It’s that time of year, when thousands of young Finnish men report for the start of their compulsory national service.
Around 12,000 new conscripts begin their military service on Monday. The majority of them, 10,000, will be going into the Army with the rest divided among the Air Force, Navy and Border Guard units.
The biggest number of recruits go to Kainuu, Karelia and Pori Brigades, and depending on the training, the conscription time lasts 165, 225, or 347 days. The length of civilian service, an option for people who don’t want to go to the military, lasts the same amount of time as the longest conscription service.
While conscription – either in the military or on civilian service – is compulsory for men, and around 85% take part, it is only voluntary for women. Last year almost 24,000 people started their military service in Finland, including a thousand female volunteers.
The conscripts will earn a very small amount of money while they’re in the military and the majority rely on funding from Kela to keep them financially afloat over the coming months.
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