Applications close for second draft of Latvian defense service

224 Latvian citizens have volunteered for the second 11-month draft of the State Defense Service (VAD) by Friday, July 21, noon. A decision has been taken not to carry out compulsory recruitment  in August, the Ministry of Defense (AM) stated.

The soldiers of this draft will start their service in January next year.

The 11-month VAD in 2024 will consist of 600 young people – 120 people in the January draft, and 480 people in the July draft. In January 2024, the 11-month service in the NBS unit will be implemented in three places of service: the NBS Battalion in Riga, the Air Force Air Protection Divisional in Lielvarde and the 25th Battalion of the National Guard in Stāmeriena. 

Until September 1 this year, citizens have the possibility to apply on a voluntary basis for the VAD's alternative five-year training program in the National Guard, through the single recruitment platform

In order to prepare Latvian citizens for the performance of State defense tasks, a mandatory defense service has been established in the country. The first draft was voluntary – Latvian citizens aged 18 to 27 could apply until May 15 of this year. 488 Latvian citizens volunteered for the first draft of the service and 254 young people started the service on July 1.

As from January 1 2024, the service has been designated as mandatory. 

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