My dictionary (dict.cc) doesn't make a difference on these and another one (deepl.com) suggests "military service" but they sound very different to me. Which one (or what else) is the term commonly used for this compulsory service in many countries? Are there regional differences as well?

  • 4
    National service includes military service, but it can also include various types of government-run charitable work. In the United States, the Peace Corps and Americorps are often referred to as national service.
    – Paul
    May 14, 2020 at 19:27
  • 1
    National Service is compulsory, but military service is not, except perhaps in times of war. May 14, 2020 at 19:41
  • 1
    In the UK, "National Service" is mainly understood as compulsory service in the armed force as a result of the continuation of conscription after the Second World War. This ended in 1960. It has other meanings in other contexts.
    – Greybeard
    May 14, 2020 at 20:15
  • 1
    Since national and military services are organized individually by country, there is no standard for what these terms mean overall. Each country and service builds their own traditions of use. May 14, 2020 at 20:27
  • UK National Service started in 1939 and the last call-ups were in 1960. Not all conscripted individuals went into the armed forces; between 1943 and 1945 ten percent of conscripts aged between 18 and 25 were directed into work in the coal mines (the 'Bevin Boys'). May 14, 2020 at 21:51


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