Whenever one looks at the history of any nation one will always notice some pivotal periods in its history that have played a major role in shaping it be what it is today.
Bhutan has similarly arrived at a juncture in our history where have taken a call under the leadership of His Majesty to go for National Service (NS).
This could not have come at a more important time given the huge and growing youth bulge in our population, a lot of bright but still unemployable youth without adequate skills and exposure, and a changing global economy.
Though not a full military program like other countries, an important aspect of the the 12-month NS is the three-month military training.
Bhutan’s security and sovereignty can never be taken for granted. We were extremely lucky in 2003 to have the leadership of His Majesty The Fourth King otherwise so many things could have gone wrong.
However, challenges these days are not just security or military, but more and more economic. We are at a time in history when small countries and populations can punch well about its weight provided we are well prepared and equipped in the age of ICT and Tech economy.
It is time to be strategic and focus our youth so that they are equipped to deal with this new global economy not just in the NS but right from school with the NS giving that all important final polish.
As pointed out by His Majesty, the NS will be about serving the nation as united Bhutanese avoiding narrow regional identities.
It will also be about the children of rich and poor and the powerful and meek all serving and training together under one roof with no class and other distinctions.
If we look back at Bhutanese history, Bhutan has managed to stay sovereign and prosper because the people answered the call of the nation, whenever there was a need.
NS is that golden opportunity for youths and parents alike to serve the nation and in doing so help determine its destiny.
Our sons and daughters must be trained in national service, taught to give as well as to receive.