Conscientious objection to war has been a key issue as long as war happens. Conscientious objection is the act of claiming the rights of refusal to perform military services because of the freedom of thought, religion, or conscience. It is an individual decision to objecting the use of weapons and fighting. The right to this conscience objection to the military service has been for sometime stated in the resolutions and recommendations by the United Nations commission on human rights. In the United States, the act of congress gives an exemption of conscientious objectors from the military services.
In the world, many nations recognize conscience objection as a human right, however, the nation of United States does not recognize it as a legal right, which is not automatically granted.
There are only two types of conscientious objectors recognized in the United States military service (Gal, 1990). This includes; conscience objectors in all forms of military due to ethics, religion, and moral believe. This group is exempted from all military services though sometimes they perform some alternative civilian duties. When in the military, they have an opportunity of being discharged. The second group of status is the noncombatant conscientious objectors because of ethics, religion, and moral belief. They are opposed to killing in war to any form bearing arms but having no objection to the performance of noncombatant military duties.
In the United States, for one to declare conscientious objector status he or she has to write a statement of how they feel about wars. They are also required to ask a few adult individuals to write letters discussing the individual’s personality concerning violence and military services. This discussion also contains the individual’s current activities to create peace in the midst of war. An individual is also required to keep any peace events he or she has ever attended and any school publications taking about any objection to war.
The current United States military policy towards conscientious objection has given it another definition, which states, “Conscientious objection is a firm, fixed … sincere objection to participation in war in any form or the bearing of arms, by reason of religious training and/or belief” (Taylor, 2009). These policies have also not given legal avenues for soldiers who are outside the pacifist traditions to exercise their own conscience regarding wars.