Swiss perspectives in 10 languages

Reforms demanded for military service

Swiss men should be given the choice between military and civilian service, says a government advisory committee.

A third of all Swiss men called up for military service are currently declared unfit, said committee president Pierre Maudet on Monday.

This “unequal treatment” would only get worse, he added, when the army implemented plans to reduce troop numbers from 200,000 to 100,000.

The 20-member strong commission said it wanted to reform rather than abolish military service, saying men should be able to choose freely.

All able-bodied Swiss men are called up to do military service. If one is declared fit for military service – as on average two-thirds of conscripts are – the only way out is to opt on ethical grounds for civilian community service. This lasts 50 per cent longer than military service.

Military and civilian protection service is optional for women, something the government advisory committee supported.

Most Discussed

In compliance with the JTI standards

More: SWI certified by the Journalism Trust Initiative

You can find an overview of ongoing debates with our journalists here . Please join us!

If you want to start a conversation about a topic raised in this article or want to report factual errors, email us at

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR