Ministry of Defence announces the second round of state defence service draft
Ministry of Defence has opened enlistment for young people looking to start state defence service in January of 2024. According to decree signed by Defence Minister Mūrniece, there will be two enlistment waves in 2024 – one in January and one in June, drafting up to 850 young people for all three types of service.
‘We hope young people will join state defence service voluntarily and acquire skills, competences and knowledge required to defend Latvia when the need comes. Continued development of state defence service is an opportunity for young people to voluntarily choose where they serve and what kind of service it will be – 11-month training with National Armed Forces or National Guard, and defence service reserve force officer training for university students,’ Defence Minister Ināra Mūrniece said.
National Armed Forces 11-month training is one of the types of state defence service. 600 young people, 120 in January and 480 in July, will be enlisted in 2024. From January 2024, young people will start their 11-month state defence service in one of three locations: National Armed Force Staff Headquarters in Riga, Air Force Air Defence Division in Lielvārde and 25th National Guard Combat Support Battalion in Stāmeriena, Gulbene region. Conscripts enlisting voluntarily will have the option to choose where they serve by selecting the preffered location in draft form.
Up to 200 young people volunteering for state defence service will have an option to do their service in the National Guard for the total duration of training of 5 years, with 28 training days a year. Up to 50 of these state defence service conscripts will join one of four National Guard units – Riga Brigade 1, Vidzeme Brigade 2, Latgale Brigade 3 and Kurzeme Brigade 4. Conscripts will be offered a location near their home as much as possible. Up to 50 young people, students of Latvian universities, who will volunteer for the state defence service, will have an option to do a 5-year long state defence service reserve force officer training.
2024 Enlistment Plan is set to provide adequate state defence service training for Latvia. As expected, the first wave of state defence service enlistment will be rolled out in June 2024.
Similar to the first state defence service draft, during the second wave, which will start serving in January, Latvian nationals will initially be able to apply voluntarily. Enlistment on the national recruitment platform www.klustikaravirs.lv will be open until 15 July. If the threshold for 11-month National Armed Forces enlistment will not be reached before this deadline, remaining conscripts will be recruited through random selection that will take place on 10 August 2023.
All potential conscripts who are eligible for random selection will be assigned a unique ID number in advance. Conscripts will be drawn in random selection from the pool of eligible candidates. To receive information about state defence service conscription, potential recruits will need an official e-mail address or e-mail address where conscription notification can be sent. If conscripts do not have an e-mail address, they will be contacted at their official place of residence or in a registered letter.
According to Law on the Official Electronic Address, all male citizens of Latvia aged 18-27 are required to have an official electronic address as of 1 June 2023. Official electronic address can be created at the national e-services portal www.latvija.lv by clicking the link to ‘e-address’. E-address can be created using one of the national e-ID tools – eID card or eParaksts mobile. Registered e-mail will provide access to information circulated by Ministry of Defence in the context of state defence service conscription and official address for correspondence with state institutions.
As reported earlier, the first wave of voluntary state defence service enlistment concluded on 15 May. 488 Latvian nationals were drafted voluntarily, including 11 women and 6 Latvians residing abroad.
Voluntary enlistment has now ended and recruitment teams are evaluating applications, as well as running candidate background checks against the Convictions Register. All applicants cleared for further selection will then be required to undergo health tests. Every potential conscript will be notified of the date and place where these tests will be conducted and documents required to complete them.
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