Military service delays affecting army

Almost all Swiss are falling behind in completing their compulsory military service.

This content was published on July 26, 2009 - 16:42

An estimated 93 per cent of 129,000 soldiers and officers in the army postpone requisite retraining courses or end up finishing recruit school after the age of 20.

As a result there are too many active soldiers and too few reservists, said defence ministry spokesman Sebastian Huber, confirming an article in the newspaper NZZ am Sonntag.

Military service poses problems for people who are also juggling studies and careers, and cantons and the government are struggling to find a solution, the ministry said.

In response, the head of army personnel has ruled that anyone needing to complete more than two training booster sessions will be called to carry out an additional catch-up training.

Today, able-bodied males between the ages of 20 and 36 must serve 260 days of military service. Military service is optional for women and Swiss living abroad.

swissinfo.ch and agencies

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