in 2008, sympathized with Army veteran Ernest Johnson about serving his country at age 18, but not being able to come home and have a beer, but that setting the legal drinking age at 21, helped reduce the amount of drunken driving Incidents and that it should remain. Military_com. 008). This peeked my curiosity and I wondered If most law makers felt the same. New Hampshire State representative, James Explains, D-Portsmouth said that it would be hypocritical to have people make life and death decisions in Iraq, but not be able to have a drink in New Hampshire. (Shank, 2005). Both men appreciate the fact that these people help in guarding and serving our country, but both had very deferent opinions on whether it should be lowered. So I wanted to get more points of view on this matter.
I found that Jason Gibbs, the spokesperson for the Governor of Vermont, Jim Douglas had the same stance as D-Portsmouth. Gibbs said, “Philosophically, it’s difficult to reconcile the notion that you can enlist in the military, serve your country, go to war, but not go into your local pub and get a draft beer. ” Gibbs went on to say, “Even Gob. Jim Douglas, a republican, might see some logic in the proposal if the federal highway money was not Involved. ” (Bullock, 2005). Why would federal highway money be Involved? It didn’t make sense to me, so I wanted to explore that further.
When I searched for federal highway money, I came upon the National Minimum Drinking Age Act of 1984 (AMANDA). This Act required all states to raise their minimum purchase and public possession of alcohol to age 21 . States that did not comply faced a reduction in highway funds, under the Federal Highway Act. (Hanson, n. D). So this brings me back to one of my original questions, why was the age 21 chosen? I found that becoming a full adult at age 21 dates back to English common law. (Rice, 2 IT Military Drinking Age the age was set at 21 in 1984, when before was it 18 and why was it 18?
President Franklin Roosevelt lowered the draft age from 21 to 18 during World War II, eventually during the Vietnam era, people were upset that they were old enough to enlist in the forces, but now old enough to vote, so in 1971 they applied that same logic to drinking and lowered the age to 18. (Tree, 2008). Why would they want to change the age back to 21, I wonder? Apparently, certain states had stricter rules and teens would drive to other states that had less off strict drinking rule, drink and drive back and depending where they lived, the further out they were, the more probable it was for an alcohol related incident. (Tree, 2008).
So Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MAD) fought to have the drinking age back to 21 and that’s when the AMANDA was set forth in 1984. (Tree, 2008). Now that I had all the dates figured out and who prompted the changes, I wanted to see if changing the drinking age actually had an effect on decreasing alcohol related incidents. I found that statistically in 1984, that alcohol related fatalities made up for 54% of all fatalities and 23 years later, in 2007, only 37% of alcohol related fatalities made up for all fatalities. (Alert. Com, 2006). So again, back to one of my original thoughts, I wanted to see opinions from a litany stand point.
I came upon some writings from Air Force Colonel Celebrities, who wrote that Junior enlisted, ages 18-24 made up 1/3 of the Air Force and accounted for 81% of the alcohol related incidents. He said that on average, the Air Force has about 5,300 alcohol related incidents annually, so that means 4,293 of those incidents basically belonged to the Junior enlisted. Cool. Celebrities said that the military message, “Work hard, Play hard,” was sending the wrong message. (Slouchier, 2007). After a long day of work, you go out and play hard, what better of way, than to drink and relax, but there are other ways of relaxing than drinking.
As I was concluding my research, still not yet satisfied with my results, I found a website that was written by Jim Hall, from the National Transportation Board, who had all these statistics that stated how alcohol related fatalities had gone down, alcohol related suicides reduced and the number of DEW Military Drinking Age 3 arrests had decreased since raising the age of drinking to 21 . He later stated that the younger a person starts drinking, the greater the chance of that person develops alcohol dependency and or abuses alcohol. Hall, n. D).
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