Military service
Military service, in its simplest sense, is service by an individual or group in an army
An army An army An army (from Latin arma "arms, weapons" via Old French armée, "armed" (feminine), in the broadest sense, is the land-based military of a nation or state. It may also include other branches of the military such as the air force via means of aviation corps...

 or other militia
The term militia is commonly used today to refer to a military force composed of ordinary citizens to provide defense, emergency law enforcement, or paramilitary service, in times of emergency without being paid a regular salary or committed to a fixed term of service. It is a polyseme with...

, whether as a chosen job or as a result of an involuntary draft (conscription
Conscription is the compulsory enlistment of people in some sort of national service, most often military service. Conscription dates back to antiquity and continues in some countries to the present day under various names...

). Some nations (e.g., Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

) require a specific amount of military service from every citizen (except for special cases, such as physical or mental disorders or religious beliefs). A nation with a fully volunteer military
Volunteer military
A volunteer military or all-volunteer military is one which derives its manpower from volunteers rather than conscription or mandatory service. A country may offer attractive pay and benefits through military recruitment to attract volunteers...

 does not normally require mandatory military service from its citizens, unless it is faced with a recruitment crisis during a time of war.

No defence forces (19)

No enforced conscription (99)

Conscription only in special circumstances (5)

— conscription only if volunteers are insufficient; conscription has never been implemented — conscription only if volunteers are insufficient; 18-year old males are selected at random using a special software (done once a year, if necessary) — conscription exists (in theory) for all males more than 18 years, but is not enforced due to the large number of volunteers. — selective conscription may be in effect when the state is in wartime and it is considered as necessary or on demand — younger recruits may be conscripted with parental consent

Civilian, unarmed or non-combatant service option (13)

(9 months civilian, 6 armed) (32 months civilian, 24 armed) (12 months civilian, unarmed 9 months, armed 6, 9 or 12 months) (390 days civilian, 260 armed)

Military service limited to 1 year or less (23)

(6–12 months) (12 months) (9–12 months) (12–14 months, selective) (4–12 months) (8–11 months) (12 months, selective) (6–12 months) (9 months) (12–24 months) (12 months)
(12 months) (6–12 months) (12 months for Army, 24 months for Navy) (12 months) (5 months) (12 months, selective) (12 months) (6–12 months) (12 months) (12 months) (6–12 months)

Military service limited to 18 months (11)

(see Eritrean Defence Forces#National service)

Military service longer than 18 months (31)

(2 years) (2 years, civilian or non-combatant option available) (2 years, selective) (2 years men, 1 year women. Civil service available only for women ) (2 years) (2 years, selective) (2–3 years) (2 years, selective) (2 years, selective) (21 months for women, 36 months for men) (2 years) (3 years minimum. Uncertain.) (21 months army, 23 months navy, 24 months air force) (2 years)
(2 years) (2 years, selective) (2 years in the army. Navy & air force are voluntary) (2 years) (2 years, selective) (2 years) (2 years, selective) (without regard to Full-Time National Service in the Singapore Civil Defence Force or Singapore Police Force, under the Ministry of Home Affairs) ? (30 months army & air force, 18 months in the navy) (1–2 years, both sexes) (2 years) (2 years) (2 years, selective) (2 years) (18 months or 2 years in the navy) (2 years service minimum obligation)


Albania , officially known as the Republic of Albania , is a country in Southeastern Europe, in the Balkans region. It is bordered by Montenegro to the northwest, Kosovo to the northeast, the Republic of Macedonia to the east and Greece to the south and southeast. It has a coast on the Adriatic Sea...

 had compulsory military service. Albania's armed forces announced an objective to create a professional army by the end of 2010.


Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...

 suspended military conscription in 1995 and replaced it with a voluntary military service, yet those already in service had to finish their time in service.

This came as a result of political and social distrust of the military, dwindling budgets which forced the military to induct fewer conscripts every year, the experience of the 1982 Falklands War
Falklands War
The Falklands War , also called the Falklands Conflict or Falklands Crisis, was fought in 1982 between Argentina and the United Kingdom over the disputed Falkland Islands and South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands...

 which proved the superiority of professional servicemen over conscripts and a series of conscription-related brutality scandals which came to a head with the murder of Private
Private (rank)
A Private is a soldier of the lowest military rank .In modern military parlance, 'Private' is shortened to 'Pte' in the United Kingdom and other Commonwealth countries and to 'Pvt.' in the United States.Notably both Sir Fitzroy MacLean and Enoch Powell are examples of, rare, rapid career...

 Omar Carrasco at an Army base
Argentine Army
The Argentine Army is the land armed force branch of the Armed Forces of the Argentine Republic and the senior military service of the country.- History :...

 in 1994, following a brutal disciplinary action.

It should be noted that military conscription has not been abolished; the Mandatory Military Service Law is still in the books and might be enforced in times of war, crisis or national emergency.

Conscription was known in Argentina as la colimba. The word colimba is a composite word made from the initial syllables of the verbs correr (to run), limpiar (to clean) and barrer (to sweep), as it was perceived that all a conscript did during service was running, cleaning and sweeping. Conscripts themselves were known and referred to as "colimbas".


See main article: Conscription in Australia
Conscription in Australia
Conscription in Australia, or mandatory military service also known as National Service, has a controversial history dating back to the first years of nationhood...

Although various levels of conscription were in force during times of conflict (World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

, World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, the Korean War
Korean War
The Korean War was a conventional war between South Korea, supported by the United Nations, and North Korea, supported by the People's Republic of China , with military material aid from the Soviet Union...

, and the Vietnam War
Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of...

), Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

 has no conscription. All forms of conscription were abolished by the Whitlam Government
Whitlam Government
The Whitlam Government refers to the federal Executive Government of Australia led by Prime Minister Gough Whitlam. It was made up of members of the Australian Labor Party in the Australian Parliament from 1972 to 1975.-Background:...

 in 1972.


Barbados is an island country in the Lesser Antilles. It is in length and as much as in width, amounting to . It is situated in the western area of the North Atlantic and 100 kilometres east of the Windward Islands and the Caribbean Sea; therein, it is about east of the islands of Saint...

 has no conscription. The country has set the minimum age for voluntary recruitment into the Barbados Defence Force
Barbados Defence Force
The Barbados Defence Force is the name given to the combined armed forces of Barbados. The BDF was established August 15, 1979, and has responsibility for the territorial defence and internal security of the island. The headquarters for the Barbados Defence Force are located in the St...

 at 18. Younger recruits may be conscripted with parental consent.


Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

 suspended conscription on 31 December 1992 by amending the 1962 Law on Conscription, which became applicable only to conscripts drafted in 1993 and earlier. In practice this meant that the law no longer applied to those born in 1975 and later. Since 1 March 1995 the Belgian armed forces consist of professional volunteers only.


Belize is a constitutional monarchy and the northernmost country in Central America. Belize has a diverse society, comprising many cultures and languages. Even though Kriol and Spanish are spoken among the population, Belize is the only country in Central America where English is the official...

 has set minimum age for voluntary recruitment into the Armed Forces at 18. (According to the Section 16 of the Defense Act of the Defence Ordinance of 1977.) Conscription has never been prescribed in the Defense Act, but is at the Governor General’s discretion.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina , sometimes called Bosnia-Herzegovina or simply Bosnia, is a country in Southern Europe, on the Balkan Peninsula. Bordered by Croatia to the north, west and south, Serbia to the east, and Montenegro to the southeast, Bosnia and Herzegovina is almost landlocked, except for the...

 abolished compulsory military service as of 1 January 2007.


Bulgaria , officially the Republic of Bulgaria , is a parliamentary democracy within a unitary constitutional republic in Southeast Europe. The country borders Romania to the north, Serbia and Macedonia to the west, Greece and Turkey to the south, as well as the Black Sea to the east...

 abolished compulsory military service. The last conscripts were sent home on 25 November 2007.

Previously there was mandatory military service for male citizens from eighteen to twenty-seven years of age. Duration of the service depended on the degree of education. For citizens studying for or holding a bachelor degree or higher the service was six months, and for citizens with no higher education it was nine months.
The duration of service was two years in 1994, and was dropping steadily, until it was finally abolished.


See main articles: Conscription Crisis of 1917
Conscription Crisis of 1917
The Conscription Crisis of 1917 was a political and military crisis in Canada during World War I.-Background:...

 and Conscription Crisis of 1944
Conscription Crisis of 1944
The Conscription Crisis of 1944 was a political and military crisis following the introduction of forced military service in Canada during World War II. It was similar to the Conscription Crisis of 1917, but was not as politically damaging....

In Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

, conscription has never taken place in peacetime. Conscription became a very controversial issue during both World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 and World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, especially in the province of Quebec
Quebec or is a province in east-central Canada. It is the only Canadian province with a predominantly French-speaking population and the only one whose sole official language is French at the provincial level....


China (PRC)

Conscription has existed in theory since the establishment of the People's Republic of China in 1949; however, because of China's huge population and therefore the large number of individuals who volunteer to join the regular armed forces, a draft has never been enforced.

Conscription is enshrined in Article 55 of the Constitution, which states: "It is a sacred duty of every citizen of the People's Republic of China to defend his or her motherland and resist invasion. It is an honored Obligation of the citizens of the People's Republic of China to perform military service and to join the militia forces."

As of 1998, the legal basis of conscription was stated to be the 1984 Military Service Law, which describes military service as a duty for "all citizens without distinction of race (...) and religious creed." This law has not been amended since it came into effect.
Military service is normally performed in the regular armed forces, but the 1984 law does allow for conscription into the reserve forces.

Hong Kong and Macau SAR residents, as of 1997 and 1999 respectfully, are forbidden from joining the military.


On 3 October 2007, the government proposed to the parliament of the Republic of Croatia a decision to suspend all compulsory military service. This was supported by President Stjepan Mesić
Stjepan Mesić
Stjepan "Stipe" Mesić is a Croatian politician and former President of Croatia. Before his ten-year presidential term between 2000 and 2010 he held the posts of Speaker of the Croatian Parliament , Prime Minister of Croatia , the last President of the Presidency of Yugoslavia , Secretary General...

, and after a vote in the parliament on 5 October 2007, the decision became official. As of 1 January 2008, obligatory military (or civil) service is replaced with voluntary military service.

Czech Republic

The Czech Republic
Czech Republic
The Czech Republic is a landlocked country in Central Europe. The country is bordered by Poland to the northeast, Slovakia to the east, Austria to the south, and Germany to the west and northwest....

 abolished compulsory military service on 31 December 2004.


Modern conscription was invented during the French Revolution
French Revolution
The French Revolution , sometimes distinguished as the 'Great French Revolution' , was a period of radical social and political upheaval in France and Europe. The absolute monarchy that had ruled France for centuries collapsed in three years...

, when the Republic wanted a stronger defense and to expand its radical ideas throughout Europe. The 1798 Jourdan Act
Jourdan law
The Jourdan Law of 1798 effectively institutionalised conscription in Revolutionary France, which began with the levee en masse.It stipulated that all single and childless men between the ages of 20 and 25 were liable for military service....

 stated: "Any Frenchman is a soldier and owes himself to the defense of the nation". Thus Napoleon Bonaparte
Napoleon I of France
Napoleon Bonaparte was a French military and political leader during the latter stages of the French Revolution.As Napoleon I, he was Emperor of the French from 1804 to 1815...

 could create afterward the Grande Armée with which he set out on the first large intra-European war.

France suspended peacetime military conscription in 1996, while those born before 1979 had to complete their service; since the Algerian War (1954–62), conscripts had not been deployed abroad or in war zones, except those volunteering for such deployments.


See main article: Conscription in Germany
Conscription in Germany
Germany had conscription for male citizens between 1956 and 2011. On 22 November 2010, the German Minister of Defence proposed to the government to put conscription into abeyance on 1 July 2011...

On the 15th November 2010, the German government voted in favour of suspending universal conscription with the aim of establishing a professional army by 1 July 2011. The last conscripts were drafted on 1 January 2011.


Hungary , officially the Republic of Hungary , is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is situated in the Carpathian Basin and is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Ukraine and Romania to the east, Serbia and Croatia to the south, Slovenia to the southwest and Austria to the west. The...

 abolished mandatory military service by November 2004, after the parliament
National Assembly of Hungary
The National Assembly or Diet is the parliament of Hungary. The unicameral body consists of 386 members elected to 4-year terms. Election of members is based on a complex system involving both area and list election; parties must win at least 5% of the popular vote in order to enter list members...

 had modified the constitution, ending a long-standing political dispute. To restore drafting, a two-thirds vote in parliament is needed, which is unlikely in the short term. , the country is developing a professional army, with strong emphasis on "contract soldiers" who voluntarily serve 4+4 years for a wage.


India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

 has never had mandatory military service, either under British rule
British Raj
British Raj was the British rule in the Indian subcontinent between 1858 and 1947; The term can also refer to the period of dominion...

 or since independence in 1947. In WWII the Indian Army became the largest all-volunteer force in history, rising to over 2.5 million men in size. And it has since maintained the world's third largest army and the world's largest all volunteer army.


Saddam Hussein's large Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

i army was largely composed of conscripts, except for the elite Republican Guard
Iraqi Republican Guard
The Iraqi Republican Guard was a branch of the Iraqi military during the presidency of Saddam Hussein. It later became the Republican Guard Corps, and then the Republican Guard Forces Command with its expansion into two corps....

. About 100,000 conscripts died during the First Persian Gulf War
Gulf War
The Persian Gulf War , commonly referred to as simply the Gulf War, was a war waged by a U.N.-authorized coalition force from 34 nations led by the United States, against Iraq in response to Iraq's invasion and annexation of Kuwait.The war is also known under other names, such as the First Gulf...

, also known as Operation Desert Storm. In the intervening years, Iraq's military suffered from decay and poor leadership, but there was still compulsory service. One program of note was "Ashbal Saddam" known as "Saddam's Cubs" where children were trained to defend Iraq through "toughening" exercises such as firearms training and dismembering live chickens with their teeth. Following the Second Persian Gulf War
2003 invasion of Iraq
The 2003 invasion of Iraq , was the start of the conflict known as the Iraq War, or Operation Iraqi Freedom, in which a combined force of troops from the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and Poland invaded Iraq and toppled the regime of Saddam Hussein in 21 days of major combat operations...

 where the original military was disbanded, the Iraqi Army was recreated as a volunteer force with training overseen at first by the Coalition Provisional Authority
Coalition Provisional Authority
The Coalition Provisional Authority was established as a transitional government following the invasion of Iraq by the United States and its allies, members of the Multi-National Force – Iraq which was formed to oust the government of Saddam Hussein in 2003...

 and later by the American presence.


Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

 was initially exempt from conscription in the First World War, but in April 1918 new legislation empowered the government to extend it to Ireland. Although the government never implemented this legislation, it led to a Conscription Crisis in Ireland and politically pushed the country further to seek its independence from the UK.

The Republic of Ireland
Republic of Ireland
Ireland , described as the Republic of Ireland , is a sovereign state in Europe occupying approximately five-sixths of the island of the same name. Its capital is Dublin. Ireland, which had a population of 4.58 million in 2011, is a constitutional republic governed as a parliamentary democracy,...

 has always had a fully voluntary military, it remains a neutral nation.


Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 had mandatory military service, for men only, until 31 December 2004. The right to conscientious objection
Conscientious objector
A conscientious objector is an "individual who has claimed the right to refuse to perform military service" on the grounds of freedom of thought, conscience, and/or religion....

 was legally recognized in 1972 so that a "non armed military service", or a community service, could be authorised as an alternative to those who required it.

The Italian Parliament approved the suspension of the mandatory military service in 2004, with effect starting from 1 January 2005, and the Italian armed forces will now be entirely composed of professional volunteer troops, both male and female, except in case of war or serious international military crisis, when conscription can be implemented.


In Jamaica
Jamaica is an island nation of the Greater Antilles, in length, up to in width and 10,990 square kilometres in area. It is situated in the Caribbean Sea, about south of Cuba, and west of Hispaniola, the island harbouring the nation-states Haiti and the Dominican Republic...

 the military service is voluntary from 18 years of age up. Younger recruits may be conscripted with parental consent.


Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

's Self Defense Forces
Japan Self-Defense Forces
The , or JSDF, occasionally referred to as JSF or SDF, are the unified military forces of Japan that were established after the end of the post–World War II Allied occupation of Japan. For most of the post-war period the JSDF was confined to the islands of Japan and not permitted to be deployed...

 have been a volunteer force since their establishment in the 1950s, following the end of the Allied occupation. As the Japanese constitution expressly prohibits Japan from maintaining any offensive military force, conscription will most likely not be an issue in the near future.


Lebanon , officially the Republic of LebanonRepublic of Lebanon is the most common term used by Lebanese government agencies. The term Lebanese Republic, a literal translation of the official Arabic and French names that is not used in today's world. Arabic is the most common language spoken among...

 previously had mandatory military service of one year for men. On 4 May 2005, a new conscription system was adopted, making for a six-month service, and pledging to end conscription within two years. By 10 February 2007 it did.

Republic of Macedonia

Republic of Macedonia
Republic of Macedonia
Macedonia , officially the Republic of Macedonia , is a country located in the central Balkan peninsula in Southeast Europe. It is one of the successor states of the former Yugoslavia, from which it declared independence in 1991...

 abolished compulsory military service as of October 2006.


Mauritius , officially the Republic of Mauritius is an island nation off the southeast coast of the African continent in the southwest Indian Ocean, about east of Madagascar...

 does not have a standing army but operates a paramilitary service manned by volunteering Police officers known as the Special Mobile Force
Special Mobile Force
The Special Mobile Force is a paramilitary unit that serves as the main internal security force in Mauritius. As Mauritius has no dedicated military, mainly due to the cost that it would incur, the SMF forms part of the Mauritius Police Force, with its personnel on long term rotation from the...



President of
President of Montenegro
-Presidents of Montenegro:-See also:*President of Serbia and Montenegro*President of Yugoslavia*List of Presidents of Montenegro*Prime Minister of Montenegro-External links:*...

Montenegro Montenegrin: Crna Gora Црна Гора , meaning "Black Mountain") is a country located in Southeastern Europe. It has a coast on the Adriatic Sea to the south-west and is bordered by Croatia to the west, Bosnia and Herzegovina to the northwest, Serbia to the northeast and Albania to the...

 Filip Vujanović
Filip Vujanovic
Filip Vujanović is a Montenegrin politician who, since 2003, has served as the President of Montenegro. He is the first President of Montenegro since it split ties with Serbia and became an independent nation in June 2006...

 has, as of 30 August 2006, abolished conscription for the military.


The Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

 established conscription for a territorial militia in 1814, simultaneously establishing a standing army which was to be manned by volunteers only. However, lack of sufficient volunteers caused the two components to be merged in 1819 into a "cadre-militia" army, in which the bulk of troops were conscripts, led by professional officers and NCOs. This system remained in use until the end of the Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

. Between 1991 and 1996, the Dutch armed forces phased out their conscript personnel and converted to an all-volunteer force. The last conscript troops were inducted in 1995 and demobilized in 1996. Formally, the Netherlands has not abolished conscription; that is to say, the laws and systems which provide for the conscription of armed forces personnel remain in place, and Dutch citizens can still, theoretically, be mobilized in the event of a national emergency.

New Zealand

See main article: Compulsory Military Training in New Zealand
Compulsory Military Training in New Zealand
Compulsory military training , a form of conscription, has been used in New Zealand during a number of historical periods.-Origins and world wars:CMT was first introduced in New Zealand with the Defence Act of 1909...

Conscription of men into the armed forces of New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...

 came into effect in 1940, and was abolished in 1972.


Like India, Pakistan has always maintained a purely volunteer military. However, in the immediate aftermath of independence, and the 1948 war; at a time when the army was just reorganising from a colonial force to a new national army; militias raised for service from, the Frontier, Punjab and Kashmir were often raised from locals tribe; each tribe was given a quota and many of the individuals sent did not "volunteer" in the strictest sense (though many did). This is the only example of a conscription like situation in Pakistan.


Panama , officially the Republic of Panama , is the southernmost country of Central America. Situated on the isthmus connecting North and South America, it is bordered by Costa Rica to the northwest, Colombia to the southeast, the Caribbean Sea to the north and the Pacific Ocean to the south. The...

 officially abolished the entire military in 1992, and transformed it into National Police. Prior to that, the U.S. invasion to Panama practically destroyed what was in that time the Defence Forces of Panama, in 1989.


The Philippines does not have compulsory military service, however military training is a compulsory part of the high school curriculum and is optional for the college curriculum. As the training lasts for only a few hours a week and is embedded in the school curriculum, students do not have to live away from their homes during the year they receive the training.

Filipino citizens who refuse to undergo such training in their senior year of high school (known as Citizen's Advancement Tranining or CAT) are not eligible for graduation. Prior to 2003, CAT was oriented towards purely military skills but today, non-military aspects have been added to the training programme.

In college, military training (known as Reserved Officers' Training Corps or ROTC) is now one of the options for the compulsory National Service Training Programme (NSTP), the other two being Citizen Welfare Training Service (CWTS) and Literacy Training Service (LTS). ROTC was compulsory until 2001 when controversies surrounding officer misconduct prompted it to be reformed. Students are required to complete 6 units of NSTP to be eligible for graduation which is reduced from 12 units when ROTC was the sole option (6 units per year).

Depending on the school which a student attends, military training may be oriented toward the army, navy or air force.

Foreign citizens are exempt from undergoing the national service programmes; however, those who hold dual-citizenship with one of them being Filipino are not. Those who are medically unfit to do military work may get a partial exemption, particularly from strenuous physical military activities.


Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

 suspended compulsory military service on 5 December 2008 by the order of the Minister of Defence
Ministry of National Defence of the Republic of Poland
Ministry of National Defence is the office of government in Poland under the Minister of Defence. During the Second Polish Republic and World War II it was called the Ministry of Military Affairs...

. Compulsory military service was formally abolished when the Polish parliament
The Sejm is the lower house of the Polish parliament. The Sejm is made up of 460 deputies, or Poseł in Polish . It is elected by universal ballot and is presided over by a speaker called the Marshal of the Sejm ....

 amended the conscription law on 9 January 2009; the law came into effect on 11 February 2009.


Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea...

 suspended compulsory military service on 23 October 2006. This came about due to a 2003 constitutional amendment
Constitution of Romania
The 1991 Constitution of Romania, adopted on 21 November 1991, voted in the referendum of 8 December 1991 and introduced on the same day, is the current fundamental law that establishes the structure of the government of Romania, the rights and obligations of the country's citizens, and its mode...

 which allowed the parliament to make military service optional. The Romanian Parliament voted to abolish conscription in October 2005, with the vote formalising one of many military modernisation and reform programmes that Romania agreed to when it joined NATO.


Serbia abolished compulsory military service on 1 January 2011. Before that, Serbia
Serbia , officially the Republic of Serbia , is a landlocked country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe, covering the southern part of the Carpathian basin and the central part of the Balkans...

 had compulsory national service for all men aged between 19 and 35. In practice, men over 27 were seldom called up. Service was usually performed after university studies had been completed. The length of service was 12 months, then reduced to 9 months but was reduced to 6 months in 2006. There was also an alternative for conscientious objector
Conscientious objector
A conscientious objector is an "individual who has claimed the right to refuse to perform military service" on the grounds of freedom of thought, conscience, and/or religion....

s which lasted 9 months. Serbian nationals living outside of the country were still expected to complete national service; however, they could defer it if it would have seriously affected their career in the country where they then resided. This could be done by contacting the embassy in the country of residence (if under 27), or done by contacting the army directly (if over 27).


Slovenia , officially the Republic of Slovenia , is a country in Central and Southeastern Europe touching the Alps and bordering the Mediterranean. Slovenia borders Italy to the west, Croatia to the south and east, Hungary to the northeast, and Austria to the north, and also has a small portion of...

's Prime Minister
Prime minister
A prime minister is the most senior minister of cabinet in the executive branch of government in a parliamentary system. In many systems, the prime minister selects and may dismiss other members of the cabinet, and allocates posts to members within the government. In most systems, the prime...

 Anton Rop
Anton Rop
Anton Rop is a Slovenian politician. He is currently a member of the National Assembly of Slovenia. He was the fourth Prime Minister of Slovenia, from 2002 to 2004. Until 2005 he was also the president of the Liberal Democratic Party , the legal successor of the Slovenian Association of Socialist...

 abolished mandatory military service on 9 September 2003.

South Africa

South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

 under the apartheid system had two years of compulsory military service for white men, followed by camps at intervals. This was abolished in 1994. See End Conscription Campaign
End Conscription Campaign
The End Conscription Campaign was an anti-apartheid organisation allied to the United Democratic Front and composed of conscientious objectors and their supporters in South Africa...



Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 abolished compulsory military service in 2001. Military and alternative service was nine months long and in recent years the majority of conscripts chose to perform alternative, rather than military, service.

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka, officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka is a country off the southern coast of the Indian subcontinent. Known until 1972 as Ceylon , Sri Lanka is an island surrounded by the Indian Ocean, the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait, and lies in the vicinity of India and the...

 has never had mandatory military service, either under British rule
British Ceylon
British Ceylon refers to British rule prior to 1948 of the island territory now known as Sri Lanka.-From the Dutch to the British:Before the beginning of the Dutch governance, the island of Ceylon was divided between the Portuguese Empire and the Kingdom of Kandy, who were in the midst of a war for...

 or since independence in 1948. It maintains an all volunteer military.


Since 1902, military service was mandatory in Sweden
Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

 until the 1st July 2010 when conscription was officially suspended during peace time. Before this, all Swedish men aged between 18 and 47 years old were eligible to serve with the armed forces
Swedish Armed Forces
The Swedish Armed Forces is a Swedish Government Agency responsible for the operation of the armed forces of the Realm. The primary task of the agency is to train, organize and to deploy military forces, domestically and abroad, while maintaining the long-term ability to defend the Realm in the...

. Albeit an alternative community service for conscientious objectors was easily available, the number of men actually completing their service continued to decline.

United Kingdom

The United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 introduced conscription during both world wars. For the first two years of World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 the British relied on volunteers. But by 1916 the need for yet more soldiers to replace losses at the front forced the British Government to introduce conscription under the Military Service Act
Military Service Act (United Kingdom)
The Military Service Act 1916 was an Act passed by the Parliament of the United Kingdom during the First World War. It was the first time that legislation had been passed in British military history introducing conscription...

. Conscientious objector
Conscientious objector
A conscientious objector is an "individual who has claimed the right to refuse to perform military service" on the grounds of freedom of thought, conscience, and/or religion....

s were required to do war-related work of an unarmed nature, and some of those who refused this alternative, or engaged in anti-war protest, went to jail.

Conscription was reintroduced in the UK in 1939 at the start of World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

. Besides the armed forces themselves, conscription was used to increase output in coal mining (see the "Bevin Boys
Bevin Boys
Bevin Boys were young British men conscripted to work in the coal mines of the United Kingdom, from December 1943 until 1948. Chosen at random from conscripts but also including volunteers, nearly 48,000 Bevin Boys performed vital but largely unrecognised service in the mines, many of them...

") and other dimensions of the war effort. Later in the war women were conscripted into the Women's Land Army
Women's Land Army
The Women's Land Army was a British civilian organisation created during the First and Second World Wars to work in agriculture replacing men called up to the military. Women who worked for the WLA were commonly known as Land Girls...

 to help with agricultural production. Conscientious objectors were treated more leniently than in WWI, but could still go to prison if they refused war-related work. For example the scientist Kathleen Lonsdale
Kathleen Lonsdale
Dame Kathleen Lonsdale, DBE FRS was a crystallographer, who established the structure of benzene by X-ray diffraction methods in 1929, and hexachlorobenzene by Fourier spectral methods in 1931...

 was sentenced to a month in Holloway prison
Holloway (HM Prison)
HM Prison Holloway is a closed category prison for adult women and Young Offenders, located in the Holloway area of the London Borough of Islington, in north and Inner London, England...

 in 1943 for refusing to register for war duties and refusing to pay a resulting fine of two pounds. Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland is one of the four countries of the United Kingdom. Situated in the north-east of the island of Ireland, it shares a border with the Republic of Ireland to the south and west...

 was exempt from conscription in the Second World War, and was also excluded from the post-war National Service.

After World War II, the Government re-introduced conscription in 1948 under the title of compulsory National Service
National service
National service is a common name for mandatory government service programmes . The term became common British usage during and for some years following the Second World War. Many young people spent one or more years in such programmes...

. This was abolished in 1960. The last conscript was not discharged until May 1963, due to deferrals.

United States

The United States has employed conscription intermittently. For example, in 1863 the imposition of a draft during the Civil War touched off the New York Draft Riots
New York Draft Riots
The New York City draft riots were violent disturbances in New York City that were the culmination of discontent with new laws passed by Congress to draft men to fight in the ongoing American Civil War. The riots were the largest civil insurrection in American history apart from the Civil War itself...

. Conscription was next used after the United States entered World War I in 1917. The first peacetime conscription came with the Selective Training and Service Act of 1940
Selective Training and Service Act of 1940
The Selective Training and Service Act of 1940, also known as the Burke-Wadsworth Act, was passed by the Congress of the United States on September 17, 1940, becoming the first peacetime conscription in United States history when President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed it into law two days later...

. Active conscription ("the draft") ended in 1973. , male U.S. citizens, if aged eighteen through twenty five, are required to register with the Selective Service System
Selective Service System
The Selective Service System is a means by which the United States government maintains information on those potentially subject to military conscription. Most male U.S. citizens and male immigrant non-citizens between the ages of 18 and 25 are required by law to have registered within 30 days of...

, whose mission is "to provide manpower to the armed forces in an emergency" including a "Health Care Personnel Delivery System" and "to run an Alternative Service Program for men classified as conscientious objectors during a draft." No one has been prosecuted for violating the conscription law in the USA since 1986. Women do not register for Selective Service in the United States, but they may enlist for voluntary service.


Armenia , officially the Republic of Armenia , is a landlocked mountainous country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia...

 has compulsory military service for two years for males from 18 to 27 years old.


Austria , officially the Republic of Austria , is a landlocked country of roughly 8.4 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the...

 has mandatory military service for fit male citizens from 18 to 35 years of age. Since 2006, the period of service has been six months. Conscientious objectors can join the civilian service (called Zivildienst
Zivildienst is the civilian branch of the national service systems in Austria and Switzerland. In Germany as well Zivildienst was the alternative service to military service until suspension of conscription in 2011...

) for nine months. A 12-month participation in the Austrian Holocaust Memorial Service
Austrian Holocaust Memorial Service
The Austrian Holocaust Memorial Service is an alternative to Austria's compulsory national military service / alternative service founded in 1992. Since 1998 it is part of the Austrian Service Abroad...

, the Austrian Social Service
Austrian Social Service
The Austrian Social Service is part of the Austrian Service Abroad, founded by Andreas Maislinger in 1998. It offers the possibility to substitute the compolsary military service in Austria with a 12-months service abroad....

 or the Austrian Peace Service
Austrian Peace Service
The Austrian Peace Service is the smallest of the three sectors of the Austrian Service Abroad.The Austrian Peace Service is one of the three sections of the Non-Profit-Organisation Austrian Service Abroad and offers a twelve month long alternative to the nine month long orderly civilian service.-...

 is regarded as an equivalent to the civilian service.

Since 1 January 1998, females can join the military service voluntarily.


Belarus , officially the Republic of Belarus, is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe, bordered clockwise by Russia to the northeast, Ukraine to the south, Poland to the west, and Lithuania and Latvia to the northwest. Its capital is Minsk; other major cities include Brest, Grodno , Gomel ,...

 has mandatory military service for all fit men from eighteen to twenty-seven years of age. Military service lasts for eighteen months for those without higher education, and for twelve months for those with higher education.


Bermuda is a British overseas territory in the North Atlantic Ocean. Located off the east coast of the United States, its nearest landmass is Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, about to the west-northwest. It is about south of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, and northeast of Miami, Florida...

, although an overseas territory of the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, still maintains conscription for its local force. Males between the ages of eighteen and thirty-two are drawn by lottery to serve in The Bermuda Regiment for a period of thirty-eight months. The commitment is only on a part-time basis, however. Anyone who objects to this has the right to have his case heard by an exemption tribunal.


Males in Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

 are required to serve 12 months of military service upon their 18th birthday. While de jure
De jure
De jure is an expression that means "concerning law", as contrasted with de facto, which means "concerning fact".De jure = 'Legally', De facto = 'In fact'....

 all males are required to serve, numerous exceptions mean military service is de facto
De facto
De facto is a Latin expression that means "concerning fact." In law, it often means "in practice but not necessarily ordained by law" or "in practice or actuality, but not officially established." It is commonly used in contrast to de jure when referring to matters of law, governance, or...

 limited mostly to volunteers, with an average of between 5 and 10% of those reporting for duty actually being inducted. Most often, the service is performed in military bases as close as possible to the person's home. The government does not usually require those planning to attend college or holding a permanent job to serve. There are also several other exceptions, including health reasons, for which one may not have to serve. Recruits accepted at a university may also choose to train under a program similar to the American ROTC, and satisfy their military requirement this way. Direct entrance to one of the military academies will also substitute for this requirement.

Burma (Myanmar)

The Burmese junta requires able-bodied persons aged 18 and over to register with local authorities. , civil servants, students, those serving prison terms, and those caring for an elderly parent are excluded from the draft, but they could be later called to serve. Totally exempt are members of religious orders, disabled persons, and married or divorced women with children. Those who fail to report for military service could be imprisoned for three years, and face fines. Those who deliberately inflict injury upon themselves to avoid conscription could be imprisoned for up to five years, as well as fined.


Colombian Law 48 from 1993 establishes that all Colombian men are obligated to arrange their military situation when they reach 18 years of age.
Military Situation arrangements procedure

1 Registration in the Military District with the following documents
  • Birth certificate
  • Photocopy of identity document
  • Income statement or proof of income
  • Two 3X3.5 photos with blue background

2 First medical examination
  • Determines the ability of citizens for military service.

3 Second medical examination (optional)
  • Only for those men who claim an undetected disability, and to dispute the disabilities detected in the first test.

4 Filing claims and exemptions
  • The commander of the District receives and studies the legal evidence to sustain the exemption after the first medical examination fifteen (15) days prior to incorporation

5 Concentration and incorporation
  • Meeting at a particular location where personnel are assigned to perform compulsory military service in the ranks of the Army, Navy, Air Force, National Police or the INPEC.

6 Classification
  • Settlement fee corresponding to the tax must be payed to the state by the citizens who do not enter the military (Military Compensation Fee).

NOTE: When completing their final high school year, young graduates must present their registered diploma to the Military District commander. Those who fail their final year must restart the process.
Military Reserve Card (Libreta militar)

It is the only document that shows that the carrier has arranged his military situation and it is indispensable to:
  • Sign a contract with any public entity.
  • Enter administrative careers
  • Get a professional degree in higher education schools.

NOTE: The possession of false documents is punishable by law with imprisonment of one to eight years.
Issue of duplicate

A military duplicate card can be ordered in the case loss, damage or changes to personal information. The applicant must fill out a form that is distributed free of charge in the military districts of each zone. Depending on the case, the following documents may be attached.
* Photocopy of citizenship card
* Documents evidencing the change of information
* Ministry of Defense General Archive Certificate (for first-class personnel that are not on screen)
* Two 3 x 3.5 photographs with blue background.
* Receipt of payment for the preparation of the card
* Damaged or outdated card


Cyprus , officially the Republic of Cyprus , is a Eurasian island country, member of the European Union, in the Eastern Mediterranean, east of Greece, south of Turkey, west of Syria and north of Egypt. It is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea.The earliest known human activity on the...

 has compulsory military service for all Greek Cypriot men between the ages of eighteen and fifty. Additionally, from 2008 onwards, all men belonging to the religious groups of Armenians, Latins and Maronites, also serve their military service. Military service lasts for twenty-four months. After that, ex-soldiers are considered reservists and participate in military exercises for a few days every year. Conscientious objectors can either do thirty-three months’ unarmed service in the army or thirty-eight months’ community work.
Legislation and practice relating to civilian alternatives to military service remained punitive in nature, although new legislation which came into force in 2004 reduced the length of such alternative service. The Special Committee, which makes recommendations on applications for conscientious objection, proposed a blanket rejection of applications based on ideological grounds where applicants do not declare particular beliefs.
AI called for a re-evaluation of the Committee’s methods and for the authorities to establish an alternative to military service of a purely civilian nature, outside the authority of the Ministry of Defence.


As described in the Constitution of Denmark, § 81, Denmark
Denmark is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. The countries of Denmark and Greenland, as well as the Faroe Islands, constitute the Kingdom of Denmark . It is the southernmost of the Nordic countries, southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, and bordered to the south by Germany. Denmark...

 has mandatory service for all able men. Normal service is four months, and is normally served by men in the age of eighteen to twenty-seven. Some special services will take longer. Danish men will typically receive a letter around the time of their 18th birthday, asking when their current education (if any) ends, and some time later, depending on when, they will receive a notice on when to attend to the draft office to be tested physically and psychologically. However, some may be deemed unfit for service and not be required to show up.

Even if a person is deemed fit, or partially fit for service, he may avoid having to serve if he draws a high enough number randomly. Persons who are deemed partly fit for service will however be placed lower than those who are deemed fit for service, and therefore have a very low chance of being drafted. Men deemed fit can be called upon for service until their 50th birthday in case of national crisis, regardless of whether normal conscription has been served. This right is very rarely exercised by Danish authorities.

Conscientious objector
Conscientious objector
A conscientious objector is an "individual who has claimed the right to refuse to perform military service" on the grounds of freedom of thought, conscience, and/or religion....

s can choose to instead serve six months in a non-military position, for example in Beredskabsstyrelsen (dealing with non-military disasters like fires, flood, pollution, etc.) or foreign aid work in a third world country.


Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

 has a mandatory military service program for males between the ages of eighteen and thirty. Conscription is regularly postponed for students until the end of their studies, as long as they apply before they turn twenty-eight years of age. By the age of thirty, a male is considered unfit to join the army and pays a fine. Males with no brothers, or those supporting parents are exempted from the service. Former President Sadat
- See also :* Anwar Sadat, former President of Egypt* Sadat * Saadat* Sadat. Term also used for the descendents of Holy Prophet Muhammad through Imam Ali and Bibi Fatima progeny....

 added that any Egyptian who has dual nationality is exempted from military service and this is still in effect. Males serve for a period ranging from fourteen months to thirty-six months, depending on their education; high school drop-outs serve for thirty-six months. College graduates serve for lesser periods of time, depending on their education; college graduates with special skills are still conscripted yet at a different rank and at a different pay scale with the option of remaining with the service as a career. Some Egyptians evade conscription and travel overseas until they reach the age of thirty, at which point they are tried, pay a $580 fine (as of 2004), and are dishonorably discharged. Such an offense, legally considered an offense of "bad moral character", prevents the "unpatriotic" citizen from ever holding public office.


Finland , officially the Republic of Finland, is a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of Northern Europe. It is bordered by Sweden in the west, Norway in the north and Russia in the east, while Estonia lies to its south across the Gulf of Finland.Around 5.4 million people reside...

 has mandatory military service for men of a minimum duration of six months (180 days); depending on the assigned position: those trained as officers or NCOs
Non-commissioned officer
A non-commissioned officer , called a sub-officer in some countries, is a military officer who has not been given a commission...

 serve for twelve months (362 days), specialist troops serve for nine (270 days) or twelve months, while rank and file serve for the minimum period. Unarmed service is also possible, and lasts nine months (270 days). The obligation to enter into service begins at the age of 19, and may be postponed to the age of 29, when it becomes either mandatory, or the conscript is exempted.

Since 1995, women have been able to volunteer for military service. During the first 45 days, women have an option to quit at will. Having served for 45 days, they fall under the same obligation to serve as men except for medical reasons. A pregnancy during service would interrupt the service but not automatically cause a medical discharge.

Belonging in a sexual minority does not result in an exemption. Transsexuals usually get their service postponed until they have undergone sex reassignment surgery.

Non-military service of twelve months is available for men whose conscience prevents them from serving in the military. Men who refuse to serve at all are sent to prison for six months or half the time of their remaining non-military service at the time of refusal. In theory, male citizens from the demilitarized Åland region are to serve in customs offices or lighthouse
A lighthouse is a tower, building, or other type of structure designed to emit light from a system of lamps and lenses or, in older times, from a fire, and used as an aid to navigation for maritime pilots at sea or on inland waterways....

s, but since this service has not been arranged, they are always exempted in practice. Jehovah's Witnesses
Jehovah's Witnesses
Jehovah's Witnesses is a millenarian restorationist Christian denomination with nontrinitarian beliefs distinct from mainstream Christianity. The religion reports worldwide membership of over 7 million adherents involved in evangelism, convention attendance of over 12 million, and annual...

' service is deferred for three years, if they present a written testimony, not older than two months, from the congregation of their status as baptized and active members of the congregation. Jehovah's Witnesses will be exempted from peace time duty at the beginning of the age 29. Military service has been mandatory for men throughout the history of independent Finland since 1917. Soldiers and civilian servicemen receive a daily allowance of €4.70 (days 1 – 180), €8 (days 181 – 270), or €11.20 (onward from day 271).

Approximately 20% are trained as NCOs (corporals, sergeants), and 10% are trained as officers-in-reserve (second lieutenant). In wartime, it is expected that the officers-in-reserve fulfill most platoon leader and company commander positions. At the beginning of the service, all men go through same basic training of eight weeks. After this eight week period it is decided who will be trained as NCOs or officers.

Having completed the initial part of the service as a conscript, the soldier is placed in the reserve
A reservist is a person who is a member of a military reserve force. They are otherwise civilians, and in peacetime have careers outside the military. Reservists usually go for training on an annual basis to refresh their skills. This person is usually a former active-duty member of the armed...

. Reservists may be called for mandatory refresher exercises. Rank and file serve a maximum of 40 days, specialists 75 days and officers and NCOs 100 days. Per refresher course day, the reservists receive a taxable salary of about fifty euro. The salary depends slightly on the military rank: officers receive €56, NCOs €53 and rank-and file €51 per day. The service is mandatory; it is not possible to refuse an order to attend the refresher exercise, only postpone. , though, the option to opt for non-military service has been made available as the Finnish Defence Forces
Finnish Defence Forces
The Finnish Defence Forces are responsible for the defence of Finland. It is a cadre army of 15,000, of which 8,900 are professional soldiers , extended with conscripts and reservists such that the standard readiness strength is 34,700 people in uniform...

 has made ongoing budget cuts, reflected in the number of reservist exercises annually.

There are no general exemptions for the conscription. The law requires employers, landlords etc. to continue any pre-existing contracts after the service. For medical reasons, exemption or postponing can be given only by a military doctor. If the disability is expected to be cured, there is no exemption, and the service is postponed. The basic doctrine is that the great majority of each age cohort serve, and the size of the active army can be adjusted by changing the maximum age of reservists to be called up, instead of using selective service.

The option to military service is civilian service, where a conscript finds a job at some public institution, where he serves 12 months, the same as the longest rank-and-file service (drivers). Before 2008, the law required 13 months, which was criticized for being punitive.

The national security policy of Finland is based on a credible independent defence of all Finnish territory. The maximum number of military personnel abroad is limited to 2,000 (out of the 900,000 available reserve). Contributions to the UN troops comprise only professional soldiers and trained, paid reservists who have specifically applied to such operations. Therefore, there is no "expeditionary wars" argument against conscription.

Draft dodging is nearly non-existent, as failure to show up to conscription immediately leads to an arrest warrant and is prosecuted as absence without leave, or desertion
In military terminology, desertion is the abandonment of a "duty" or post without permission and is done with the intention of not returning...

 after five days of absence. Showing the military pass is required to obtain a passport
A passport is a document, issued by a national government, which certifies, for the purpose of international travel, the identity and nationality of its holder. The elements of identity are name, date of birth, sex, and place of birth....


Political opposition to conscription is rather marginalized and heavily associated with communist or anarchist groups. Particularly, the "Defenders of Peace" (Rauhanpuolustajat), who opposed military readiness, were supported by the Soviets during the Cold War era. Therefore, opposition to conscription is still heavily associated with anti-patriotism and communism.

Military rank, either as NCO or reserve officer, is highly valued as a merit in Finland by employers when recruiting a male employee. Grand majority of Finnish males who hold a managerial position in Finland have either NCO or officer rank in reserves.


, Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

 (Hellenic Republic) has mandatory military service of nine months for men. Although Greece is developing a professional army system, it continues to enforce the 9-month mandatory military service despite earlier promises that the draft would be reduced to six months. Women are accepted into the Greek army as salaried professionals, but they are not obliged to join as men are. Conscript soldiers receive full health insurance and a nominal salary of €9 per month for privates and €12 for the rank of draft corporal and draft sergeant. The minimum wage for an unskilled worker stands at around €650 per month in Greece, while professional soldiers are paid upwards of €800. This results in reservist corporals and sergeants receiving a wage that is 1/70th that of a professional soldier, whom they outrank.
The symbolic conscript "wages" are not sufficient to sustain a draftee serving his tour away from his place of residence and most draftees depend on their parents to support them financially while they are on their tour.

Conscientious objection to military service (Greece)

The length of alternative civilian service for conscientious objectors to military service remained punitive at 42 months. Amnesty International was also concerned that the determination of conscientious objector status fell under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Defense, which breaches international standards that stipulate that the entire institution of alternative service should have a civilian character.


Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

 has a mandatory military service for men which starts at the age of 18. Duration of military service is dependent on some conditions and circumstances. There is a 20-month military service for general, 18 months for destitute areas and 16 months for boundary areas; there is two months for military education. There are exceptions for those who cannot serve because of physical or mental health problems or disabilities. Students are exempt as long as they are attending school. The higher the education of a man, the higher his rank will be in the military service. Since 2008 and the commence of Iran's national elites organization activity (Bonyade Mellie Nokhbegan), students who are accepted as members of this organization (because of their special achievements, e.g., national and international olympiad medals and winners of invention competitions) can have a "scientific research" substitution instead of mandatory military service, and the research grant is given to these members from military universities, otherwise, formally these members are regarded as "soldiers" who are spending the mandatory military service program, and in any publication related to that research, their citations have to be that of the military university giving the research grant.

Exemptions from the Iranian military service, but also military duty in case of war include:
  • Single fathers.
  • Only Children; Men who do not have brothers or sisters under the ideology that their mother and/or father need the assistance of their only son.
  • Only Son; Men who are the only male in their family.
  • Men who are the sole carers of a disabled or mentally problematic parent, sibling, or 2nd line family members.
  • Doctors, firefighters and other emergency workers who their uptake for military duty or service jeopardizes local health and emergency services.
  • Workers of vital government institutions that assist or indirectly serve the military (exempt at time of war).
  • Workers of businesses that serve the military, e.g. military equipment factories (exempt at time of war).
  • and also having 3 brother which pass the conscription.

Prisoners may be excused of their sentence to serve in the military at a time of war or to complete military service in exchange for a reduced sentence dependent on the nature of the crime committed.

Men reaching 18 years old who are not granted exemption from the military service are not able to apply for a driving license, passport, or leave the country without special permission.


The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

 has mandatory military service for both men and women. All Israeli citizens are conscripted at age 18 or the conclusion of 12th Grade, with the following exceptions:
  • Haredim
    Haredi Judaism
    Haredi or Charedi/Chareidi Judaism is the most conservative form of Orthodox Judaism, often referred to as ultra-Orthodox. A follower of Haredi Judaism is called a Haredi ....

     are eligible for a deferral during their religious studies
    Yeshiva is a Jewish educational institution that focuses on the study of traditional religious texts, primarily the Talmud and Torah study. Study is usually done through daily shiurim and in study pairs called chavrutas...

    , which essentially becomes an exemption.
  • Israeli Arabs are exempt from conscription, although they may volunteer. The men of other non-Jewish communities in Israel, notably the Druze
    The Druze are an esoteric, monotheistic religious community, found primarily in Syria, Lebanon, Israel, and Jordan, which emerged during the 11th century from Ismailism. The Druze have an eclectic set of beliefs that incorporate several elements from Abrahamic religions, Gnosticism, Neoplatonism...

    , Bedouin
    The Bedouin are a part of a predominantly desert-dwelling Arab ethnic group traditionally divided into tribes or clans, known in Arabic as ..-Etymology:...

    , and Circassians, are conscripted; women are not though may volunteer.
  • Religiously observant Jewish women can apply for an exemption from army service. Although some choose to serve, many opt to serve voluntarily in civilian "national service" Sherut Leumi
    Sherut Leumi
    Sherut Leumi is an alternative voluntary national service in Israel for those that cannot or do not wish to serve in the Israel Defense Forces...

  • Women are not inducted if they are married or pregnant.
  • Candidates who do not qualify on grounds of mental or physical health.

Typically, men are required to serve for 3 years and women for 24 months. Officers and other soldiers in certain voluntary units such as Nahal
Nahal is an Israel Defense Forces infantry brigade. Historically, it refers to a program that combines military service and establishment of new agricultural settlements, often in outlying areas...

 and Hesder
Hesder is an Israeli yeshiva program which combines advanced Talmudic studies with military service in the Israel Defense Forces, usually within a Religious Zionist framework...

 are required to sign on for additional service. Those studying in a "Mechina" (pre-induction preparatory course)
A Mechina is an Israeli educational program that prepares high school graduates for serving in the Israeli Army or study at an institution of higher learning in Israel...

 defer service until the conclusion of the program, typically one academic year. An additional program (called "Atuda'i") for qualified applicants allows post-secondary academic studies prior to induction. See also: Israel Defence Forces.

There is a very limited amount of conscientious objection to conscription into the IDF
Israel Defense Forces
The Israel Defense Forces , commonly known in Israel by the Hebrew acronym Tzahal , are the military forces of the State of Israel. They consist of the ground forces, air force and navy. It is the sole military wing of the Israeli security forces, and has no civilian jurisdiction within Israel...

. More common is refusal by reserve soldiers to serve in the West Bank
West Bank
The West Bank ) of the Jordan River is the landlocked geographical eastern part of the Palestinian territories located in Western Asia. To the west, north, and south, the West Bank shares borders with the state of Israel. To the east, across the Jordan River, lies the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan...

 and Gaza
Gaza , also referred to as Gaza City, is a Palestinian city in the Gaza Strip, with a population of about 450,000, making it the largest city in the Palestinian territories.Inhabited since at least the 15th century BC,...

. Some of these conscientious objectors may be assigned to serve elsewhere, or are sentenced to brief prison terms lasting a few months to a year and may subsequently receive dishonourable discharges. See also: Refusal to serve in the Israeli military
Refusal to serve in the Israeli military
Refusal to serve in the Israeli military includes both refusal to obey specific orders and refusal to serve in the Israel Defense Forces in any capacity due to pacifist or anti-militarist views or disagreement with the policies of the Israeli government as implemented by the army, such as the...


After a year their period of regular army service, men are liable for up to 30 days (much less on average) per year of reserve duty ("miluim") until they are in their early forties. Women in certain positions of responsibility are liable for reserve duty to a limited extent, until they are twenty-four years old, married, or pregnant.

South Korea

South Korea
South Korea
The Republic of Korea , , is a sovereign state in East Asia, located on the southern portion of the Korean Peninsula. It is neighbored by the People's Republic of China to the west, Japan to the east, North Korea to the north, and the East China Sea and Republic of China to the south...

 has mandatory military service of 21 months. There are no alternatives for conscientious objectors except imprisonment. In general, with very few exceptions, most South Korean males serve in the military. The duration of service varies from branch to branch of the military.

Exemptions are granted to Korean male citizens with physical disabilities or whose mental status is unstable or questionable. When a Korean man becomes of legal age, he is required to take a physical check-up to determine whether he is suitable for military service. Every male is labeled into one of four different grades. Grades 1-3: normal, Grade 4: special service. Grade 4: special service is given to individuals that fulfill their military duties as a civil worker amongst civilians.

There are some controversies portrayed in Korean media concerning special treatment given to celebrities. Some celebrities are given exemptions to their mandatory military service, even though they clearly have no physical disabilities. The government has begun implementing tougher sanctions to those who attempt to avoid their military duty. It is considered shameful, undutiful, and treasonous for a man to take measures to avoid his military service when he is healthy and capable of fulfilling his 22-month requirement. In 2002 Yoo Seung Jun
Yoo Seung Jun
Yoo Seungjun, also known as Steve Yoo, is a former Korean American pop star, whose career in South Korea ended in 2002 due to controversies around his mandatory military service. He was noted for his high-energy dancing style, rapping, and singing ability.- Early life :Yoo born on December 15,...

, a Korean pop singer, became a naturalized American citizen to avoid his military duty in Korea. For this reason, Korea has banned Yoo from the country and actually deported him. Another recent example is MC Mong
MC Mong
MC Mong is a South Korean hip hop artist who is known for his comic disposition and his upbeat songs. He graduated from Dong-Ah Broadcasting College. MC Mong has collaborated with many well known artists, including Kim Tae Woo from G.o.d., Ock Ju-hyun, Ivy, Crown J, Lena Park, Park Hyo Shin, SG...

, a popular singer/rapper accused of avoiding his military service by having his molar teeth removed. On 11 April 2011, MC Mong was sentenced to a suspended jail term of 6 months, probation for one year, and 120 hours of community service.


, all males reaching eighteen years of age must register for military service (Servicio Militar Nacional, or SMN) for one year, though selection is made by a lottery system using the following color scheme: whoever draws a black ball must serve as a "disponibility reservist", that is, he must not follow any activities whatsoever and get his discharge card at the end of the year. The ones who get a white ball serve Saturdays in a Batallón del Servicio Militar Nacional (National Military Service Battalion) composed entirely of one-year SMN conscripts. Those with a community service interest may participate in Literacy Campaigns as teachers or as physical education instructors. Military service is also (voluntarily) open to women. In certain cities, such as Mexico City and Veracruz, there is a third option: a red ball (Mexico City) and a Blue ball (Veracruz), which entails serving a full year as a recruit in a Paratrooper Battalion in the case of Mexico City residents, or an Infantería de Marina unit (Navy Marines) in Veracruz. In other cities which have a Navy HQ (such as Ciudad Madero), it is the Navy which takes charge of the conscripts, instead of the Army.

Draft dodging was an uncommon occurrence in Mexico until 2002, since a "liberated" military ID card was needed for a Mexican male to obtain a passport, but since this requirement was dropped, absenteeism from military service has become much more common.


Norway , officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic unitary constitutional monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Jan Mayen, and the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and Bouvet Island. Norway has a total area of and a population of about 4.9 million...

 has mandatory military service of nineteen months for men between the ages of 18.5 (17 with parental consent) and 44 (55 in case of war). Beginning in 2006, the armed forces will also invite females to take a pre-service medical examination, but they will not be drafted unless they sign a declaration of willingness. The actual draft time is six months for the home guard
Norwegian Home Guard
The Norwegian Home Guard , is a rapid mobilisation force in the Norwegian military. Founded 6 December 1946, it is the youngest branch in the Norwegian forces.-Organization:...

, and twelve months for the regular army
Norwegian Army
Norway achieved full independence in 1905, and in the first century of its short life has contributed to two major conflicts, the Cold War and the War on Terror. The Norwegian Army currently operates in the north of Norway and in Afghanistan as well as in Eastern Europe. The Army is the oldest of...

, air force
Royal Norwegian Air Force
The Royal Norwegian Air Force is the air force of Norway. It was established as a separate arm of the Norwegian armed forces on 10 November 1944. The RNoAF's peace force is approximately 1,430 employees . 600 personnel also serve their draft period in the RNoAF...

 and navy
Royal Norwegian Navy
The Royal Norwegian Navy is the branch of the Norwegian Defence Force responsible for naval operations. , the RNoN consists of approximately 3,700 personnel and 70 vessels, including 5 heavy frigates, 6 submarines, 14 patrol boats, 4 minesweepers, 4 minehunters, 1 mine detection vessel, 4 support...


The remaining months are supposed to be served in annual exercises, but very few conscripts do this because of lack of funding for the Norwegian armed forces. As a result of this decreased funding and greater reliance on high technology, the armed forces are aiming towards drafting only 10,000 conscripts a year. , an average of 27% of young men actually complete military service each year. The remainder, for the most part, either are formally dismissed after medical tests or obtain deferral from the service because of studies or stays abroad.

Some, such as those who choose vocational course paths during high school (for example, carpenters and electricians) opt to complete their required apprenticeships within the military. While some Norwegians consider it unfair that they have to complete the compulsory military duty when so many others are dismissed, others see it as a privilege and there is normally high competition to be allowed to join some branches of the service.

The Norwegian armed forces will normally not draft a person who has reached the age of 28. In Norway, certain voluntary specialist training programs and courses entail extended conscription of one to eight years. Pacifists
Pacifism is the opposition to war and violence. The term "pacifism" was coined by the French peace campaignerÉmile Arnaud and adopted by other peace activists at the tenth Universal Peace Congress inGlasgow in 1901.- Definition :...

 can apply for non-military service, which lasts 12 months.


The conscription system was introduced into Imperial Russia by Dmitry Milyutin
Dmitry Milyutin
Count Dmitry Alekseyevich Milyutin was Minister of War and the last Field Marshal of Imperial Russia...

 on 1 January 1874. As of 2008, the Russian Federation has a mandatory 12 months draft. Some examples of how people avoid being drafted are:
  • Studying in a university or similar place. All full-time students are free from conscription, but they can be drafted after they graduate (or if they drop out). Graduated students serve one year as privates, but if they have a military education, they have the option to serve two years as officers. Persons who continue full-time postgraduate education, or have an academic degree
    Academic degree
    An academic degree is a position and title within a college or university that is usually awarded in recognition of the recipient having either satisfactorily completed a prescribed course of study or having conducted a scholarly endeavour deemed worthy of his or her admission to the degree...

     (Candidate of Science, PhD, Doctor of Science) are not drafted.
  • Getting a medical certificate that shows that a person is unfit for service.
  • Having more than two children.

In Russia, a person can be conscripted at the age 18 – 27, i.e. a man can't be drafted after he turns twenty-seven. In 2006, the Russian government and State Duma
State Duma
The State Duma , common abbreviation: Госду́ма ) in the Russian Federation is the lower house of the Federal Assembly of Russia , the upper house being the Federation Council of Russia. The Duma headquarters is located in central Moscow, a few steps from Manege Square. Its members are referred to...

 gradually reduced the term of service to 18 months from 24 for those who will be conscripted in 2007 and to 12 months from 2008 and dropped some legal excuses for non-conscription from the law (such as non-conscription of rural doctors and teachers, of men who have a child younger than 3 years, etc.) from 1 January 2008. Also full-time students graduated from civil university with military education will be free from conscription from 1 January 2008.

As a result of draft evasion, Russian generals have repeatedly complained that the bulk of the army is made up of drug addicts, imbeciles, and ex-convicts, which in turn has led to an overall decline of the morale and function of the Russian armed services. Conscripts often face brutal hazing and bullying upon their entrance into the military, known as dedovshchina
Dedovshchina is the name given to the informal system of subjection of new junior conscripts, formerly to the Soviet Armed Forces and today to the Russian armed forces, Interior Ministry, and FSB border guards, as well as the military forces of certain former Soviet Republics, to brutalization...

, some dying as a result.

See also


In Singapore
Singapore , officially the Republic of Singapore, is a Southeast Asian city-state off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, north of the equator. An island country made up of 63 islands, it is separated from Malaysia by the Straits of Johor to its north and from Indonesia's Riau Islands by the...

, the NS (Amendment) Act was passed on 14 March 1967, under which all able-bodied male citizens of 18 – 21 years of age were required to serve 24 months of compulsory national service
National service
National service is a common name for mandatory government service programmes . The term became common British usage during and for some years following the Second World War. Many young people spent one or more years in such programmes...

 in the Singapore Armed Forces
Singapore Armed Forces
The Singapore Armed Forces is the military arm of the Total Defence of the Republic of Singapore; as well as the military component of the Ministry of Defence. The SAF comprises three branches: the Singapore Army, the Republic of Singapore Air Force and the Republic of Singapore Navy...

, the Singapore Police Force
Singapore Police Force
The Singapore Police Force is the main agency tasked with maintaining law and order in the city-state. Formerly known as the Republic of Singapore Police , it has grown from an 11-man organisation to a 38,587 strong force...

, or the Singapore Civil Defence Force
Singapore Civil Defence Force
The Singapore Civil Defence Force is the main agency in charge of the provision of emergency services in Singapore during peacetime and emergency.A uniformed organisation under the purview of the Ministry of Home Affairs, the main role of SCDF is to provide...

. Upon completion of full-time NS, they undergo reservist
A reservist is a person who is a member of a military reserve force. They are otherwise civilians, and in peacetime have careers outside the military. Reservists usually go for training on an annual basis to refresh their skills. This person is usually a former active-duty member of the armed...

 training cycles of up to forty days a year for the next ten years.

The majority of conscripts serve in the Singapore Armed Forces due to its larger manpower requirements. Almost all conscripts undergo basic military training before being deployed to the various services, the police, or Civil Defence; conscripts do not have the opportunity to choose their assignment. Conscripts, known as National Servicemen, hold leadership positions as Specialists
Specialist (Singapore)
In the Singapore Armed Forces , Specialists are the group of ranks equivalent to non-commissioned officers in other armed forces. This term was introduced in 1993, for a more "positive" rank classification. In the SAF, Warrant Officers are not considered Specialists.Like many other modern...

 or commissioned officers.

Singapore used to have one of the longest mandatory military service periods for males, at thirty months prior to 2005.


Military service for Swiss men is obligatory according to the Federal Constitution, and includes 18 or 21 weeks of basic training (depending on troop category) as well as annual 3-week-refresher courses until a number of service days which increases with rank (260 days for privates) is reached. (It is also possible to serve the whole requirement at one piece, meaning no refresher courses are required.) Service for women is voluntary, but identical in all respects. Conscientious objectors can choose 390 days of community service instead of military service. Medical deferments and dismissals from basic training (often on somewhat dubious grounds) have increased significantly in the last years. Therefore, only about 55% to 60% of Swiss men actually complete basic training.

Taiwan (ROC)

The Republic of China
Republic of China
The Republic of China , commonly known as Taiwan , is a unitary sovereign state located in East Asia. Originally based in mainland China, the Republic of China currently governs the island of Taiwan , which forms over 99% of its current territory, as well as Penghu, Kinmen, Matsu and other minor...

 has had mandatory military service for all males since 1949. Females from the outlying islands of Fuchien
Fujian Province (Republic of China)
Fujian Province is a province on the coast of southeastern China. Since 1949, Fujian has been split between two separate governments: the vast majority of Fujian province has been governed by the People's Republic of China ; while a number of offshore islands have been governed by the Republic of...

 were also required to serve in a civil defense role, although this requirement has been dropped since the lifting of martial law. In October 1999, the mandatory service was shortened from twenty-four months to twenty-two months; from January 2004 it was shortened further to eighteen months, and from 1 January 2006 the duration has decreased to sixteen months. The ROC Defense Ministry had announced that should voluntary enlistment reach sufficient numbers, the compulsory service period for draftees will be shortened to fourteen months in 2007, and further to twelve months in 2009.

ROC nationals with Overseas Chinese
Overseas Chinese
Overseas Chinese are people of Chinese birth or descent who live outside the Greater China Area . People of partial Chinese ancestry living outside the Greater China Area may also consider themselves Overseas Chinese....

 status are exempt from service. Draftees may also request alternative service, usually in community service areas, although the required service period would be longer than military service. Qualified draftees with graduate degrees in the sciences or engineering who pass officer candidate exams may also apply to fulfil their obligations in a national defense service option which involves three months of military training, followed by an officer commission in the reserves and four years working in technical jobs in the defense industry or government research institutions.

The Ministry of Interior is responsible for administering the National Conscription Agency.

On 1 August 2008, the Defence Minister announced that from 2014 on, Taiwan would have a purely volunteer professional force. However, males who opt not to volunteer will be subjected to three to four month military training. Those who do not have a tertiary education will have a three month training when reaching military age, whereas those who are receiving tertiary education will have to complete the training in summer vacations.

Should this policy remain unchanged, although Taiwan will have a purely volunteer professional force, every male will still be conscripted to receive a three to four month military training. Thus, after 2014, compulsory military service will still remain in practice in Taiwan.


In Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

, compulsory military service applies to all male citizens from twenty to forty-one years of age (with some exceptions). Those who are engaged in higher education or vocational training programs prior to their military drafting are allowed to delay service until they have completed the programs, or reach a certain age, depending on the program (e.g. 29 years of age for undergraduate degrees). The duration of the basic military service varies. As of July 2003, the reduced durations are as follows: fifteen months for privates (previously eighteen months), twelve months for reserve officers (previously sixteen months) and six months for short-term privates, which denotes those who have earned a university degree and have not been enlisted as reserve officers (previously eight months).

For Turkish citizens who have lived or worked abroad of Turkey for at least three years, on condition that they pay a certain fee in foreign currencies, a basic military training of twenty-one days (previously twenty-eight days) is offered instead of the full-term military service. Also, when the General Staff assesses that the military reserve exceeds the required amount, paid military service of one-month's basic training is established by law as a stopgap measure, but has only been practiced in reality once so far, and only applied to men of a certain age (born in or prior to 1973). This was done in order to generate funds to recover from the aftermath of the 1999 İzmit earthquake
1999 Izmit earthquake
The 1999 İzmit earthquake was a 7.6 magnitude earthquake that struck northwestern Turkey on August 17, 1999, at about 3:02am local time. The event lasted for 37 seconds, killing around 17,000 people and leaving approximately half a million people homeless...

, which took place in the highly industrialized Marmara region of the country, and had a considerable negative impact on the Turkish economy due to the severe damage it caused to a significant number of residential and industrial structures.

Although women in principle are not obliged to serve in the military, they are allowed to become military officers.

Conscientious objection of military service is illegal in Turkey and punishable with imprisonment by law. Many conscientious objectors flee abroad mainly to neighbouring countries or the European Union (as asylum seekers or guest workers).


The options are either reserve officer training for two years (offered in universities as a part of a program which means not having to join the army), or one year regular service. In Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

, a person could not be conscripted after he turned twenty-five. The Ukrainian army had similar problems with dedovshchina
Dedovshchina is the name given to the informal system of subjection of new junior conscripts, formerly to the Soviet Armed Forces and today to the Russian armed forces, Interior Ministry, and FSB border guards, as well as the military forces of certain former Soviet Republics, to brutalization...

 as the Russian army
Russian Ground Forces
The Russian Ground Forces are the land forces of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, formed from parts of the collapsing Soviet Army in 1992. The formation of these forces posed economic challenges after the collapse of the Soviet Union, and required reforms to professionalize the force...

 did until very recently, but in Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

 the problem is getting less severe compared to Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

, due to cuts in the conscript terms (from 24 months to 18 months in the early 2000s and then to 12 months in 2004) and cuts in total conscription numbers (due to the switching of the army into a full-time professional army) since the last conscripts may be drafted until the end of 2015.

See also

  • Conscription
    Conscription is the compulsory enlistment of people in some sort of national service, most often military service. Conscription dates back to antiquity and continues in some countries to the present day under various names...

  • Volunteer military
    Volunteer military
    A volunteer military or all-volunteer military is one which derives its manpower from volunteers rather than conscription or mandatory service. A country may offer attractive pay and benefits through military recruitment to attract volunteers...

  • National service
    National service
    National service is a common name for mandatory government service programmes . The term became common British usage during and for some years following the Second World War. Many young people spent one or more years in such programmes...

  • Enlistment age by country
    Enlistment age by country
    These are the enlistment ages for Military service, by country, according to the online CIA publication The World Factbook.- A :*Afghanistan – 22 *albania – 19 *Algeria – 19...

Further reading

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