50 Mandatory Military Service Countries: Things You Should Know 2022

50 Mandatory Military Service Countries Things You Should Know 2022

In many countries, military service is mandatory for all citizens. This means that all able-bodied men and women must serve in the armed forces for a certain period of time. 

The length of time varies from country to country, but it is typically two to three years. Military service can be a great way to learn new skills, make friends, and serve your country. 

However, it can also be very challenging, especially if you are mentally or physically unprepared for it. If you are considering joining the military, do your research and talk to people who have served before making a decision.

Keep reading to learn more about mandatory military countries in the world.

50 Mandatory Military Service Countries

1. Algeria

Military in Algeria

All male Algerians who are 19 years old and in excellent health must enlist in the military. The required service commitment lasts for two years. Male Algerians must submit a copy of their birth certificate at the age of 17 in order to join the national list of military duty.

2. Armenia

Armenia has a two-year compulsory military service requirement, just like Algeria. Males between the ages of 18 and 27 are covered. If you avoid serving your sentence, you might spend up to three years behind bars.

3. Austria


Austrian males are required to serve in the military for six months or nine months starting at age 18.

4. Belarus

Males between 18 and 27 are required to work for 12 to 18 months. For men seeking further education, the time frame is twelve months; for those who are not, it is eighteen months.

5. Bolivia

Male Bolivians between 18 and 22 are required to serve one to two years in the military.

6. Brazil

Military in Brazil

Ten to twelve months of conscripted military service. For males ages 18 to 45 only. Only 5 to 10% of people must serve, nevertheless.

Read more: Can You Buy Out Your Military Contract? How Much To Buy Military Contract?

7. Cambodia

Males between 18 and 30 serve in the Cambodian military for one year.

8. Chad

20-year-old males must serve 36 months in the military, and 21-year-old females must serve 12 months.

9. Colombia

Colombia military mandatory

Colombian males must dedicate 18 months of duty between 18 and 24.

10. Cuba

Male Cubans who are between the ages of 17 and 28 are required to serve for 24 months.

11. Cypriots

Male Cypriots aged 18 to 50 are required to serve on the national guard for a minimum of 14 months.

12. Egypt

Egypt mandatory national service

Male Egyptians between 18 and 30 must serve in the Reserves for between 18 months and nine years.

13. Eritrea

In Eritrea, everyone between 18 and 40 must serve for 18 months, regardless of gender.

14. Estonia

Males between 18 and 27 are anticipated to serve for 8 to 11 months. This is aimed to prepare them and provide training for them (just in case). Foreign-based Estonians are still required to finish their mandatory service.

15. Finland

Finland military

Males must complete 6 to 12 months of service after they turn 18. Additionally, Reserve service is anticipated to last until age 60.

16. Georgia

Male Georgians between 18 and 27 must serve for at least a year.

17. The Greek

The Greek military

Males between 19 and 45 must serve between 9 and 12 months.

18. Iran

Male Iranians must agree to serve for 18 to 24 months after turning 18.

19. Israel

Israel army conscript

Beginning at age 18, both boys and females in Israel must perform one to two years of service. Pilots must dedicate themselves for at least 9 years.

20. Jordan

Male unemployed individuals between the ages of 25 and 29 are required to serve in the military for a year.

Read more: Why Do People Join the Military? Reasons Not To Join The Military

21. Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan military

Service requirements range from 12 to 24 months. Males between 18 and 27 are predicted to, albeit this may soon end.

22. Kuwait

For males between the ages of 18 and 35, a year of duty is required. The males are then expected to serve in the Reserves until 45. In 2015, the entire system was reintroduced.

23. Kirghizistan

Males between 18 and 27 are expected to serve for nine to twelve months.

24. Laos

Laos military compulsory forceLaos military compulsory force

Men must serve their country for at least 18 months after turning 18.

25. Lithuanian

Men between the ages of 19 and 26 are required to serve a 9-month term. People with dual citizenship are not excluded from this requirement, in contrast to certain other nations.

26. Moldova

For guys ages 18 to 27, 12 months of service is the minimum requirement.

27. Mongolia

Mongolia army

Males aged 18 to 27 are subject to service duties, much like in Moldova. It lasts between one and two years.

28. Morocco

At age 19, only men must have served 12 months. In 2019, this duty was reinstated. If you attempt to avoid it, you risk receiving a sentence of one month to one year in jail.

29. North Korea

North Korea Mandatory Military Service

For both sexes, mandatory service begins at the age of 17. But the timeframe is different. For men, it is 10 years, and for women, it is 5 years.

30. Norway

Both sexes must complete their obligatory military service. It lasts for 19 months, of which 12 months are primary and the final 4 to 5 are refreshers. However, more often than not, more than 80% are discharged from duty.

31. Paraguay

Male Paraguayans who turn 18 must serve for one to two years.

There are currently suggestions to replace military service with forestry work, although none have yet been approved.

32. Qatar

Males between the ages of 18 and 35 are forced to serve in military from four to twelve months.

33. China

Does china have mandatory military service

Males between the ages of 18 and 27 must service for 12 months and remain in the Reserves until they are 50.

34. Singapore

Male Singaporeans between the ages of 18 and 21 are required to serve for two years. They must then serve in the Reserves until they are 40 years old.

Singapore Mandatory Military

35. South Korea

Male South Koreans between the ages of 18 and 28 are required to serve in the military for 21 to 24 months. In the near future, this is expected to be shortened to 18 to 22 months. Some key figures in the economy might be able to postpone starting their jobs until they are 30 years old.

36. South Sudan

Citizens who turn 18 must serve for one to two years.

37. Sudan

Sudan Military

For both boys and females between the ages of 18 and 33, 12 to 24 months are required.

38. Sweden

Both males and females must serve in the military as of the age of 18, in Sweden. Regardless of gender, the service lasts for 7.5 to 15 months.

39. Switzerland

Males between the ages of 18 and 30 must complete 245 days of training in addition to six 19-day recalls (within 10 years).

Switzerland military

40. Syria

Male Syrians aged 18 to 42 are required to serve for 18 months. Exemption payments, which range from $7,000 to $9,000 depending on how many years a person spends away from Syria, must be paid.

41. Taiwan

Taiwan military

Males between the ages of 18 and 36 must complete a minimum of 4 months of duty and 4x 20-day training calls.

42. Tajikistan

Males aged 18 to 27 serve a 2-year term. The option to purchase an exemption does exist, though.

43. Thailand

Thailand army

In 1905, conscription was implemented in Thailand. All Thai citizens are required by law to serve in the armed services, as stated in the Kingdom’s Constitution. In reality, conscription only applies to individuals over the age of 21 who have not completed reserve training.

44. Tunisia

For physically fit guys between the ages of 20 and 35, 12 months of service are necessary.

45. Turkey

Males beginning at the age of 20 are required to serve for 6 to 12 months, though after a month of training, exemptions can be purchased.

46. Turkmenistan

Turkmenistan military

Males aged 18 to 30 must service between two and thirty months.

47. Ukraine

For those aged 20 to 27, military duty in Ukraine is required. It lasts between one and two years.

48. United Arab Emirates

United Arab Emirates military

Males between the ages of 18 and 30 must serve between 16 months and two years.

49. Uzbekistan

Males between 18 and 27 must serve a minimum of one year, while shorter periods can be purchased. However, soldiers who purchase these terms continue to serve in the Reserves until they are 27.

50. Vietnam

Vietnam military

Males between the ages of 18 and 27 must serve for two to three years.

Read more: How To Get Out Of The Military And Be Successful

Military Service Recruitment Strategies

Military Service Recruitment Strategies

The majority of countries in the world have a military. However, different nations employ different strategies to bolster their military forces. These are some of the main recruitment strategies:

Voluntary enlistment — Citizens decide to work for the military and devote their lives to serving their country. Widely recognized as the most ideal and ethical way to keep a military force in place.

Mandatory service — All men (and occasionally all women) over a particular age are required to serve their country for a set period of time (usually 1-3 years). Most often used by militaries with the most pressing needs or by dictators who exercise absolute power.

Conscription/Draft — A variation on mandatory service in which all members of a specific demographic (typically males between the ages of 18 and 35) must register as eligible for military service, but there is a chance that they may not be called to active duty (also known as “being drafted” or “being conscripted”), especially during peacetime.

Selective obligatory service — In many conscription programs, recruits are chosen at random or through a lottery. However, under compulsory selective systems, individuals are consciously picked and summoned into service specifically to address a specific need (for instance, medical personnel, mechanics, or pilots).

De Jure mandatory duty – This is the least taxing kind of mandatory service. Although it is theoretically required by law, mandatory military duty is rarely, if ever, carried out.

For instance, the United States continues to require all physically fit males between the ages of 18 and 25 to register with the Selective Service, which means they may be called up for military duty at any time. But the draft has not been implemented since 1973 due to the large number of voluntary recruits who enlisted (during the Vietnam War).

Similar to China, males between the ages of 18 and 22 must register for a 24-month compulsory duty, but there are enough volunteers that there has never been a “draft” of mandatory registrants.

Combinations — Several systems are used concurrently in several countries. For instance, the United States relies on voluntary enlistment but also maintains a de facto conscription system (the Selective Service) available in case of emergency.

Mandatory Military Service In The News

Mandatory national service

Despite the fact that less than 1% of Americans actively participate in the military, the United States has the greatest defense budget of any nation. The Selective Service appears to be on the verge of becoming obsolete, which may soothe Americans who were astonished to hear that it still exists. In December 2019, House resolution H.R. 5492, which would do away with the Selective Service, was introduced. As of November 2021, it was still awaiting advancement.

In 2020, South Korea changed its military conscription law to allow entertainers with international appeal, like the K-pop group BTS, to postpone their 18 to 21 months of military service until the age of 30. Members of BTS would soon be required to leave the group in order to serve their terms in the military.


FAQs about mandatory military service countries

1. How long is mandatory military service in south Korea?

Military service is hugely contentious in South Korea, where all able-bodied men aged between 18 and 28 are meant to serve for about two years as part of efforts to defend against a hostile North Korea.

2. Can you be forced to join the military

Those men were offered amnesty by President Gerald Ford in 1974 and pardoned by President Jimmy Carter in 1977. Failing to register for the draft or join the military as directed is a felony punishable by a fine of up to $250,000 or a prison term of up to five years, or a combination of both.

3. Who qualifies to do national service in ghana?

The National Service program is a compulsory one-year service required of all citizens of Ghana who are 18 years and above, at the time of deployment. The Scheme which started in 1973, now operates under Act 426 (of 1980).


Military service is compulsory in most countries around the world. This means that all fit and able men and women must serve their country in the armed forces for a set period of time – usually a number of years. The amount of time spent in service differs from place to place, but it’s typically between one and three years.

We hope that this article can give you the information that you need. Thanks for reading!