Latvian armed forces plan to recruit 1,000 soldiers

The Latvian National Armed Forces (NBS) have been increasing their ranks over the past few years, but this year they're aiming to recruit from 900 to 1,000 new soldiers, according to NBS Commander Leonīds Kalniņš. 

The first few months of this year have already seen an increasing interest from society in joining the armed forces. NBS has increased their ranks by 1,000 since 2017, now they hope to achieve the same in one year. To join the army you have to be a Latvian citizen, at least 18 years old, not have a criminal record and pass a medical exam. As for physical fitness?

“I want to say that Latvian citizens shouldn't worry about this aspect, we'll help them improve their physical fitness. The main thing is that their medical condition meets criteria and that they don't have a record,” said Kalninš.

The army has recently been the target of disinformation during the Covid-19 novel coronavirus pandemic, but Kalniņš said the crisis may actually motivate people to join NBS. The forces have continued training operations, however they've adapted them to limit any widespread transmission of the virus.

This weekend will be the May 4 holiday in Latvia - the day the country reinstated its independence. The Supreme Council of the Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic adopted the Declaration "On the Restoration of Independence of the Republic of Latvia" and renewed the 1922 Constitution of Latvia, making it a free and democratic state once again. This year will be the 30th anniversary of the event, but celebrations will be a bit scaled back due to the emergency measures still in place.

“We're unshakable optimists, so the holiday feeling hasn't been undermined due to the pandemic. We've oriented more towards social support for Latvian society,” said the commander.

Kalniņš also urged Latvian residents never to lose their optimism, which will be necessary to build a better society, and he also wished everyone happiness in Latvia.

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