Military service

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The military service , including military service and out of date, or indeed to the case of war related military service , is the performance of duties in the armed forces of a State . It is performed on the basis of statutory military service or a voluntary obligation (public law obligation or contract ).

Military service basics

The legal obligation to military service ( conscription ) can include

  • in peace:
    • the completion of a longer period of military service (basic military service ( § 5 WPflG) / military service / recruit school ),
    • the performance of short-term exercises (compulsory military exercises / training services of the troops);
  • in case of voltage or defense :
    • unlimited military service.

Conscription was and is practiced worldwide regardless of a totalitarian or democratic form of government. In many countries, alternative military service or community service can be performed instead of basic military service.

A voluntary commitment is possible as

Article 4 of the European Convention on Human Rights states: “Nobody may be forced to perform forced or compulsory labor.” However, military service is explicitly excluded from this: “For the purposes of this article, (...) a service of a military nature or a service that takes the place of the service to be performed in the context of military service in countries where conscientious objection is recognized; (...). ". In Germany, Article 4, Paragraph 3 of the Basic Law guaranteed the right to refuse military service . Also, Article 12 of the Basic Law originally only changed every closed conscripting and was with the construction of the Bundeswehr to the exceptions to the compulsory military service and national defense.



Duration of military service in Prussia (in years of life)

On the reforms that Prussia carried out under the impression of defeat in the war against France in 1807. The Krümpersystem of Gerhard von Scharnhorst tried by the Treaty of Tilsit transcend imposed limit of 42,000 soldiers; the prohibition on setting up a militia and reserve facilities was also observed. At the end of the wars of liberation in 1813/14, the introduction of general conscription through the law on compulsory military service of September 3, 1814 was an integral part. This was associated with a fundamental upgrading of the soldier's status, because until then common soldiers had been considered socially declassed. Military service, to which the sons of the nobility and the bourgeoisie were drafted, was now regarded as service of honor and the army as the “school of the nation”. Conscripts from the “educated classes” could register as “ one-year volunteers ” and after this year had the prospect of being able to train to become reserve officers (which was associated with a lot of social prestige). Of all the larger European states, only Prussia had retained its system of general conscription after the Napoleonic Wars and modernized it in the early 1860s despite the army conflict .

In the other German and most European countries was the fit numbered of the required number of recruits chosen by lot. But the drawn athletes was a paid by him as a substitute " Once Rather ask" why more men served in these armies from poorer classes. When their term of service had expired, they moved again as a servant in his place for another conscript, so that the armies, as well as the French, actually consisted of professional soldiers . Other German states only drafted some of the conscripts for a very long period of service, including Austria, despite numerous special provisions, for 14 years.

After the Prussian conscription system had proven its efficiency in the wars with Denmark in 1864 and with its domestic competitor Austria in the German war in 1866 , the other German states adopted it. As a result of the entry into force of the obligation to perform military service for the North German Confederation, military service began at the age of 20.

"Every native, as soon as he has completed his twentieth year, is obliged to defend the fatherland."

- §1 Law on Obligation to Military Service

“In order to disturb the general physical and scientific training as little as possible” (§ 9), volunteers are allowed to join at the age of 17, which reduces the commitment period accordingly. Those who voluntarily join the standing army are given the privilege of choosing their weapon type and regiment. In addition, the following levels are introduced: the standing army, the landwehr of the first contingent, the landwehr of the second contingent and the landstorm. The strength of the army is not determined and is thus adapted to the "current state of affairs". The standing army is made up of professional soldiers, volunteers and a “part of the nation's young team from 20 to 25 years of age.” This means that military service is fixed for 5 years. The first 3 years serve with the standing army and the last 2 years you will be released back home and serve as a reserve, which will replace the standing army in war. Anyone who would like to voluntarily serve longer in the Standing Army can commit to a further six years of service. He receives an award, a salary allowance for the second period of service and entitlement to care if he is incapable of further service. Furthermore, the one-year volunteer is introduced in Section 7 . However, they did not initially serve in the Standing Army, but under the impression of the Lützow Freikorps they were allowed to replace the one-year voluntary service in the "Jäger- und Schützenkorps". You must dress and arm yourself. The Landwehr first contingent serves in peacetime at home, in war it is called to support the standing army both at home and abroad. Their teams consist of conscripts (20-25 years), hunter and rifle battalions (one-year volunteers), and teams (26-32 years). From the men who leave the Landwehr first contingent, are automatically accepted up to their 39th birthday in the Landwehr second contingent, which serves in garrisons or garrison battalions. Young people between 17 and 20 years of age are allowed to take part in the Landwehr exercises. The Landwehr in general is a local army. If a citizen moves to another place, he automatically transfers to the Landwehr department of the new place of residence. The Landsturm only confronts the enemy in war, at home and only on the orders of the king. Otherwise it is intended for public order support. It consists of young men aged 17 and over, all men who have left the Landwehr, and men who are neither part of the standing army nor the Landwehr and have not yet reached the age of 50. The Landsturm is divided into "Citizen Companies in the Big Cities" and "Country Companies according to the internal district division".

North German Confederation

Duration of military service in the North German Confederation (in years of life)

In the constitution of the North German Confederation of April 16, 1867, Article 57 stipulated that “every North German is conscripted and cannot be represented in the exercise of this duty”. In Article 59, military service is elaborated as follows:

“Every able-bodied North German belongs to the standing army for seven years, usually from the age of 20 to the beginning of 28 years - namely the first three years with the flags, the last four years in the reserve - and the following five years the Landwehr. In those states in which a total period of service longer than twelve years was previously legal, the gradual lowering of the obligation only takes place to the extent that the armed forces' readiness for war allows. [Prussia is meant, note dV] "

- Article 59

Article 60 defines the target strength:

“The peace-keeping strength of the armed forces will be standardized to one percent of the population of 1867 by December 31, 1871, and will be set on a pro rata basis by the individual states. For the later time, the peace-keeping strength of the army will be determined by means of federal legislation. "

- Article 60

Reason for this may u. a. also the financial burden on the state budget, caused by the expenditure of 225 thalers per head of the army. In the law on the obligation to military service of November 9, 1867, the regulation is then further elaborated. Above all, the conscripts can now take up military service early if it seems advantageous to them:

"In order to disrupt scientific and industrial training as little as possible through general conscription, every young man is left to voluntarily enter military service after he has reached the age of 17, if he has the necessary moral and physical qualifications."

- Section 10 of the Act, concerning the obligation to serve in the war

This regulation also remains in the German Empire.

The German Imperium

Duration of military service in the German Empire (in years of life)

General conscription was legally regulated by the Reich Constitution (Article 57 ff.) And the Reich Military Law. In the Reich Military Law it was stipulated that every German is subject to military service:

"All conscripts, if they do not enter the army voluntarily (Sections 10 and 11 of the law of November 9, 1867, Federal Law Gazette p. 131), are from January 1 of the calendar year in which they turn 20 . Completed the year of life, subject to the draft (compulsory military service) ... "

- Section 10 of the Reich Military Law of May 9, 1874

Entry into the armed forces was possible at the beginning of the quarter . The compulsory service lasted for 7 years, from 21 to 27 years of age. This period was divided into 3 years of active service and 4 years of reserve, resp. later for the infantry 2 active and 5 years reserve. The recruitment always took place in October of the respective year. The active military service was therefore 2 or 3 years, but had to be performed within the compulsory military service if the person concerned had not previously volunteered for military service. The reserve units were only formed in the event of war. From January 1st of each calendar year onwards, German men who had reached the age of 20 became conscripted and were obliged to report regularly to the responsible authorities until a decision was made about their military use. To control this regulation, so-called master roles were drawn up by the communities . The conscript could not be represented in the exercise of this duty. Every able-bodied man from the age of 17 to 20 belonged to Landsturm I. The period from the age of 20 to March 31 of the year in which he turned 39 was part of his compulsory service. The service obligation was 19 years. Of these, the man served 2 years ( infantry ) actively and 5 years in the reserve. Cavalry and mounted artillery served actively for 3 years. Men who actively served for less than 2 years, e.g. B. the one-year volunteers , stayed longer in the reserve . The reserve served to supplement the active army. Teams that have voluntarily served more than 2 years actively served correspondingly shorter in Landwehr I. The rest of the years, until March 31 of the year in which he turned 39, served in Landwehr II If you have entered the age of 20, you will leave the Landwehr II earlier. At later entry into the active army caused by the following reasons:

  • if there is still a lack of physical development
  • on request in consideration of civil circumstances
  • Deferment of up to 5 years so as not to interrupt a job

the man no longer serves in Landwehr II, but only until he is 39 years old. He served in Landsturm II from March 31 of the year in which he was 39 to the age of 45. This entire regulation applies to times of peace, during war there is no conversion from the standing army to the Landwehr. The number of those drafted for military service was determined by the size of the army. In Article 60 of the Constitution of the North German Confederation , the army's peace-keeping strength was set at 1% of the population by 1867. The future determination of the strength of the peace presence was regulated by the Reich legislation, which gave the Reichstag a considerable say.

“The army's peacetime presence of NCOs and men was 401,659 men for the period from January 1, 1875 to December 31, 1881. The one-year volunteers do not count towards the strength of the peace presence. "

- Section 1 of the Reich Military Law of May 2, 1874

However, this was not a worsening of the situation, although it was accompanied by an increase in the army. The National Liberals and the Progressive Party in particular saw the nominal determination of army strength as a restriction of the Reichstag's budgetary rights, because they made the approval of the military budget a farce. Certainly Bismarck had learned his lessons from the Prussian constitutional conflict. However, the rapid population growth in the Wilhelminian era meant that between the founding of the German Empire and the First World War, only 63% of the men liable to military service were called to the flags. Even in 1912, before the outbreak of World War I, at a time of armament, the ratio of the size of the army to the total population was only 0.923%. An effective and thus fairer conscription was only possible at the beginning of the First World War with the edict on the general obligation to military service of September 3, 1914 (§§ 9, 10, 11, 12 and 16). At the same time, it formed the legal basis for turning an army that was small compared to its opponents into an army of millions.

Weimar Republic

With the signing of the Compiègne armistice on November 11, 1918, the government agreed to the rapid evacuation of the occupied territories. The withdrawal on the western front began on November 12th, and the areas on the left bank of the Rhine were also free of the German military by January 17, 1919. The task now was to gradually disarm these formations of the " Old Army " , which still numbered several million soldiers . This happened in the previously determined demobilization locations, usually the respective home garrisons; For the regiments with garrisons on the left bank of the Rhine, demobilization sites were determined in the interior of the Reich. The Council of People's Representatives and the Supreme Army Command intended to transfer existing units into a peace army after the demobilization . On January 19, 1919, the Reich Government issued the “Provisional Regulations on the Clothing of the Peace Army” in the 1919 Army Ordinance Gazette, No. 85; the Weimar National Assembly , which met on February 6, 1919, passed the law on the formation of a provisional Reichswehr on March 6, 1919 . It authorized the Reich President

"To dissolve the existing army and to form a provisional Reichswehr that protects the borders of the Reich until the creation of the new Wehrmacht, which is to be regulated by Reich law, enforces the orders of the Reich government and maintains peace and order inside."

- § 1 Law on the formation of a provisional Reichswehr

The strength of this army should be 400,000 men. The law on the formation of a provisional Reichsmarine of April 16, 1919 authorized him

"To dissolve the existing formations of the previous navy and to form a provisional Reichsmarine, which will secure the German coasts until the creation of the new Wehrmacht, which is to be regulated by Reich law, through mine clearance, exercise of the maritime police and other support for merchant shipping, enabling safe sea traffic, the undisturbed exercise of the Fishing guaranteed, in association with the Reichswehr enforced the orders of the Reich government and maintaining peace and order. "

The strength of the navy should be 20,000 men. Due to the Treaty of Versailles in 1919, Germany had to renounce compulsory military service “in order to enable the introduction of general arms restrictions for all nations”. The Reichswehr was a professional army limited to 115,000 men . As a result, there was no conscription until 1935 . From October 1, 1919 to April 1, 1920, the armed forces of the so-called Provisional Reichswehr were transformed into the 200,000-strong " transitional army ". At the same time, the previous units and offices of the old army ceased to exist. With the intermediate step of 150,000 men in October 1920, the final army strength of 100,000 men was reached by January 1, 1921. The Reichswehr was thus formed on January 1, 1921, with the Defense Act of March 23, 1921 regulating the details. The parallel establishment of black Reichswehr associations violated the Versailles Treaty .

Third Reich

Duration of military service in the Third Reich (in years of life)

In the autumn of 1934 the German Reich already had 250,000 soldiers. An army of 21 divisions in peacetime and 63 divisions in war was planned. In March 1935, 21 divisions were already set up, albeit not fully operational, and the German Reich had 280,000 soldiers. For this, 56,000 men of the barracked security police were taken over into the armed forces. The basis for further armament was the reintroduction of compulsory military service with the Military Law of May 21, 1935, announced by Hitler on February 3, 1933 and included in the Reich Concordat (July 1933). This enabled women to be conscripted for military service for the first time in German history.

"In addition to compulsory military service, every German man and woman is obliged to serve the fatherland during the war."

- Section 1 (3) of the Defense Act

This created the legal prerequisites for the Wehrmacht assistant , who was used in the war. In addition, according to the law for the Reich Labor Service, a labor service usually lasting 6 months had to be performed beforehand, which could actually only be started at the age of 18, to which during the war it could already be used at 17. The Reich Labor Service not only carried out the military preparatory work for the subsequent military training, but also dug trenches and relieved the Wehrmacht. This enabled an enormous increase in the armed forces within six months: 24 infantry divisions, two cavalry divisions and three tank divisions raised a nominal strength of 400,000 men. In the spring of 1936, 41 divisions were therefore planned in peacetime, which should grow to 102 divisions in the event of war. In addition, the army was converted to full motorization. As early as autumn, 520,000 soldiers were reached, divided into 36 divisions. The Anschluss of Austria in March 1938 brought a further 60,000 soldiers, divided into 6 divisions. Altogether, a considerable build-up of 10 Reichswehr divisions was achieved from 1923 until the beginning of World War II with over 50 divisions and around 2.7 million soldiers. The legal basis for the call-up and deployment of air force and naval helpers was the Emergency Service Ordinance of the German Reich of October 15, 1938. According to this, every resident of the Reich could be called upon to perform any services specified by the state after reaching the age of 15. Unmarried women could also be used for labor. The legal basis of this ordinance went back to the Defense Act of May 21, 1935. This cleared the way for air force helpers , flak helpers and HJ naval helpers , who are counted among child soldiers according to the definition used worldwide today . The sociologist Heinz Bude coined the definition of student soldiers for air force helpers. With beginning of the war was also, as early as the 1st World War Notabitur introduced at the secondary schools, the students quickly deliver military service as possible. With the decree on the formation of the Volkssturm of October 20, 1944, the Volkssturm was created, which should not be confused with the Landsturm of the imperial army. All men aged 16 to 60 who were "capable of weapons" were used for this purpose.

"The members of the German Volkssturm are soldiers within the meaning of the Defense Act during their deployment."

- Paragraph 4 Decree on the formation of the Volkssturm

The Volkssturm was under the command of the replacement army , Reichsführer SS Heinrich Himmler . Their installation was organized in their Gau by the Gauleiter with the help of SA, SS, NSKK and HJ.

German Democratic Republic

Duration of military service in the German Democratic Republic (in years of life)

The Kasernierte Volkspolizei ( KVP ) was the beginning of the military in the GDR . Its history began on July 1, 1952 , when first the readiness ( regiments ) of the main training administration of the Ministry of the Interior of the GDR (MdI) were formed in divisions of the land forces . The main staff was initially in Berlin-Adlershof (Rudower Chaussee) and from June 1954 in Strausberg . Its founding is somewhat reminiscent of the Prussian barracked security police . On March 1, 1956, the National People's Army was founded . These two armed forces were initially voluntary organizations and indeed the only ones in the area of ​​the Warsaw Pact . This changed with the law on general conscription of January 24, 1962. When it was leveled with the Military Service Act on March 25, 1982, the duration of military service remained unchanged, but the obligations that were imposed on young people were tightened. The preparatory measures for military service (cf. Sections 5–17 of the Military Service Act) were mentioned here in particular.

“Preparation for military service. (1) The state organs as well as the combines, economic management organs, companies, institutions, cooperatives, social organizations and associations (hereinafter referred to as companies) are obliged to prepare citizens for military service. Citizens take part in preparation for military service under this Act or other legal provisions or provisions. "

- Section 5 of the Military Service Act

Preparing for military service became part of education and training at general schools, vocational training institutions, technical schools, colleges and universities. It lasted 18 months. The conscripts could be called up for basic military service between the age of 18 and December 31 of the year in which they turn 26. Conscription extended from 19 to 50 years of age, for officers up to 60 years of age. In the state of defense, compulsory military service could be extended up to the age of 60.

Federal Republic of Germany

Duration of military service in the Federal Republic of Germany (in years of life)

The Federal was with his barracks units a first step towards border security and with around 10,000 police officers a building block establishing the Bundeswehr .

Male persons can be obliged to serve in the armed forces , in the Federal Border Guard or in a civil defense association when they reach the age of eighteen on the basis of Article 12a of the Basic Law .

In fact, conscripts were never called up for the Federal Border Police or the THW ( Technisches Hilfswerk ), the civil and disaster protection organization of the Federal Republic of Germany. However, many conscripts in these organizations have fulfilled their service obligations.

The basic legal basis for military service is the Military Service Act (WPflG). According to § 1 WPflG, all male federal German citizens from the age of 18 are required to serve. Exceptions apply according to § 11 WPflG u. a. for ordained clergymen and "third sons", according to § 12 among other things for candidates for priesthood .

Compulsory military service generally ends at the end of the year in which the conscript turns 45, and for officers and non-commissioned officers at the end of the year in which they turn 60. In the event of tension and defense , compulsory military service ends for everyone at the end of the year in which the conscript turns 60 ( Section 3 WPflG).

Changes since July 2011

From July 1, 2011, the obligation to do basic military service in Germany will be suspended. There is the possibility of voluntary military service. Voluntary military service can serve between 7 and 23 months in the armed forces, the first 6 months of which are a probationary period. On July 1, 2011, a total of 3,375 men and 44 women began voluntary military service for the first time. In addition to the volunteers, 3,761 regular soldiers were also called up. A maximum of 15,000 men and women can apply annually. In 2013, those doing voluntary military service received wages of around 778 to 1,100 euros net per month plus benefits in kind (food, accommodation) of 265 euros.

Types of military service

According to Section 4 of the Compulsory Military Service Act, the military service to be performed includes

  1. basic military service ( § 5 WPflG)
  2. the military exercises ( § 6 WPflG)
  3. special foreign use ( § 6a WPflG)
  4. voluntary additional military service following basic military service ( Section 6b WPflG)
  5. internal assistance ( § 6c WPflG)
  6. providing assistance abroad ( § 6d WPflG)
  7. unlimited military service in the event of tension and defense ( Section 4 No. 7 WPflG).

Length of military service

Basic military service

Duration of military and community service in the Federal Republic of Germany (in months)

The duration of the basic military service ( § 5 WPflG) varied in the past due to changed threat analyzes (1962, 1973, 1990, 2002) or the strength of the age groups available (1973).

A special feature was the length of military service for conscripts called up in 1989. For the first time in the third quarter of 1989, the period of service was again increased to 18 months. In order to enable the graduates of the 1989 Abitur class to transition to the winter semester 1990/91 without any loss of time after completing their military service, the convocation was brought forward from the beginning of July 1st by one month to June 1st (entry into service: June 5th) . Taking into account the vacation leave, it should be possible to end the work at the end of August 31, 1990. As a result of this regulation, the last half of the school year with the Abitur exams was shortened significantly by a few weeks. However, developments in the GDR then led to a reassessment of the threat situation. In August 1989 the period of service for draft quarter III / 1989 was again reduced to 15 months and the soldiers who were already serving in the Bundeswehr were officially informed. The basic military service of the conscripts who were called up on October 1, 1989 then ultimately only lasted 12 months due to a reduction in the length of service decided in summer 1990.

Troop flag at a vow

The first part of the basic military service is the basic training (AGA), which lasts three months. It includes topics such as general troop studies , formal training , shooting training, combat service for all troops , self and comrade help in the form of emergency helper A, sport and individual topics for initial preparation for missions abroad. This also includes marches, bivouacs and overcoming an obstacle course. The vow is made towards the end of the GA . The GA ends with the “recruit inspection”, a one-day or multi-day test in which the recruits must prove the skills they have acquired. After completing training as security and guard soldiers, the graduates are awarded the training and activity number (ATN) security soldier ( guard training ) .

Depending on the use, a special basic training z. B. to Panzergrenadier, paratrooper, staff service soldier, etc. at the end of the GA. At the end of this training, the soldier is awarded a further ATN (first use ATN), e.g. B. Panzergrenadiers, paratroopers, staff soldiers, etc.

The so-called “full training” usually follows in the remaining months. Here the conscripts perform a wide variety of tasks, for example posts in the staff service , as drivers or similar. If the conscripts have special skills (e.g. foreign language skills), they can be deployed accordingly.

Defense exercises

The total duration of the possible compulsory military exercises is limited ( § 6 WPflG)

  • for teams for a maximum of six months,
  • for non-commissioned officers for a maximum of nine months,
  • for officers for a maximum of twelve months.

If reservists undertake to do reservists for at least 19 or 33 days per year, they will receive a supplement to their pay once the requirements have been met.

So-called “reserve officers” no longer exist.

Special foreign uses

Special foreign assignments ( § 6a WPflG) are temporary deployments of soldiers abroad based on a resolution of the Bundestag .

No basic military service members take part in special missions abroad.

Reservists can also take part in a special assignment abroad during a military exercise, preferably those with special civil professional qualifications, if they have agreed in writing to do so and have been selected by the Bundeswehr. This is possible for a maximum of seven months at a time. If the duration exceeds three months, the District Armed Forces Replacement Office will work towards the approval of the employer or the service authority.

Voluntary additional military service

Following the basic military service, additional military service ( Section 6b WPflG) can be performed voluntarily for a period of up to 17 months (total service time 23 months). This is linked to the willingness to participate in special foreign assignments.

Assistance within

Reservists are only used on the basis of voluntary commitments for operations in the context of domestic aid and for the protection of Germany and its citizens in peace. It is also possible to call up those appointed without a deadline.

Military service of a special kind

Soldiers, including reservists during a military exercise, who suffered damage to their health due to an accident or illness during a special assignment abroad ( Section 63c Soldiers Supply Act ), have special protection. A protection period applies to them in accordance with Employment Re -Use Act of a maximum of five years ( § 4 EinsatzWVG), during which they receive medical services or services for professional qualification. If the existing military service relationship ends during this protection period, the military service relationship of a special kind ( Section 6 EinsatzWVG) begins from this point in time until the end of the protection period. The military service relationship of a special kind ends with an appointment to the service relationship of a professional soldier or at the written request of the soldier.

In addition to soldiers, the Deployment Re-Use Act also applies to civil servants, judges and federal employees as well as to helpers from the technical relief organization .

Business event

A special feature are official events ( Section 81 Soldiers Act). These are official projects of the armed forces with a duration of a few hours up to three days for military training, further education and training, to which people who are fit for service and have not yet reached the age of 65 can be called with their consent. During this military service you are in a military service relationship, so the participants are soldiers with all rights and duties. They do not receive any military pay, but travel costs to and from the airport can be reimbursed and free meals and medical services can be provided.

Permit to wear uniform

Former soldiers can be granted a uniform wearing permit (UTE) according to the Uniform Ordinance ( UnifV ), which entitles them to wear uniform on certain occasions (weddings, festive events, public commemorations, association events of the reservist association, etc.).

Protection provisions

By performing military service, no German citizen should suffer any disadvantage.

The employment relationship is suspended during basic military service or a military exercise. The Workplace Protection Act contains further protective provisions.

A study place is also guaranteed. Every student can apply for a place at the university, although they have to do their service beforehand. If he is then accepted at a university, a study place should preferably be kept free for him. However, the place of study is then not necessarily the same for him.


Uniform jackets for community service and military service in Austria

The duration of basic military service in the Austrian Armed Forces was reduced from eight to six months by ministerial ordinance for everyone on January 1, 2006 (until then, depending on the type of weapon, basic military service was completed in six or eight months; in the former case, the remainder of the conscription was completed in military exercises ).

Basic military service is one of the types of military service . A civilian service of nine months (up to December 31, 2005: twelve months) or a 12-month international service are permitted as alternative service. Voluntary military service for another state, such as a mercenary , leads to the loss of citizenship .

In a referendum held on January 20, 2013 , with a turnout of around 52%, a majority of almost 60% voted in favor of maintaining conscription.

Basic military service

The basic military service training is structured

  • in basic training 1 of about nine weeks to establish the survivability of soldiers in action (qualification 1),
  • in a subsequent approximately seven-week basic training 2, the training for a basic function in the armed forces (qualification 2), and
  • into a ten-week basic training 3, for training in the organizational element in the weapon type (qualification 3).


Swiss infantryman

In Switzerland there is general compulsory military service for men.

The compulsory basic training is called recruit school and lasts between 18 and 21 weeks. Then there are annual refresher courses (WK) (today's name: Training Services of the Troops (FDT)) lasting around three weeks, currently up to around the age of 34. The total service time for ordinary soldiers lasts 260 days. The service is provided on a daily basis in special formations (for example at the Armed Forces Information and Communication Training Center (ZIKA)).

Since 2001, it has been possible to complete military service as a full-time servant in 300 days in one go. For the following ten years, the servants remain in the reserve and do not do any FdT , but only the annual mandatory shooting.

Service in the army can be refused for reasons of conscience. Alternative service is called civil service and takes one and a half times as long as military service. Men who cannot do military service for medical reasons are assigned to civil defense early . Those who do not do military or community service have to pay a " conscription replacement tax ".

The violation of compulsory military service is judged by the organs of the military justice according to Art. 81 ff. MStG .

After completing their basic training, Swiss soldiers keep their military equipment including assault rifles and, until 2007, their ammunition ( pocket ammunition ) at home so that they can be immediately available in the event of war - or for the annual FdT. After completing military service, the rifle can be purchased for a fee. As of October 2007, pocket ammunition was no longer issued. The pocket ammunition that was issued was returned to schools and courses. In 2009, the collection of around 257,000 tin cans with pocket ammunition was completely completed.


Military service or so-called patriotic service ( vatan hizmeti ) in the Turkish Armed Forces is the right and duty of every male citizen according to Article 72 of the Turkish Constitution in conjunction with Article 1 of the Military Service Act (Act No. 1111 of June 21, 1927) . The possibility of refusing military service for reasons of conscience or religion is not provided. In response to pressure from the European Union, Turkey has announced several times that it will introduce military substitute service that will be twice as long as military service. Military or community service that has already been completed, for example prior to naturalization, has been recognized since 1993 by Council of Ministers Decision No. 93/4613.

According to Art. 2 of the Military Service Act, compulsory military service begins on January 1st of the year in which the person turns 20. Conscription ends at the beginning of the year in which the 41st year of life begins. Siblings or children of soldiers killed while on duty are not required to serve.

Between 15 July 2003 to 1 January 2014, the regular military service for soldiers took (it) 15 months. It lasts 12 months for reserve officer candidates (yedek subay adayı) and 6 months for short-term soldiers (kısa dönem er) . In October 2013, the Council of Ministers decided to limit regular military service to 12 months from January 1, 2014.

For Turkish citizens who have been abroad for more than three years (1095 days), there is the option of avoiding military service by paying foreign currency . For this purpose, the additional article 1 of the Military Service Act stipulates that “their active military service is considered to have been fulfilled for these persons if they have received a sum of 10,000 euros or a corresponding amount by the end of the year in which they are 38 years old Pay a specified amount in another currency. […] The Council of Ministers is empowered to reduce the amount to be paid by half or to double it. ”With Law No. 6252 of November 30, 2011, the condition was that persons who pay the requested amount , a 21-day “basic training” has been abolished. By resolution of the Council of Ministers 2013/5048 of July 8, 2013, the amount to be paid was reduced from 10,000 euros to 6,000 euros.

Due to changes in the law in Turkey, the contribution to be made has been reduced from EUR 6,000 to EUR 1,000.

Anthropological view

In modern military service, some cultural anthropologists see parallels with manhood initiation rites of traditional peoples. Mario Erdheim speaks of the "ideology of masculinity" which is "staged" during the military service so that young men learn to "accept the standpoint of rule". The service, which is characterized by obedience rituals , is an indispensable prerequisite for waging war.

See also


  • Hartmut Bühl , Friedrich Vogel (ed.): Military service for reasons of conscience. For the political and ethical legitimation of the defense . Mittler, Herford u. a. 1987, ISBN 3-8132-0268-2 .


Web links

Wiktionary: War service  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Wiktionary: Military service  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Wiktionary: Military service  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. The law concerning the obligation to do military service for the North German Confederation should later become relevant for the entire German Empire .
  2. Roland G. Foerster: The conscription, development, manifestations and political-military effect, R. Oldenburg Verlag, Munich 1994, p. 64
  3. ^ Friedrich von Merkatz: Textbook for the machine gun companies, Device 08, Berlin 1918, pp. 67-68.
  4. Oliver Stein: The German Army Armament Policy 1890-1914. The military and the primacy of politics. Schöningh, Paderborn 2007, ISBN 978-3-506-76398-3 , pp. 119f.
  5. ^ legal acts of the Weimar Republic
  6. Peace Treaty of Versailles: Article 173
  7. Helmut R. Hammerich, Dieter H. Kollmer and others: Das Heer 1950 to 1977, R. Oldenburg Verlag Munich 2006, p. 22.
  8. Helmut Irmen: Stasi and GDR military justice, Berlin 2004, pp. 36–37
  9. End of compulsory military service: THW President looks positively into the future. Federal Agency for Technical Relief (THW), July 1, 2011, accessed on August 14, 2013 : “With compulsory military service, an important part of the THW's recruiting of young talent is also lost. How exactly this will affect the number of helpers in the future cannot be foreseen at the moment. Up to now, young men could sign up for four years instead of the Bundeswehr in the THW. "
  10. Reich Concordat, Secret Annex, Sentence a)
  11. Voluntary military service. Pay. In: Career in the Bundeswehr. Federal Office for Personnel Management of the Bundeswehr (BAPersBw), accessed on August 14, 2013 .
  12. Lecture by the General Inspector of the Bundeswehr, General Wolfgang Schneiderhan, at the conscription meeting of the Inner Guidance Advisory Board on May 25, 2004 in Berlin. In: Internet offer of the central editorial office of the Bundeswehr. May 27, 2004, archived from the original on May 18, 2006 ; Retrieved August 14, 2013 .
  13. Social security. In: Internet offer of the central editorial office of the Bundeswehr. March 3, 2002, archived from the original on March 18, 2009 ; Retrieved August 14, 2013 .
  14. Foundation for University Admission : The information and application portal - application for study at German universities
  15. Loss of citizenship in accordance with Section 32 of the Citizenship Act .
  16. Release from compulsory military service ( Memento from June 26, 2007 in the Internet Archive )
  17. Information about the obligation to provide service in the Army XXI ( Memento from August 27, 2008 in the Internet Archive )
  18. See a comment on this in the daily newspaper Radikal on November 20, 2011 or an article by Nuray Babacan in the daily newspaper Radikal on February 12, 2014 Hükümet 'İnsan Hakları Eylem Planı'nı revize etti: Vicdani ret gündemde ; Accessed on March 1, 2014
  19. Bedelli askerlik görünürde yok , accessed 24 February 2008
  20. Ministerial Council Decision No. 2013/5501 of October 21, 2013, Official Journal No. 28802 of October 25, 2013 ( online ).
  21. See the message in the daily newspaper Zaman from October 25, 2013: Askerlik süresi resmen 12 ay ( Memento from March 1, 2014 in the Internet Archive ), accessed on March 1, 2014
  22. See an article by the Association Connection eV Turkey: Law on the free purchase regulation updated in wording on August 6, 2013, accessed on March 1, 2014
  23. Ministerial Decision no. 2013/5048 of 8 July 2013 Official Journal. 28713 of 20 July 2013 ( online ).
  24. Military service in Turkey 1,000 euros - Askerlik 1,000 euros . In: - The German-Turkish magazine . ( [accessed March 20, 2017]).
  25. The laws of the pack . Article in focus-online from February 11, 2010.
  26. Mario Erdheim: On the de-ritualization of adolescence with accelerated cultural change . In: Klosinki, Gunther (Ed.): Puberty rites. Equivalents and deficits in our society. Verlag Hans Huber, Bern 1991.
  27. Maja Apelt: Military Socialization. Military Sociology – An Introduction. VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, 2012.
  28. Hanne-Margret Birckenbach : With a guilty conscience - readiness for military service of young people: on the empiricism of the psychosocial mediation of the military and society. Nomos, Baden-Baden 1985.
  29. Ute Scheub : Heldendämmerung: The crisis of men and why it is also dangerous for women. Pantheon Verlag, Munich 2010.
  30. Uta Klein : Military and Gender in Israel. Campus, 2001.