This article explores the introduction and implementation of mandatory military service, in three of the six Gulf monarchies that constitute the membership of the Gulf Cooperation Council. Two of these states, Qatar and the UAE, have never before imposed conscription while the third, Kuwait, decided to reintroduce it after a fifteen-year hiatus. The new policy, the essay argues, has been motivated by several reasons. First, conscription will build up the reserve forces of these states that have recently become more active in projecting military power beyond their borders. Second, it will strengthen national identity and the political socialization of young men and, to a lesser extent, women. Third, it will engage and train often poorly educated, unemployed, and unhealthy youths. Finally, the article contends, there is little chance of compulsory military service being introduced in the other three GCC states.