A good soldier must be a good builder

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a good soldier must be a good builder

A child who is not made to wash his clothes may never appreciate the work of the mother or laundry guy. He plays in mud and dirt wearing tough and even brightly-coloured clothes that are difficult to wash clean. But when he is made to wash his clothes, the thought of washing tough clothes makes him careful and protective. Unless you experience and appreciate the difficulty – time, energy and resources – in building something, you may never appreciate the need to protect it. A soldier or armed-personnel is often classified as a protector of the society’s life and property. To appreciate the life and property of the society he protects, it becomes imperative that a good soldier must be a good builder.


After 18 years, all Israeli citizens undergo a two-year militarily training before they continue in any other profession they want.[1] The defence training before production of goods and services prepares citizens to defend their lives and property when necessary. Even those in full-time military service are made to learn other forms of productive activities for other non-military purposes.[2] They train as arms/automobile engineers, teachers, pharmacists and other professions for daily production of the society’s goods and services.[3] This training makes them more interested in building and sustaining their society than in searching for or causing war.


Human society is formed by the agreement of members of the society to collaborate for their common safety and sustenance.[4] They collaborate to develop, multiply, distribute and utilize the human and mineral resources in their environments for solving their problems. After organizing their structure of collaboration for common good and stability, they seek to protect both the resources and structure of collaboration. Hence, they form military bodies for protecting the society and structures which they love, and have worked hard to build.

impose peace and unity in Nigeria

Military training is often aimed at preparing citizens to fight and destroy their invaders and aggressors. It has a destructive outlook, and can turn citizens to agents of pain, hatred and bitterness when not properly managed. Some trainings are conditioned to supress trainees’ human affections, such that they brag about their ability to destroy over affection from weak-emotions. These trainings often portray human affections of love and care as weaknesses, while show of cruelty and pain are portrayed as virtues. In this light, inhumane violence and aggression are prescribed or permitted as tools for revolting against enemies.

However, “the true revolution is guided by a great feeling of love”[5] and never from hatred or bitterness.

Security vigilance is necessary for every society, but there is not always an external aggression requiring full military force. Conversely, there is always a need to satisfy society’s needs through the development, multiplication, distribution and utilization of natural resources. There is always a need for evaluating and balancing the structure of social collaboration for common good. A just and progressive society is guaranteed by the citizens’ collaborative and productive capacity, and not the aggression of its military.[6] Hence, progressive societies associate social success with the ability to spread development and common good, instead of destruction of lives and property.

When soldiers are trained for combat without being trained for production of goods and services, their roles in the society becomes limited to destruction. When there is no war, the military’s destructive roles for the society decline, along with their budget allocations. Exclusively-combat-trained soldiers raise their relevance and consequent budget by creating troubles for which they will be called to fight. Hence, some nations’ military bodies have been accused of sponsoring terrorist groups and creating unrest to increase its relevance and budgetary allocation.[7][8]

Second, soldiers who are ONLY trained to fight, easily lose sense of humanity and disposition to collaborate without appealing to force. They perpetuate greater percentage of human rights’ violation all over the world. They command, intimidate, brutalize, humiliate or murder whoever disagrees with their reasoning, mostly unjustifiable reasoning. This disposition to obtain a forced cooperation makes the military service contradictory to the basic element of social formation, which is free collaboration.

Despite the need for security vigilance, societies need to emphasize the building and productive aspects of their military trainings. A good soldier must be a good builder, otherwise he may not value what he is meant to protect. A soldier who has worked in a hospital and has experienced the difficulty in treating a patient will not be quick to pull the trigger. But, a soldier who did not contribute much to building a society will easily destroy anything or abandon the society in times of crisis. He who did not invest in a venture has less need of protecting the venture than he who has invested a lot.


Hence, societies may decide to seasonally rotate their military formation from defence to production of goods and services. This will give soldiers and citizens the opportunity to invest in, and appreciate the process of producing what they claim to protect. A good soldier must be a good builder, otherwise he becomes a parasite on the productivity of the society. A good soldier must be a good builder, otherwise he becomes a more dangerous threat to the lives of other citizens.

Every Nigerian deserve some military training, so that they can protect their interests at any point in time. The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) scheme could have served that purpose if Nigeria was founded on mutual agreement. Apart from acquiring military training, every Nigerian deserves to be involved in the process of utilizing resources in production of goods and services. The reason is simple: a good soldier must be a good builder. Unfortunately, the mineral resources for production of goods in Nigeria are seized and auctioned to foreigners by the Nigerian government.

After the Israelites’ exile, Nehemiah’s men rebuilt Jerusalem with bricks in one hand and swords in the other hand. (Neh. 4:17-18) Human beings are dynamic and can serve their societies in different capacities, when enabled. Every human being deserves the opportunity to experience the fulfilment in being creative and productive. Also, in their instinct of self-preservation, they deserve the capacity and opportunity to defend both their lives and their hard-earned-property. A good soldier must be a good builder, in order to have the zeal to defend the works of his hands.


[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conscription_in_Israel

[2] Ibid.

[3] Cf. http://www.mahal-idf-volunteers.org/information/background/content.htm

[4] Cf. Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan Ed. Michael Oakeshott (New York: Macmillan, 1962).p187

[5] Ernesto Che Guevara, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Revolutionary

[6] Cf. Barack Obama, Inauguration speech, 20th January, 2009

[7] U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, John Campbell, Nigerian Army Sponsors Boko-Haram,  http://newsrescue.com/nigerian-army-sponsors-boko-haram-us-ambassador-john-campbell/#axzz4th8T7Xyb/ September 6th 2014

[8] Cf. Governor Ayo Fayose, http://punchng.com/seek-your-relevance-elsewhere-army-tells-fayose/