Recruitment in National Guard needs targeted campaigns: Commander

After Russia's full-scale war in Ukraine, interest in joining the Latvian National Guard increased rapidly. It has now settled, and there must be targeted campaigns in recruiting new soldiers and national guards, Kaspars Pudāns, commander of the National Guard, said in an interview on the Latvian Television morning news program on February 20.

He said that in under two months of this year, nearly 300 candidates from all regions of Latvia have applied to the National Guard, most of them in Rīga. More than 150 new national guards have already been admitted.

“Overall, the number of [National Guard soldiers] has stabilized,” Pudāns said.

This and the end of last year show that these numbers can be reckoned with in the future, but “we can no longer rely on the effects of [external] events in recruitment – there must be targeted campaigns to recruit both the National Guard soldiers and the volunteers to State Defense Service.”

The motivation to join National Guard varies, but “what Russia has done to the Ukrainian people – whether it is anger at what has been done or concern for the safety of their own family – is seen throughout,” Pudāns continued.

In total, the National Armed Forces have close to 10 thousand soldiers, including in the National Guard, around 9,800.

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