Military service

Updated: 16 Mar 2021
Next update: 18 Mar 2022

According to the Conscription Act, every Finnish male citizen is liable for military service from the beginning of the year in which he turns 18 years of age, until the end of the year in which he turns 60. Fulfilment of military service includes service as a conscript, participation in reservist training, extra service, and service during mobilisation, in addition to participation in call-ups and examinations assessing fitness for military service. According to the Act on Voluntary Military Service for Women, a woman can be accepted, upon application, for voluntary military service corresponding to conscript service.

The number of those interrupting military service includes conscripts who have opted for unarmed service or whose service has been interrupted due to a change in the fitness for service status. It also includes women who have announced within 45 days of the date of entering service that they will not continue in service.


Participants in military service and refresher training exercises

The number of men entering military service varies mainly according to the size of the age group. From the beginning of the 2000s, the number of those entering military service has fallen somewhat due to the smaller age group and tightened preliminary and call-up medical examinations. Interruption during service has turned to a decline. Of individual factors, mental reasons have grown most.

Around 18,000 reservists take part in mandatory refresher training exercises led by the Defence Forces and about 4,500 reservists in voluntary training led by the Defence Forces. In addition to these, the Defence Forces orders military training from the National Defence Training Association of Finland, which trains around 9,000 reservists per year.

The obligation to take part in refresher training exercise during the term of military service is for the rank and file a maximum of 80 or 150 days (rank and file special tasks) and for non-commissioned officers and officers a maximum of 200 days.

The calculation basis for the number of reservists trained in refresher training exercises was specified from 2016 onwards so that the same person is calculated only once during the calendar year.