It was unfortunate and bad timing that saw Grey Power's National President call for the reintroduction of Compulsory Military Training (CMT) as a mechanism for instilling "discipline" and "respect" among the nation's youth on the same day that forcibly discharged ex-army soldier Caleb Henry engaged the police in a shoot out which ended up in his being killed.
The call was a dog whistle response to an incident that saw an elderly member of the public brutally assaulted on the way home from his local RSA. While one can sympathise with the sentiment behind the call, CMT is not the answer.
In the 1950s the Army (and CMT was 90% Army) were able to sustain the programme (just) using surplus WW2 weaponry and equipment. Those conditions do not exist today. The Regular Army is now less than 4,300
strong and much of the infrastructure that existed 50 years ago is long gone. They would find it virtually impossible to manage an additional 38,000 trainees per annum (and that supposes males only), even if broken down into three intakes comprising say 13,000 personnel and lasting for 14 weeks, without seriously compromising their prime responsibility which is to train for serious conflict in all its forms.
I have seen figures which suggest the cost of reintroducing CMT would work out roughly as $40,000 per trainee. While I have no way of verifying that figure one could properly observe that such a move would likely place a considerable impost on the economy.
Put simply. The call for the reintroduction of CMT represents pie-in-the-sky thinking.
Can I make it clear I am no in any way denigrating the enhanced Limited Service Volunteer scheme put in place by the current Government. This is a short (6 week) motivational course, run by the Army and funded by MSD, for 1,970 persons in the 17-25 year age group considered likely to benefit from such training. The LSV scheme is, by all reports, an undoubted success