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Defence Forces calls on tens of thousands of young men for conscription

This year's intake includes men, as well as women volunteers, who were born in 2003.

Kaartinjääkäri Okko Ailio ohjeisti kusuntoihin osallistuvia, etualalla Saku Sormunen.
Some 36,000 conscripts will be recruited this year. Image: Katriina Laine / Yle

The Finnish Defence Forces (FDF) have begun the process of calling up this year's conscripts to complete their compulsory military service.

According to Finland's Conscription Act, every male Finnish citizen must serve either armed or unarmed military service for a period of about six months up to one year. As an alternative, they can also opt for a longer spell of non-military civilian service.

Women can also volunteer if they want, but they have no obligation to serve.

Call-ups are organised every year between August and December, and this year a total of 490 call-up events will be held across the country.

The call-up events, scheduled for about 250 locations, will determine where each one of the roughly 36,000 young people will fulfil their service and to which task they will be assigned.

Career plans and skill sets taken into account

The events will also be attended by hundreds of outreach youth workers from specialised services provider Into, who will offer support and advice to the young conscripts under a project called Time Out!

Each appointment takes place in the form of an interview along with a medical examination assessing factors such as fitness, state of health and personal preferences. Conscripts' career plans and skill sets are also taken into account in the process of assigning their military training and service tasks.

In 2020 around 17 percent of those called up were given exemptions, with almost half granted due to behavioural and mental health issues, according to FDF statistics.

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