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Committee on the liability for military service presents a proposal for extending the call-ups to include also women and measures for increasing the number of women completing the military service

Defence Forces
Publication date 26.11.2021 14.51
Press release
kuva jossa naisvarusmies käyttää viestivälinettä

Tabling their report on 26.11.2021, the parliamentary committee on liability for military service presents a proposal for age-group-wide call-ups, as well as measures for increasing the number of persons completing military service and developing the reserve. The Finnish Defence Forces meets the development and set objectives with an open and positive response. The report provides good guidelines for the FDF for developing training and the system of liability for military service.

The system of liability for military service continues to be the basis of Finland’s defence solution. By reason of the functioning efficiency required, it is important that, as a system and concerning its practices, the liability for military service remains widely accepted in society. In the current threat and operational environment, Finland needs the present-size wartime units incorporating altogether 280 000 troops for carrying out its set tasks. Of the wartime units, more than 95% are reservists. The committee’s proposals further strengthen the operational conditions for military national defence.

The present system is challenged, in particular, by the limitations relating to operating capability of those liable for military service. These limitations either delay service start or prevent service completion. Halting this development trend presupposes reinforcing cooperation between authorities to improve young persons’ well-being and functioning capability. The aim is to increase the number of persons starting military service from its present level, and to reduce service dropout rates.

– The aim is to affect the number of conscripts completing the military service by developing the fitness for service assessment and possibly renewing the fitness for service classification criteria. As part of this development work, we examine the possibility to move away from sustained conditions and diagnosis-based recommendations to assessing instead the functioning capability of a person in relation to the requirements appropriate to conscript service and wartime tasks, Colonel Jukka Nurmi from the Defence Command who served as a specialist in the committee says.

Common call-up day for women and men

In Finland, both the educational system and call-up system strengthen young persons’ national defence knowledge. The aim of the report is to have a common mandatory call-up day for women and men. A common call-up day offers the possibility to deliver information on the national defence obligation, on the liability for military service (incl. non-military (civil) service), and on the opportunity for voluntary military service for women. This will in turn improve young persons’ readiness to fulfil the national defence obligation.

There is also a will to reinforce the reserve phase as a part of the liability for military service. The Government Defence Report emphasises the development of local defence as well. In the future, local defence units are to form a national network that is capable of carrying out versatile and demanding inter-agency cooperation. Sustained contacts to reservists will further improve, and reservists’ competences will be utilised in renewed local defence. The committee views that it is necessary to examine the age limit of the reserve, and that the objective must be to raise the age limit of the reserve. 

– The present system of liability for military service well meets the need of military national defence to produce a reserve for the defence of the whole country, Colonel Nurmi says.

The committee aims to tighten the role of non-military (civil) service in strengthening society’s comprehensive security. The FDF meets with a positive response the development of non-military (civil) service complying with the report. The system of civil service must not be a system that competes with the conscript service. Rather, there needs to be a balance between the service types to sustain the capability and readiness for military national defence. It remains vital to train into the FDF reserve an adequately high number of persons liable for military service also in the future.