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Latvian citizens will be able to voluntarily become Latvian army reservists

Photo: flickr.com/Latvijas armija.
Latvian citizens aged 18 and older will be able to voluntarily apply for service in National Armed Forces reserve and undergo military training, as reported by Saeima’s press-service.

This is provided by additions to the Military Service Law approved by Saeima’s Defence, Interior Affairs and Corruption Service Committee on Tuesday, 7 November.

This opportunity is needed because, according to results of a survey performed by National Armed Forces, there are many citizens in Latvia who would voluntarily undergo military training but would not join the National Guard or professional army, as previously explained to deputies by Defence Ministry and NAF representatives.

There are currently 7,000 reservists in the Latvian army. Defence Minister has said that it is necessary to train 3,000 reservists by 2018, as noted in the annotation. To increase the number of trained reservists, it is necessary to offer Latvian citizens an option to undergo voluntary training and join the army as reservists. Currently it is only possible to call in reservists into active service in the event of mobilization.

The legislative draft details Latvian citizens who voluntarily wish to become army reservists, as well as necessary training content and social guarantees.

In the interests of state defence, the commander of Latvian National Armed Forces will be able to sign professional military service contract with reservists for a specific term.

Amendments also provide that soldiers aged 18 or older who voluntarily cleared special training courses and gave a soldier’s oath are to be added to NAF reserve and be given the rank of private.

Amendments also state – if a former member of the National Guard joins active military service, the total number of days spent in service to the National Guards will have to be added to their service term. The current regulation does not provide that.

Amendments to the law also provide for increasing the age threshold for officer training. This will apply to soldiers who received academic education or second level vocational higher education. Soldiers with appropriate education level will be able to apply for officer training under the age of 35 instead of the current threshold of 30.

It is also planned to expand the order regarding soldiers’ rights to use issued service arms. For example, it will be allowed to use service arms to apprehend or destroy UAVs trespassing on territory of official military locations.

Amendments to the law will have to be viewed by the Saeima before their approval.


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