Record number of consripts joining defence forces voluntarily

The 1st Infantry Brigade at a formation this summer.
The 1st Infantry Brigade at a formation this summer. Source:

More than 1,000 young people started conscript service in the Estonian Defence Forces in the last call-up of 2019 and over half of them started voluntarily which is a new record.

With the last call-up of the year, 1,083 new conscripts including six female volunteers, started eight months of training on Sept. 30 and Oct. 1, the Defense Resources Agency said.

Altogether 52.4 percent of the call-up selectees started conscript service voluntarily. There has never been such a high share of volunteers. For example, the share of young people who voluntarily started conscript service was 40.5 percent in July and 31.5 percent in January.

Altogether 555 young people, including three female volunteers, started conscript service in the 1st Infantry Brigade. A total of 363 conscripts, including three female volunteers, started training as part of the 2nd Infantry Brigade. The Support Command got 85 conscripts and the Cyber Command 80 conscripts.

For this call-up, altogether 23 young men returned for conscript service from foreign countries. Most of those who arrived from abroad came from Finland, but other countries also included the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Norway, Greece, and Cyprus.

A large number of the conscripts have a B category driver's license and a few also hold a C category license. Most of the new conscripts have completed secondary or basic education.

Altogether 3,336 young people, including 38 female volunteers, started conscript service in 2019.

The next conscript service call-up will take place on the last week of January next year, from Jan. 27 to Feb. 2.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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