Why should military service be compulsory?

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How does the Conscription Act in the version of the 2011 Act Amending Military Law change compulsory military service?

The newly introduced Section 2 of the Compulsory Military Service Act (WPflG) suspends the statutory obligation to do basic military service as of July 1, 2011. This does not mean that compulsory military service is abolished, but only revives if the constitutionally regulated case of tension or defense is established. According to the new § 62 WPflG, soldiers who have been called up for basic military service beyond June 30, 2011 are to be released upon request at the end of this day.

I want to do voluntary military service. Under what conditions can I do this?

The suspension of the obligation to do basic military service goes hand in hand with the further development of voluntary military service. This offers the opportunity to take on civic responsibility in the military field and to get a personal picture of the Bundeswehr without committing to a temporary soldier.

Voluntary military service consists of a six-month trial period and up to 17 months of additional military service.

According to § 61 II WPflG, dismissal from military service can be brought about by both sides during the initial probationary period of 6 months without giving reasons.

Who is conscripted?

All men over the age of 18 who are Germans within the meaning of the Basic Law remain conscripted. Art. 12a of the Basic Law remains unaffected in this respect.

Can women do military service?

Although women are not obliged to serve in the armed forces under Article 12a of the Basic Law, voluntary military service is opened up to women as a measure of equality.

What does the suspension of the obligation to do basic military service mean for community service? What is the Federal Voluntary Service?

With the suspension of the obligation to do basic military service, there is no longer any need for alternative service. As a result, community service was also suspended. All civil service providers are to be dismissed at their request by the end of June 30, 2011, but no later than December 31, 2011, see Section 83 of the Civil Service Act.

At the same time as the suspension, a federal voluntary service will be introduced, which - in addition to the Voluntary Ecological Year (FÖJ) and the Voluntary Social Year (FSJ) - is intended to attract as many people as possible to social engagement and commitment to the general public.

The Federal Voluntary Service is open to men and women of all ages after completing compulsory schooling. Participation in the federal voluntary service, which is also open to foreigners (see below), is possible in social institutions, but also in other areas such as environmental protection, sport and culture in Germany and has a standard duration of one year.

Is it possible to carry out the federal voluntary service abroad?

The federal voluntary service cannot be performed abroad. FSJ-Abroad, the International Youth Voluntary Service and the so-called “Other Service Abroad (ADiA)” are available for assignments abroad.

Can foreigners take part in the federal voluntary service?

Foreign nationals can also take part in the federal voluntary service.

The prerequisite for this is that they have a residence permit that entitles them to work. Volunteers from abroad can in principle also be granted a residence permit in accordance with Section 18 of the Residence Act specifically for participation in the Federal Voluntary Service.

I have one or more citizenships besides German - do I have to do military service in my other home country?

Whether the suspension of the obligation to perform basic military service in Germany leads to conscription in states with continued military service, as well as the recognition of the federal voluntary service as a military substitute, must be inquired at the responsible military authorities of the respective state.

I want to do military service in the army of another country, what do I have to consider?

Germans who voluntarily enter the service of the armed forces or comparable armed associations of a state whose nationality they also have without the prior consent of the competent authority automatically lose their German nationality by virtue of the law (Section 28 Nationality Act).

The consent is deemed to have been given in favor of Germans who are also citizens of

  • Member States of the European Union (EU),
  • Member States of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA),
  • Member States of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) or
  • States on the list of countries according to Section 41 (1) of the Residence Ordinance (Federal Gazette No. 98 of July 5, 2011, p. 2379)

and do military service in one of these states.
Information in individual cases can be obtained from the embassies, consulates general and consulates, the district military replacement offices or the Federal Office of Defense Administration.