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Military service / federal voluntary service

Answers to the most common questions

How does the Conscription Act in the version of the Defense Amendment Act 2011 change compulsory military service?

Due to Section 2 of the Military Service Act (WPflG), the legal obligation to do basic military service in peacetime has been suspended since July 1, 2011.

This does not mean that compulsory military service is abolished; However, this only comes to life if the constitutionally regulated case of tension or defense is established.

I want to do voluntary military service. Under what conditions can I do this?

The suspension of the obligation to do basic military service goes hand in hand with the further development of voluntary military service. This offers men and women the opportunity to take on civic responsibility in the military sector and to get a personal picture of the Bundeswehr without having to commit themselves as a temporary soldier.

Voluntary military service consists of a six-month trial period and an additional military service of up to 17 months.

According to Section 58h (2) of the Soldiers Act, soldiers can be released on the 15th or last of a month during the initial trial period of 6 months. Upon written application by the soldier, he or she can be released at any time during the probationary period

What does the suspension of the obligation to do basic military service mean for community service? What is the Federal Voluntary Service?

With the suspension of the obligation to do basic military service, there is no longer any need for alternative service. As a result, community service was also suspended.

At the same time as the suspension, a federal voluntary service will be introduced, which - in addition to the Voluntary Ecological Year (FÖJ) and the Voluntary Social Year (FSJ) - is intended to attract as many people as possible to social engagement and commitment to the general public. The Federal Voluntary Service is open to men and women of all ages after completing compulsory schooling. Participation in the federal voluntary service, which is also open to foreigners (see below), is possible in social institutions, but also in other areas such as environmental protection, sport and culture in Germany and has a standard duration of one year.

Is it possible to carry out the federal voluntary service abroad?

The federal voluntary service cannot be performed abroad. FSJ-Abroad, the International Youth Voluntary Service and the so-called “Other Service Abroad (ADiA)” are available for assignments abroad.

Can foreigners take part in the federal voluntary service?

Foreign nationals can also take part in the federal voluntary service. The prerequisite for this is that they have a residence permit that entitles them to work. Volunteers from abroad can in principle also be granted a residence permit in accordance with Section 18 of the Residence Act specifically for participation in the Federal Voluntary Service.

I have one or more citizenships besides German - do I have to do military service in my other home country?

Whether the suspension of the obligation to perform basic military service in Germany leads to conscription in states with continued military service, as well as the recognition of the federal voluntary service as a military substitute, must be inquired at the responsible military authorities of the respective state.

I want to do military service in the army of another country, what do I have to consider?

According to § 28 of the Citizenship Act automatically their German citizenship by operation of law. The BMVg has delegated the decision on applications for approval according to § 28 StAG to the Federal Office for Personnel Management of the Bundeswehr in Cologne.

Since July 6, 2011, approval has been granted to Germans who are also citizens of

  • Member States of the European Union (EU),
  • Member States of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA),
  • Member States of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) or
  • States on the list of countries in accordance with Section 41 (1) of the Residence Ordinance

and do military service in one of these countries (Federal Gazette No. 98 of July 5, 2011, p. 2379).

In addition to the competent German diplomatic mission abroad, the Federal Office for Personnel Management of the Federal Armed Forces, and the Federal Ministry for Families, Seniors, Women and Youth (BMFSFJ) on the Federal Voluntary Service, provide information in individual cases.