On March 19 the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania approved as a matter of urgency the draft amendment to the law on the principal structure of the Lithuanian Armed Forces in 2015-2020 and the limit numbers of servicemen which provides for reinstatement of the 9-month Continuous Mandatory Initial Military Service as of this year.
The first draft is planned to be conducted in the second semester of this year, 3 to 3.5 thousand draftees will be called up annually.
According to the Minister of National Defence, the conscription into the 9-month Continuous Mandatory Initial Military Service is planned to be reinstated for 5 years.
Those volunteering will be the first ones to be enrolled. Only if a sufficient number of volunteers does not turn out, the draft will be conducted on a mandatory basis from the military draftee record for the current year.
With regard to the interest of the society and the questions arising about the future draft, the Ministry of National Defence will consult with representatives of political parties and interested groups and will take into account the proposals given for revising the organisational procedures of conscription and other relevant legislation.
According to the Minister of National Defence Juozas Olekas, the age of conscripts set forth in the Law on National Conscription will be revised as there is a plan to first call up the citizens of the Republic of Lithuania between the ages of 19 and 26 inclusively who have not undergone initial military training. Men and women will be allowed to join the service voluntarily till the age of 38.
The Minister also underlined that when the draft into the Continuous Mandatory Initial Military Service begins, simplified enlistment into professional military service will also be continued, thus the Lithuanian Armed Forces will be manned according to a mixed model from both, draftees and members of the professional military service.
Improved and specified procedures are meant to ensure that the draft does not affect personal and public interests of draftees in a negative way, and also to ensure that the conscription is implemented in a transparent manner and that potential exemptions do not violate the principle of equality and fairness.
Minister of National Defence Juozas Olekas says that meetings of representatives of the Ministry of National Defence, enterprise and academic communities and other interested groups are already taking place to predict possible issues the draft may raise and to discuss possible solutions.
The Minister also highlighted he would seek that incentives and social guarantees for draftees are expanded when there is financial capacity so that the Military Service is more appealing.
According to the legislation currently in force, those who will have undergone the 9-month Continuous Initial Mandatory Military Service will be granted the same exemptions and incentives as were granted after the Basic Military Training.
Information regarding the beginning and conclusion of the draft and on the procedure of conducting the draft will be announced not less than a month before the beginning of the draft via means of public information of national defence institutions (official MoD website www.kam.lt, and www.karys.lt) and media outlets.
The military draftee record and information on the progress of its compilation will also be made public.
Persons on the draftee record will be informed through post (also by email and via phone calls) when the draft begins. Those called up will be required to contact regional conscription and manning divisions in the time indicated on the call-up notice.
Those volunteering to undergo the Continuous Initial Mandatory Military Service will be able to register at regional conscription and manning divisions when the draft begins.
Information on the procedure of conscription will be available in greater detail and constantly updated at: www.karys.lt and www.kam.lt, also via phone at 00370 800 12340 and at regional conscription and manning divisions.