150 draftees will be called up for next round of military service

In the third draft of the National Defense Service, 150 young citizens will be compulsorily called up "on a random basis" according to a release from the Defense Ministry.

So far, 515 persons voluntarily applied for the third call-up of the National Defense Service, of which more than 320 have passed health tests and have been recognized as fit for service.

In the third draft, a total of 480 people need to be drafted, therefore, on January 23, a random selection will be made, "when 300 draftees will be selected with a special random number generation program" according to the Ministry. 

The selected persons will receive summonses for health examinations, for which they will have to go to the Medical Center of the National Armed Forces in Riga. 150 persons will be conscripted into the service after conducting health examinations.

According to the data compiled by the Ministry of Defense, there are currently 22,539 male citizens of Latvia aged 18 to 19 in Latvia. Of these, 3,581 citizens preliminarily meet the requirements for enlistment in the national defense service.

On January 23, the selection process will be streamed live on Facebook and YouTube. According to the Ministry: "Conscripts for selection are registered randomly by administrative territory, assigning a serial number to each citizen. The selection will be made using the unique random number generator specially created for the selection.

"In order to monitor the selection process, the Ministry of Defense Conscription Selection Monitoring Commission is being formed. Representatives of the ministry's departments will be appointed to its composition (except for the Departments of the State Defense Service and Information and Communication Technologies), who will evaluate the progress of the process and its legitimacy."

Within two weeks after the selection, young people selected for the national defense service will be sent a summons, indicating the date and time of their health examination. Upon receiving the summons, the selected young people must also fill out and submit the questionnaire online or by hand within five working days.

Then, after conducting the health examination, the doctor's commission will give an opinion on whether each individual is fit for service, and a decision will be made about enlistment, which will be sent "no later than three months before the actual start of the service, namely on July 19."

National defense service can be postponed for a later time, but no longer than until the age of 26, unless for compelling reasons, for example, if a scholarship has been obtained at a university, the citizen is a member of the national team in a sport, is on parental leave or due to other important family circumstances.

Decisions can be disputed to the Enlistment Control Commission and appealed to the administrative court. A citizen can also submit an application for alternative (non-military) service. The application will be evaluated and the decision on enlistment in the alternative service will be made by the Enlistment Control Commission.

Draftees for military service will also face the prospect of being paid half of what their volunteer counterparts will be paid – 300 euros instead of 600 euros.

Latvia did previously have mandatory military service until January 2007, when it switched to a fully professional military service backed up by a National Guard militia, but reintroduced mandatory service last year.

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