The first instance in Western literature of an attempt to devise an ideal way to recruit and structure military forces into the fabric of a society was probably Plato's dialog, The Republic. This same general effort has continued over the intervening two and a half millennia, either aided or handicapped by changing social, political, and economic conditions.
"Universal Service: An Alternative to the All-Volunteer Armed Services,"
Naval War College Review: Vol. 23
, Article 4.
Available at: http://digital-commons.usnwc.edu/nwc-review/vol23/iss8/4