"The officers also shall speak to the people, saying, 'Who is the man that has built a new house and has not dedicated it? Let him depart and return to his house, otherwise he might die in the battle and another man would dedicate it. Who is the man that has planted a vineyard and has not begun to use its fruit? Let him depart and return to his house, otherwise he might die in the battle and another man would begin to use its fruit. And who is the man that is engaged to a woman and has not married her? Let him depart and return to his house, otherwise he might die in the battle and another man would marry her.' Then the officers shall speak further to the people and say, 'Who is the man that is afraid and fainthearted? Let him depart and return to his house, so that he might not make his brothers' hearts melt like his heart.' When the officers have finished speaking to the people, they shall appoint commanders of armies at the head of the people." (Deuteronomy 20:5-9)Militia participation should be voluntary. This scripture presents two key exemptions from military service. First, those for whom service would present a significant hardship were to be excused. This would include those who recently moved to a new home, those who's job and livelihood would be disproportionately adversely affected, and those who had recent status changes within the nuclear family. These were to tend to the pressing issues of life before engaging in military service. The second exemption was for the fearful. Many are the terrors of war. All entering into battle must be ready and willing to die for the cause for which they fight. Courage and bravery are required in military service and, especially in a militia, panic and disorder birthed out of fear can endanger many warriors and can place victory at risk. For these reasons, the fearful were to be sent home and the brave into battle.
Leadership within the militia should be appointed not elected. Discipline and order are essential in military ranks and campaigns. The appointment of qualified and tested leaders contributes much to the discipline and order amongst the troupes. In the Revolutionary and Civil wars in our country, they at time allowed the men of a military unit to elect their own leader. Unfortunately, the men would elect leaders who would indulge their undisciplined lifestyle and cater their particular wants. While this was done in hopes of cajoling people to volunteer for service, the end result was a group of undisciplined and unprepared men unfit for military service.
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