Today, the Government of the Republic approved the new single text of the Defence Forces Service Act and sent it for hearing at Riigikogu. The Act regulates daily service of active soldiers, conscripts, reservists and persons in alternative service.
The new single text of the Defence Forces Service Act was prepared by a broad-based working group led by regular members of the Defence Forces, including representatives of the Ministry of Defence, all services, the National Defence League and the Defence Resources Office.
Under the new Defence Forces Service Act, persons not liable to service in the Defence Forces will have an opportunity to serve in the Defence Forces voluntarily. For instance, for the first time, women will get an opportunity to serve the military service voluntarily, which has not been legally provided by legislation before.
The new Act will also make the health requirements to Members of the Defence Forces more flexible, in order to take the particularities of different posts into better consideration.
Unlike the currently used system, professional members of the Defence Forces will be employed in service for a fixed term. In the future, only the members of the Defence Forces with at least 10 years of active service experience will be employed without a term.
As another change, the former Disciplinary Measures in Defence Forces Act will be added to the new Defence Forces Service Act, forming a separate chapter on discipline of the Defence Forces.
The package of social guarantees of active soldiers will remain substantially the same in comparison with the current Defence Forces Service Act. Moreover, the new Defence Forces Service Act will provide an opportunity to ensure psychological help, social counselling and rehabilitation for family members of the members of the Defence Forces who have fallen or been injured on a foreign mission.
The draft and explanatory memorandum of the new Defence Forces Service Act can be accessed at the information system of the Government drafts at http://eelnoud.valitsus.ee
Press representative of the Ministry of Defence
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Ministry of Defence, Estonia