State Defence Service*

In July 5, 2022 the Ministry of Defence announced that it has started to work on the introduction of the State Defence Service and its gradual integration, which envisages that in 5 year's time a new system will be introduced in which citizens of Latvia - males from 18 to 27 years or age, will be able to choose one of three service types: State Defence Service, National Guard or the Section Commander University Course. In 2024, it will be possible to apply for Civil Service, serving under other ministries.

Females in this age group will be offered the same opportunities on voluntary basis.

In January 2023, the Ministry of Defence will invite male citizens of Latvia 18 to 19 years to enlist for military training on voluntary basis. As from the second half of 2023, male citizens of Latvia will also be recruited under mandatory conditions. In the second half of 2023, male Latvian citizens aged 18 to 19 will be invited to join the service on a voluntary basis, but the number of missing persons will be enlisted during a mandatory call for service. Two draft proposals are planned for the year in January and July.

In phase 1 of the project, the Ministry of Defence will target Latvian citizens aged 18-27 and offer them voluntary military training, which will become available as of January 2023. Next year's enlistment will be carried out in two stages – one call will be announced in January and the second in July. The Ministry of Defence will develop recruitment procedures that will ensure transparent and fair conscription practices.

Enlistment in the State Defence Service can be postponed by citizens who, for important reasons, want to do it at a different time, but no later than until the age of 26. A second postponement of the State Defence Service for this reason will not be permissible.

It is planned to attract 1,000 citizens in the first year of implementation of the State Defence Service. Over the course of five years, the number of conscripts is planned to be gradually increased, and starting from 2028 about 7,500 Latvian citizens are expected to be conscripted yearly, if the necessary funding will be allocated.

Individuals who will be recruited to the National Armed Forces unit will receive compensation of €300 per month, while those who will voluntarily apply to the NAF unit will receive compensation of €600 per month. At the end of the service, both volunteers and conscripts will receive a retirement compensation of €1100. Catering and clothing and other required service equipment and barracks will be provided to soldiers serving in the unit of the National Armed Forces. Social insurance contributions will also be made for the conscripts and volunteers in accordance with the procedures specified in the Law "On State Social Insurance". The amount of compensation is planned to be adjusted to the economic situation in the country, and the possibility of providing additional social guarantees to the trainees will also be considered.

Clergy ordained by religious organizations and other citizens that study in the training institutions of religious personnel of these religious organizations will study the State Defence Training program for the Chaplain Service. Also, medical personnel will learn the State Defence Training program during their studies.

The duration of the military service as well as health requirements will depend on the type of the chosen service. After serving in a unit of the National Armed Forces, in the National Guard or after completing the Special military training course at a university, a person will become a reserve soldier and will be included in the high readiness reserve.

*The information regarding State Defence Service corresponds to the draft law submitted to the Cabinet of Ministers (22-TA-2481), which was viewed at 20.09.2022.