Facing the shifts in geopolitical situation and seeking to reinforce Lithuania’s defence capabilities, as well as to man units of the Lithuanian Armed Forces fully and to increase the numbers of reserve, the Parliament of Lithuania (Seimas) adopted decision to reintroduce the compulsory military service in Spring 2015. The decision to reintroduce conscript service was determined by two main reasons: changed geopolitical situation and insufficient manning of the units of the Lithuanian Armed Forces.
Some 3, 500-4,000 Lithuanian citizens of conscript age (19-26) for a period of 9 months are enlisted each year. There is also a possibility to do this service on a voluntary basis – male and female citizens of Lithuania of age 18-38 years are invited to enlist for the service on a voluntary basis. Lithuania’s youth are patriotic and have will to gain skills of protecting their homeland, their families if needed. Need to mention that conscript soldiers are paid monthly allowances and cumulative payment after service (maximum total ~3.000 Eur), which depend upon the military service performance level (excellent/good/satisfactory). Moreover, their current or new employer after service is paid 6 months’ subsidy, which increases chances of finding work.
So far, from Spring 2015 when the conscription service has been reintroduced in the Lithuanian Armed Forces, vast majority of youth have chosen to perform the military service voluntarily, others are draftees who expressed their will to be conscripted on the priority basis.
Conscription procedure is carried out in accordance with the Law on Military Conscription. Based on that, Draftee list is being made up each year and it includes male Lithuanian citizens of compulsory military service eligible age (19-26). For making the list, automatic electronic selection system is used. To ensure transparency and objectivity of the process, the making the conscription list is observed by representatives of public organizations.
The Draftee list includes persons of conscription-eligible age (25,000 in 2017), who were chosen randomly by the computer program from the pool of all the potential draftees, who are fit for service (no medical reasons and no grounds for deferment). Draftee quantity was calculated according to the data and experience of earlier drafts.
After 9 month service conscripts are included in the list of prepared military reserved of the Lithuanian Armed Forces. Some of them stay in the Armed Forces to pursue military career (eg. about 600 conscript soldiers after their conscript service joined the professional military service in 2017).