The Constitution of the Republic of Estonia foresees conscript service in the Defence Forces of all physically and mentally healthy male citizens.
The duration of the conscript service is 8 or 11 months, depending on the selectee’s level of education and the position to which the Defence Forces assigns the conscript. In the conscript service, conscripts acquire basic knowledge necessary for them to act as specialists in wartime military units.
When sent to the reserve, they make up one reserve unit led by commanders who have been trained during the conscript service and who come from the same unit.
After the conscript service, reservists are called up for reservist training. There the skills mastered during the conscript service are reinforced and new arms and equipment are introduced.
What do you learn in the conscript service?
In the first months of the service, soldiers acquire the main skills needed by a single fighter. In the basic course, you learn about arms, orientation and first aid, and also acquire skills for forest camps, knowledge about basic tactics, behaviour in the Defence Forces and legislation. The level of basic knowledge is checked with a theoretical and practical soldier’s exam.
During the conscript service, you acquire basic knowledge of national defence and are provided training to enable you to fight as a member of a team. After the conscript service, you are sent to the reserve.
What will happen after conscript service?
The Estonian Defence Forces are a reserve force and, if necessary, Estonia will be defended by units formed of reservists.
As a reservist, you may be called up for training at a unit, training centre or defence force educational institution. At reserve trainings, the knowledge and skills acquired in the conscript service are refreshed. As the technology and requirements in the Defence Forces are changing, it is necessary for the reserve to keep up to date and become familiar with the characteristics and use of new technology. You will be called up to reserve trainings together with the people with whom you completed your conscript training.