Compulsory military service in Estonia
Compulsory military service in the Estonian Defense Forces currently lasts eight or eleven months, dependent on the purpose of training.
Service lasts 11 months is the conscript serves in the Navy, receives training as a non-commissioned officer, military police or as communications or information technology specialist, obtains motor vehicle driving skills during service or performs the duties of a motor vehicle operator.
The draft to 11-month service takes place generally in January or July.
Eight-month service is used to train private solders of a unit and it begins generally in October.
Conscripts trained in 11- and 8-month service will form a complete unit at the end of the service.
Compulsory service took longer in the 1990s. For example, the service period of Border Guard conscripts drafted immediately after the restoration of Estonia’s independence in 1991 lasted 15 months; it was later reduced to 12 months.
The camera of Postimees caught various young men: some had already completed their service, others had not; there were also some exempted for health grounds. Among other opinions, some said that serving in the army was quite useful.
Imre: I would not like that extension of service; I have served in the army and eleven months was quite OK.