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Finnish liability for military service safeguarding the defence capability

As a militarily non-aligned country, Finland will remain prepared to defend her territory independently. The Finnish Defence Forces will train conscripts to form a sustained combat-efficient wartime force and reserve. This will establish a pre-emptive threshold against the use of force and thereby defend all of Finland. In fact, the Finnish liability for military service has turned out to be the correct defence solution as our security environment has undergone a number of changes over the past years.

"National defence is Everybody’s Business"

Each Finnish citizen remains bound to the national defence obligation. Thereby all Finnish male citizens aged from 18 to 60 are obligated to take part in the military defence of Finland. It is possible to carry out the liability for military service by completing either armed or unarmed service. Women aged from 18 to 29 may apply for the voluntary military service for women.

The Finnish liability for military service remains unwaveringly supported by the Finnish population. Nearly 75 percent of Finns support the current system of liability for military service that safeguards the reserve indispensable for the purposes of defending Finland. (Finns`opinios on foreing and security policy, national defence and security 2018, pdf 1,4 Mt)

Why the national defence obligation, the liability for military service?

A cost efficient means for producing a sizeable enough and capable reserve, the liability for military service comprises conscript service during which the persons liable for military service undergo training to master the basics of military national defence. The relatively brief duration of the conscript service draws from the high educational level of our conscripts, which translates into the conscripts being capable of internalising the high-level military training over a short time period.

The competence and capability of Finnish conscripts and reservists remains internationally comparable and becomes demonstrated as part multinational military training exercise actively attended by Finnish detachments partaking in this training. It is this sustained interoperability that serves as the proof of our military training functioning and being interoperable: the conscript service provides the competence necessary for readiness in wartime duties and tasks.

By definition, the liability for military service continues to evolve as times change. Finnish youngsters continue to be very educated and quick to learn. As military technologies keep developing further, both the conscripts and the reservists need to remain capable of quickly internalising the novel possibilities introduced by the digitalisation process and developments in overall technologies.

The training provided for those liable for military service will undergo updates to meet the requirements set by the 2020s. This is to be done by means of the Training 2020 Programme. As of this July 2018, experiments related to this update programme are to be implemented in brigade level units.

Liability for military service as part of society

The Finnish liability for national defence will remain part of what it means to be Finnish and part of the Finnish society. In conjunction with military service, the conscripts from all walks of life with versatile backgrounds give their own, invaluable contribution for the purposes of militarily defending the homeland. As such, the liability for military service equals a significant factor in uniting the citizens and in enhancing cohesion.

Social interaction during the conscript service decreases the social marginalisation and exclusion of young people, and the service positively affects public health. While in service, the objective is that the competence and skills of each conscript acquired in the civilian life become fully utilised in versatile duties and tasks. Similarly, undertaking challenging and versatile service duties will accumulate skills and work experience necessary in working life.