Greece increases mandatory military service from 9 to 12 months

Greek Defence Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos announced that the government will soon increase the military service term to 12 months.

Under Greek law, all men over 18 years of age must serve in the Armed Forces for a period of 9 months, or 3 months from those in the diaspora.

“The political and military leadership are strong and determined to protect the rights and sovereignty of Greece,” Panagiotopoulos said, adding that the increased military service in combination with the recruitment of professional officers and the increase of students in the productive schools “will significantly strengthen the Armed Forces.”

It has not been clarified whether the measure will concern those already serving their term.

According to military sources, the increase will go into force in January 2021.

It is recalled last month, the Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis had spoken about the issue and said that the increase would not go beyond 12 months. He also discussed the possibility of compulsory military conscription at the age of 18. Mitsotakis said it is important for new recruits to develop skills that will be useful after the end of their military service.

Greece has enforced conscription on its male citizens since 1914 when the First World War began and is mandatory for all men between the age of 19 and 45.