Applications open for January draft into Latvia's defense service

The second draft of the mandatory State Defense Service (VAD), which will start in January next year, can be applied for voluntarily until July 15. At the moment, the activity is low, head of the VAD recruitment and selection center, Major Rihards Rozenbaums, told Latvian Television on June 6.

In January, 120 people are planned to be drafted. If the number is not covered by volunteers, random selection will apply primarily to males aged 18–19. The data will be taken from the information bases of several ministries and the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs.

850 people will be recruited into the three types of mandatory defense service next year altogether.

“The applications for the second draft are few, but knowing that young people are putting it off to the last minute, I ask not to postpone it,” Rozenbaums said. There are also young people who still want to join the first draft, but the deadline for it expired in mid-May. Now one can only apply for the January draft, Rozenbaums said.

He said that parents are also heavily involved in the first draft, not only by encouraging their offspring to apply for VAD, but also by coming with them in to fill in documents.

“Sometimes I feel sorry for those young people – the father or mother stands next to him and shows what needs to be filled in,” Rozenbaums added.

488 young people have volunteered for the first draft, but around 20-25% could fall through due to health problems.

The exact number of young people starting the first VAD on July 1 will be known around Midsummer, the center director said.


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