Random selection for state defense service will take place January

The draw for mandatory conscription of young people to the State Defense Service (VAD) to complete the third conscription will take place on January 23, said State Secretary of the Ministry of Defense Jānis Garisons in a Latvian Radio interview on November 29.

It is already known that 480 young people should start serving in the third VAD conscription, which can be volunteered for until December 1 this year and will start next summer. Not enough young people have volunteered - just over 250.

Therefore, it is planned to organize a random selection for the first time, where young people would be recruited to the service on a mandatory basis. At least 600-700 young people should be called in mandatorily, given the proportion that does not pass the health check.

The selection, or draw, is scheduled to take place on January 23, Garisons told LR.

The Ministry of Defense plans to attract non-governmental organizations and ombuds to make sure the draw has been conducted fairly. Garisons also said the Ministry is consulting with the lottery organizer “Latvijas Loto” about organizing the draw.

Shortly after the draw, the selected youth will receive an order to be sent for medical examination. 

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

Meanwhile, 224 Latvian citizens volunteered for the second conscription, which will begin in January 2024, and the Ministry of Defense decided not to carry out mandatory conscription at random.

From January 1, 2024, the service has been designated as mandatory. Compulsory conscription will give priority to men aged 18 to 19. 

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