Latvia's state defense service to recruit 850 people in 2024

Next year, the State Defense Service (VAD) will have two drafts and a total of 600 people will be recruited into the National Armed Forces (NBS), as well as 250 in other service types, according to an order issued by the Minister for Defense, Ināra Mūrniece (National Alliance).

The order, published on May 26 in the official publication Latvijas Vēstnesis, was issued in order to promote the strengthening of Latvia's defense capabilities and to ensure the drafting according to the Law of the State Defense Service.

The draft will take place in January and July 2024.

The 11-month-long service in the National Armed Forces unit will consist of 600 people: 120 people in January and 480 in July.

On the other hand, the five-year service in the National Guard will consist of up to 200 persons next year. The third type of military service – the specialized reserve lieutenant higher education program – will take 50 people, thus making the number 850 across the three types of service.

The first draft, taking place July this year, is voluntary – Latvian citizens aged 18 to 27 could apply until May 15 of this year. 488 volunteers applied, as reported earlier by LSM.

As of January 1 2024, the service has been designated as mandatory. Men aged 18 to 19 years will be primarily subject to mandatory drafting. 

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