Countries Where You Can't Escape Military Service

June 1, 2019

A vast majority of the countries in the world today in this day and age do not ask their citizens to serve as the militia but there still exists a considerable amount of nations which make military service a compulsation for the eligible men in the country. 


 Source: Flickr


There are chances of you knowing about this information already. But what you might not know is that a handful of nations in the world have mandatory military service for both men and women. 


We have listed down the countries where serving in the military is compulsory;


1. Armenia


The Eurasian country officially known as the Republic of Armenia has a 2-year conscript service obligation for its citizens between the age of eighteen to twenty-seven.


This enables Armenia to mobilize every able-bodied man between the age of 15 and 59, with military preparedness, in case of an attack.


Armenian Army Sniper during field exercise in 2019.Source: Wikimedia Commons



2. Cape Verde


A former Portuguese colony and an island country spanning an archipelago of 10 volcanic islands in the central Atlantic Ocean is officially known as the Republic of Cabo Verde.


Cape Verde has a military service conscript of two long years for all the eligible male and female citizens between the age of eighteen and thirty-five. 

Cape Verdean soldiers. Source: Telegraph UK

3. Chad


North-Central country in the continent of Africa, officially known as the Republic of Chad has twenty years as the legal minimum age for compulsory military service, with a 3-year service obligation for men whereas women are subject to 1 year of compulsory military or civic service at age 21.

Maritime Training in Chad. Source:

4. China


The East Asian country officially known as the People's Republic of China has obligated its citizens to perform military service regardless of ethnic status, race, occupation, family background, religious belief and education. 


All 18-year-old males have to register themselves with the government authorities. But in practice, the mandatory military service has not been implemented since 1949 as the People's Liberation Army has been able to recruit sufficient numbers voluntarily. 

High school pupils from Hengyang in the central Chinese province of Hunan take part in a military training exercise. Photo: Xinhua


Regardless, Chinese students still have to go through a month long military training before commencement of their high schools.


5. Eritrea


A North Eastern African country officially called the State of eritrea has a mandatory 18-month national military service for every able bodied man and woman between the age eighteen and fifty years. 


The duty comprises of six months military training, then a year of working on development projects.

Eritrean Military Service. Source: The Economist

6. Israel


A West Asian country located on the southeastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea and the northern shore of the Red Sea is officially known as the State of Israel. It has made the military service compulsory for its Jewish citizens, both men and women, above the age of eighteen.


The conscript service obligation is 32 months, which is three years, for enlisted men and 24 months, which is 2 years, for enlisted women.

Israel Military Service Members. Source: Protothema



7. Norway 


A Nordic country in Northern Europe officially known as the Kingdom of Norway has a military conscription for all its male citizens between the age of nineteen and forty-four.


In practice, although everyone has to enlist but only the recruits who are interested and motivated will be selected to serve.


Norway is the first NATO member and first European country to make national service compulsory for both men and women as it extended its military conscription to women in 2015. 

Norwegian soldier during a field exercise.Source: Wikimedia Commons



8. North Korea 


The East Asian country officially known as the Democratic People's Republic of Korea has the longest conscription period in the world.


The North Korean law requires its citizens between the ages of eighteen and mid thirties to perform in the army's compulsory military service for a period of ten years for men and seven years for women.

North Korean soldiers march in a military parade. Source: Radio Free Asia




9. Sweden


A Scandinavian Nordic country in Northern Europe formally known as the Kingdom of Sweden is the last country on our list which compulsates its citizen by law to perform military service. 


The Swedish military conscription is gender-neutral and citizens above the age of eighteen are made to take part in the national service for nine to twelve months. 

Swedish Soldiers Aiming. Source: Wikimedia Common


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