Field Listing

Military service age and obligation

This entry gives the required ages for voluntary or conscript military service and the length of service obligation.

  • Afghanistan

    not available

  • Albania

    19 is the legal minimum age for voluntary military service; 18 is the legal minimum age in case of general/partial compulsory mobilization; conscription abolished 2010 (2021)

    note - as of 2020, women comprised about 14% of the military's full-time personnel, including 20% of the officers

  • Algeria

    18 is the legal minimum age for voluntary military service (including women); 19-30 years of age for compulsory service (all Algerian men must register at age 17); conscript service obligation reduced from 18 to 12 months in 2014 (2022)

    note - as of 2020, conscripts comprised an estimated 70% of the military

  • Angola

    20-45 years of age for compulsory male and 18-45 years for voluntary male military service (registration at age 18 is mandatory); 20-45 years of age for voluntary female service; 2-year conscript service obligation; Angolan citizenship required; the Navy (MGA) is entirely staffed with volunteers (2021)

  • Antigua and Barbuda

    18-23 years of age for voluntary military service for both males and females; no conscription (2022)

  • Argentina

    18-24 years of age for voluntary military service (men and women); conscription suspended in 1995; citizens can still be drafted in times of crisis, national emergency, or war, or if the Defense Ministry is unable to fill all vacancies to keep the military functional (2022)

    note - as of 2021, women made up over 21% of the active duty military

  • Armenia

    18-27 years of age for voluntary (men and women) or compulsory (men only) military service; 2-year conscript service obligation, which can be served as an officer upon deferment for university studies if enrolled in officer-producing program; 17-year-olds are eligible to become cadets at military higher education institutes, where they are classified as military personnel; citizens aged 27 to 50 are registered in the military reserve and may be called to serve if mobilization is declared; males under the age 36 years, who have not previously served as contract servicemen and are registered in the reserve, as well as females, regardless of whether they are registered in the reserve can be enrolled in contractual military service as privates (2021)

    note - as of 2021, conscripts comprised about half of the military's active personnel; as of 2018, women made up about 13% of the active duty military

  • Australia

    17 years of age for voluntary military service (with parental consent); no conscription (abolished 1973); women allowed to serve in all roles, including combat arms since 2013 (2022)

    note - in 2020-2021, women comprised nearly 20% of the ADF

  • Austria

    registration requirement at age 17, the legal minimum age for voluntary military service; 18 is the legal minimum age for compulsory military service (6 months), or optionally, alternative civil/community service (9 months); males 18 to 50 years old in the militia or inactive reserve are subject to compulsory service; in a January 2012 referendum, a majority of Austrians voted in favor of retaining the system of compulsory military service (with the option of alternative/non-military service) instead of switching to a professional army system (2021)

    note - as of 2019, women made up about 4% of the military's full-time personnel

  • Azerbaijan

    men age 18-35 years for compulsory military service; service obligation 18 months (non-university graduate) or 12 months (university graduates); 17 years of age for voluntary service (men and women); 17-year-olds are considered to be on active service at cadet military schools (2021)

    note - as of 2018, women made up an estimated 3% of the active duty military

  • Bahamas, The

    18 years of age for voluntary male and female service; no conscription (2022)

  • Bahrain

    18 years of age for voluntary military service; 15 years of age for NCOs, technicians, and cadets; no conscription (2022)

  • Bangladesh

    16-21 years of age for voluntary military service; Bangladeshi nationality and 10th grade education required; officers: 17-21 years of age, Bangladeshi nationality, and 12th grade education required (2022)

  • Barbados

    voluntary service only (men and women); 17 years, 9 months to 17 years, 11 months with letter of consent from a parent or guardian, or be in the age range of 18-25 years at the start of recruit training; citizens of Barbados by descent or naturalization (2022)

  • Belarus

    18-27 years of age for compulsory military or alternative service; conscript service obligation is 12-18 months, depending on academic qualifications, and 24-36 months for alternative service, depending on academic qualifications; 17-year-olds are eligible to become cadets at military higher education institutes, where they are classified as military personnel (2021)

    note - conscripts can be assigned to the military, as well as the Ministry of Interior as internal or border troops; as of 2020, conscripts comprised an estimated 40% of the military

  • Belgium

    18 years of age for male and female voluntary military service; conscription abolished in 1995 (2021)

    note - in 2020, women comprised about 9% of the military's full-time personnel

  • Belize

    18 years of age for voluntary military service; laws allow for conscription only if volunteers are insufficient, but conscription has never been implemented; volunteers typically outnumber available positions by 3:1; initial service obligation 12 years (2022)

  • Benin

    18-35 years of age for selective compulsory and voluntary military service; a higher education diploma is required; both sexes are eligible for military service; conscript tour of duty - 18 months (2021)

  • Bermuda

    females and males who are Commonwealth citizens and 18-45 years of age for voluntary enlistment in the Bermuda Regiment; service is for a minimum period of three years and two months from the date of enlistment; service can be extended only by volunteering or an executive order from the Governor; annual training commitment is about 30 days a year, which includes a two-week camp, weekends, and drill nights (2021)

  • Bhutan

    18 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription; militia training is compulsory for males aged 20-25, over a 3-year period; in 2021, the Royal Bhutan Army graduated from a year-long training course the first batch of 150 women to be allowed to serve in combat roles; previously, women were allowed to serve in medical and other non-combat roles (2022)

  • Bolivia

    compulsory for all men between the ages of 18 and 22; men can volunteer from the age of 16, women from 18; service is for one year; Search and Rescue service can be substituted for citizens who have reached the age of compulsory military service; duration of this service is 2 years (2022)

  • Bosnia and Herzegovina

    18 years of age for voluntary military service; mandatory retirement at age 35 or after 15 years of service for junior enlisted personnel (E-1 to E-4), mandatory retirement at age 50 and 30 years of service for non-commissioned officers (E-5 to E-9), mandatory retirement at age 55 and 30 years of service for all commissioned officers; conscription abolished in 2005 (2021)

    note - as of 2019, women made up about 7% of the military's full-time personnel

  • Botswana

    18 is the legal minimum age for voluntary military service (men and women); no conscription (2021)

  • Brazil

    18-45 years of age for compulsory military service for men (women exempted); only 5-10% of those inducted are required to serve; conscript service obligation is 10-12 months; 17-45 years of age for voluntary service (2022)

    note - in 2020, women comprised approximately 9% of the Brazilian military

  • Brunei

    17 years of age for voluntary military service; non-Malays are ineligible to serve; recruits from the army, navy, and air force all undergo 43-week initial training (2021)

  • Bulgaria

    18-27 years of age for voluntary military service; conscription ended in 2007; service obligation 6-9 months (2021)

    note - in 2021, women comprised about 17% of the Bulgarian military's full-time personnel

  • Burkina Faso

    18 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription; women may serve in supporting roles (2021)

  • Burma

    18-35 years of age (men) and 18-27 years of age (women) for voluntary military service; no conscription (a 2010 law reintroducing conscription has not yet entered into force); 2-year service obligation; male (ages 18-45) and female (ages 18-35) professionals (including doctors, engineers, mechanics) serve up to 3 years; service terms may be stretched to 5 years in an officially declared emergency (2021)

  • Burundi

    18 years of age for voluntary military service (2021)

  • Cabo Verde

    18-35 years of age for male and female selective compulsory military service; 2-years conscript service obligation; 17 years of age for voluntary service (with parental consent) (2022)

  • Cambodia

    18 is the legal minimum age for compulsory and voluntary military service (conscription only selectively enforced since 1993); women may volunteer (2021)

    note - in 2018, women made up an estimated 6% of the active duty military

  • Cameroon

    18-23 years of age for male and female voluntary military service; no conscription; high school graduation required; service obligation 4 years (2021)

  • Canada

    17 years of age for voluntary male and female military service (with parental consent); 16 years of age for Reserve and Military College applicants; Canadian citizenship or permanent residence status required; maximum 34 years of age; service obligation 3-9 years (2022)

    note(s) - Canada opened up all military occupations to women in 2001; in 2020, women comprised about 16% of the CAF

  • Central African Republic

    18 years of age for military service; no conscription (2021)

  • Chad

    20 is the legal minimum age for compulsory military service, with a 3-year service obligation; 18 is the legal minimum age for voluntary service; no minimum age restriction for volunteers with consent from a parent or guardian; women are subject to 1 year of compulsory military or civic service at age 21 (2021)

  • Chile

    18-45 years of age for voluntary male and female military service; selective compulsory service (there are usually enough volunteers to make compulsory service unnecessary); service obligation is a minimum of 12 months for Army and 22 months for Navy and Air Force (2022)

    note - as of 2021, women comprised approximately 18% of the armed forces

  • China

    18-22 years of age for selective compulsory military service, with a 2-year service obligation; no minimum age for voluntary service (all officers are volunteers); 18-19 years of age for women high school graduates who meet requirements for specific military jobs (2022)

  • Colombia

    18-24 years of age for compulsory (men) and voluntary (men and women) military service; conscript service obligation is 18 months; conscripted soldiers reportedly include regular soldiers (conscripts without a high school degree), drafted high school graduates (bachilleres), and rural (campesino) soldiers who serve in their home regions (2022)

    note - in 2020, conscripts reportedly comprised about 50% of the Colombian military's active force with approximately 60-90,000 conscripts brought into the military annually

  • Comoros

    18 years of age for 2-year voluntary male and female military service; no conscription (2021)

  • Congo, Democratic Republic of the

    18-45 years of age for voluntary (men and women) and compulsory (men only) military service; unclear how much conscription is used (2021)

  • Congo, Republic of the

    18 years of age for voluntary military service; women may serve in the armed forces (2021)

  • Cote d'Ivoire

    18-25 years of age for compulsory and voluntary male and female military service; conscription is not enforced; voluntary recruitment of former rebels into the new national army is restricted to ages 22-29 (2022)

  • Croatia

    18-27 years of age for voluntary military service; conscription abolished in 2008 (2021)

    note - as of 2019, women comprised about 13% of the military's full-time personnel

  • Cuba

    17-28 years of age for compulsory (men) and volunteer (men and women) military service; 2-year service obligation for men (2022)

  • Cyprus

    Cypriot National Guard (CNG): 18-50 years of age for compulsory military service for all Greek Cypriot males; 17 years of age for voluntary service; 14-month service obligation (2021)

  • Czechia

    18-28 years of age for male and female voluntary military service; conscription abolished 2004 (2021)

    note - as of 2019, women comprised about 13% of the military's full-time personnel

  • Denmark

    18 years of age for compulsory and voluntary military service; conscripts serve an initial training period that varies from 4 to 12 months depending on specialization; former conscripts are assigned to mobilization units; women eligible to volunteer for military service; in addition to full time employment, the Danish Military offers reserve contracts in all three branches (2021)

    note(s) - women have been able serve in all military occupations, including combat arms, since 1988; as of 2019, they made up about 8% of the military's full-time personnel; conscientious objectors can choose to instead serve 6 months in a non-military position, for example in Beredskabsstyrelsen (dealing with non-military disasters like fires, flood, pollution, etc.) or overseas foreign aid work

  • Djibouti

    18 years of age for voluntary military service (men and women); 16-25 years of age for voluntary military training; no conscription (2021)

  • Dominican Republic

    17-21 years of age for voluntary military service (men and women); recruits must have completed primary school and be Dominican Republic citizens; women may volunteer (2022)

    note - as of 2021, women made up approximately 20% of the active duty military

  • Ecuador

    18 years of age for selective conscript military service, although conscription was suspended in 2008; 18 years of age for voluntary military service; Ecuadorian birth requirement; 1-year service obligation; females have been allowed to serve in all branches since 2012 (2022)

    note - in 2017, women made up an estimated 3% of the military

  • Egypt

    voluntary enlistment possible from age 16 (men and women); 18-30 years of age for male conscript military service; service obligation - 14-36 months, followed by a 9-year reserve obligation; active service length depends on education; high school drop-outs serve for the full 36 months, while college graduates serve for lesser periods of time, depending on their education (2022)

    note - as of 2020, conscripts were estimated to comprise over half of the military, as well as a considerable portion of the Central Security Force

  • El Salvador

    18 years of age for selective compulsory military service; 16-22 years of age for voluntary male or female service; service obligation is 12 months, with 11 months for officers and NCOs (2022)

    note - as of 2016, women made up about 6% of the active duty military

  • Equatorial Guinea

    18 years of age for selective compulsory military service, although conscription is rare in practice; 2-year service obligation; women hold only administrative positions in the Navy (2021)

  • Eritrea

    18-40 years of age for male and female voluntary and compulsory military service (18-27 for female conscription); 18-month conscript service obligation, which includes 4-6 months of military training and one‐year of military or other national service (military service is most common); note - in practice, military service reportedly is often extended indefinitely (2021)

    note - as of 2020, women reportedly made up as much as 30% of the Eritrean military

  • Estonia

    men 18-27 for compulsory military or governmental service, conscript service requirement 8-11 months depending on education; NCOs, reserve officers, and specialists serve 11 months; women can volunteer and as of 2018, women could serve in any branch of the military (2021)

    note(s) - conscripts comprise about half (approximately 3,000-3,300) of the Estonian military's 6,500 active personnel and serve in all branches, except for the Air Force, which does not have conscripts; in 2020, women comprised about 10% of the full-time professional military force

  • Eswatini

    18-30 years of age for male and female voluntary military service; no conscription (2021)

  • Ethiopia

    18 years of age for voluntary military service; no compulsory military service, but the military can conduct callups when necessary and compliance is compulsory (2021)

    note - in November 2021, the Ethiopian Government issued a nationwide state of emergency that enabled officials to order military-age citizens to undergo training and accept military duty in support of the Tigray conflict

  • Fiji

    18 years of age for voluntary military service; mandatory retirement at age 55 (2021)

  • Finland

    at age 18, all Finnish men are obligated to serve 5.5-12 months of service within a branch of the military or the Border Guard (length of service depends on the type of duty), and women 18-29 may volunteer for service; there is also an option to perform non-military service which lasts for 8.5 or 11.5 months; after completing their initial conscript obligation, individuals enter the reserves and remain eligible for mobilization until the age of 50 for rank-and-file and 60 for non-commissioned and commissioned officers (2022)

    note(s) - the military trains approximately 21,000 (20,000 Army) conscripts each year; as of 2019, women made up about 4% of the military's full-time personnel

  • France

    18-25 years of age for male and female voluntary military service; no conscription (abolished 2001); 1-year service obligation; women serve in noncombat posts (2021)

    note(s) - men between the ages of 17.5 and 39.5 years of age, of any nationality, may join the French Foreign Legion; those volunteers selected for service sign 5-year contracts; in 2019, women comprised approximately approximately 16% of the uniformed armed forces (21% including civilians) 

  • Gabon

    20 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription (2021)

  • Gambia, The

    18-25 years of age for male and female voluntary military service (18-22 for officers); no conscription; service obligation 6 months (2021)

  • Georgia

    18-27 years of age for voluntary active duty military service; conscription abolished in 2016, but reinstated in 2017 for men 18 to 27 years of age; conscript service obligation is 12 months (2021)

    note(s) - approximately 6-7,000 individuals are called up annually for conscription for service; approximately 25% enter the Defense Forces, while the remainder serve in the Ministry of Internal Affairs or as prison guards in the Ministry of Corrections; as of 2019, women made up about 6% of the military's full-time personnel

  • Germany

    17-23 years of age for male and female voluntary military service (must have completed compulsory full-time education and have German citizenship); conscription ended July 2011; service obligation 7-23 months or 12 years; women have been eligible for voluntary service in all military branches and positions since 2001 (2022)

    note - in 2021, women accounted for about 12% of the German military

  • Ghana

    18-26 years of age for voluntary military service, with basic education certificate; no conscription (2022)

  • Greece

    19-45 years of age for compulsory military service; 12-month obligation for all services (note - as an exception, the duration of the full military service is 9 instead of 12 months if conscripts, after the initial training, serve the entire remaining time in certain areas of the eastern borders, in Cyprus, or in certain military units); 18 years of age for volunteers; women are eligible for voluntary military service (2021)

    note(s) - approximately 40-50% of the Greek military is comprised of conscripts; as of 2019, women comprised approximately 19% of the full-time military personnel

  • Guatemala

    all male citizens between the ages of 18 and 50 are eligible for military service; in practice, most of the force is volunteer, however, a selective draft system is employed, resulting in a small portion of 17-21 year-olds conscripted; conscript service obligation varies from 1 to 2 years; women may volunteer (2022)

    note - as of 2017, women made up an estimated 5-10% of the active military

  • Guinea

    Voluntary and selective conscripted service, 9-24 mos (2022)

  • Guinea-Bissau

    18-25 years of age for selective compulsory military service (Air Force service is voluntary); 16 years of age or younger, with parental consent, for voluntary service (2022)

  • Guyana

    18 years of age or older for voluntary military service; no conscription (2022)

  • Haiti

    not available

  • Holy See (Vatican City)

    Pontifical Swiss Guard Corps: 19-30 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription; must be Roman Catholic, a single male, and a Swiss citizen, with a secondary education; service is for 26 months (2022)

  • Honduras

    18 years of age for voluntary 2- to 3-year military service (men and women); no conscription (2022)

    note - as of 2017, women made up over 4% of the active duty military

  • Hungary

    18-25 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription (abolished 2005); 6-month service obligation (2021)

    note - as of 2019, women comprised approximately 20% of Hungary's full-time military personnel

  • India

    16-18 years of age for voluntary military service (Army 17.5, Air Force 17, Navy 16.5); no conscription (2022)

    note(s) - in June 2022, the Indian Government announced that it would begin recruiting 46,000 men aged 17.5-21 annually to serve on 4-year contracts; at the end of their tenure, 25% would be retained for longer terms of service, while the rest would be forced to retire, although some of those leaving the service would be eligible to serve in the Coast Guard, the Merchant Navy, civilian positions in the Ministry of Defense, and in the paramilitary forces of the Ministry of Home Affairs, such as the Central Armed Police Forces and Assam Rifles

    - as of 2021, women made up about .56% of the Army, 1.1% of the Air Force, and 6.5% of the Navy

  • Indonesia

    18-45 years of age for voluntary military service, with selective conscription authorized (males, age 18), but not utilized; 2-year service obligation, with reserve obligation to age 45 (officers) (2021)

  • Iran

    18 years of age for compulsory military service; 16 years of age for volunteers; 17 years of age for Law Enforcement Forces; 15 years of age for Basij Forces (Popular Mobilization Army); conscript military service obligation is 18-24 months, depending on the location of service (soldiers serving in places of high security risk and deprived areas serve shorter terms); women exempt from military service (2021)

    note - as of 2019, approximately 80% of Artesh ground forces personnel were conscripts, while Navy and Air/Air Defense Force personnel were primarily volunteers; conscripts reportedly comprised more than 50 percent of the IRGC (most volunteers were reportedly recruited from the Basij Forces)

  • Iraq

    18-40 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription (abolished 2003) (2022)

    note - in late 2021, the Iraqi Government approved a draft conscription law for the Council of Representatives to debate

  • Ireland

    18-25 years of age for male and female voluntary military service recruits to the Defence Forces (18-27 years of age for the Naval Service); 18-26 for cadetship (officer) applicants; 12-year service (5 active, 7 reserves); Irish citizen, European Economic Area citizenship, or refugee status (2022)

    note - as of 2019, women made up about 7% of the military's full-time personnel

  • Israel

    18 years of age for compulsory military service; 17 years of age for voluntary military service; Jews and Druze can be conscripted; Christians, Circassians, and Muslims may volunteer; both sexes are obligated to military service; conscript liability 48 months for officers, 32 months for men of other ranks, 24 for women;  conscript service obligation - 32 months for enlisted men and about 24 months for enlisted women (varies based on military occupation), 48 months for officers; pilots commit to 9-year service; reserve obligation to age 41-51 (men), age 24 (women) (2022)

    note(s) - women have served in the Israeli military since its establishment in 1948; as of 2021, women made up about 35% of IDF personnel; more than 90% of military specialties, including combat specialties, were open to women and more than 3,000 women were serving in combat units; the IDF's first mixed-gender infantry unit, the Caracal Battalion, was established in 2004; as of 2021, conscripts comprised about 70% of the IDF ground forces

  • Italy

    18-25 years of age for voluntary military service; women may serve in any military branch; Italian citizenship required; 1-year service obligation; conscription abolished 2004 (2021)

    note - as of 2019, women made up about 6% of the military's full-time personnel

  • Jamaica

    no conscription; 18-23 for voluntary military service (17 with parental consent; 18-28 for the reserves); since 2017, the JDF's standard mode of recruitment is to enroll recruits ages 18-23 through the Jamaica National Service Corps (JNSC); in the JNSC, soldiers receive basic military, vocational, and life skills training; upon completion of 1-year of service, soldiers can continue on with the JDF or seek other opportunities with law enforcement (2022)

  • Japan

    18 years of age for voluntary military service for men and women (maximum enlistment age 32); no conscription (2021)

    note - as of 2020, women made up about 7% of the military's full-time personnel

  • Jordan

    17 years of age for voluntary male military service (women can volunteer to serve in noncombat military positions in the Royal Jordanian Arab Army Women's Corps and RJAF); initial service term 2 years, with option to reenlist for 18 years; conscription abolished in 1991; however, in 2020, Jordan announced the reinstatement of compulsory military service for jobless men aged between 25 and 29 with 12 months of service, made up of 3 months of military training and 9 months of professional and technical training; in 2019, announced a voluntary 4-month National Military Service program for men and women aged between 18-25 years who have been unemployed for at least 6 months; service would include 1 month for military training with the remaining 3 months dedicated to vocational training in the sectors of construction and tourism (2022)

    note - most women serve in the medical service; outside the medical service, women comprised about 1.5% of the military as of 2019; the Jordanian Government intended to raise this to 3%

  • Kazakhstan

    all men 18-27 are required to serve in the military for at least one year (2022)

  • Kenya

    no conscription; 18-26 years of age for male and female voluntary service (under 18 with parental consent; upper limit 30 years of age for specialists, tradesmen, or women with a diploma; 39 years of age for chaplains/imams), with a 9-year obligation (7 years for Kenyan Navy) and subsequent 3-year re-enlistments; applicants must be Kenyan citizens (2022)

  • Korea, North

    17 years of age for compulsory male and female military service; service obligation 10 years for men, to age 23 for women (reportedly reduced in 2021 to 7-8 years for men and 5 years for women) (2021)

    note(s) - the bulk of the KPA is made up of conscripts; as many as 20 percent of North Korean males between the ages of 16 and 54 are in the military at a given time and possibly up to 30 percent of males between the ages of 18 and 27, not counting the reserves or paramilitary units

  • Korea, South

    18-28 years of age for compulsory military service; minimum conscript service obligation varies by service- 21 months (Army, Marines), 23 months (Navy), 24 months (Air Force); 18-26 years of age for voluntary military service  (2021)

    note(s) - women, in service since 1950, are able to serve in all branches, including as officers, and in 2020 comprised about 7.5% of the active duty military; in 2021, about 330,000 of the military's active personnel were conscripts; South Korea intends to reduce the length of military service to 18 – 22 months by 2022

  • Kosovo

    service is voluntary; must be over the age of 18 and a citizen of Kosovo; upper age for enlisting is 30 for officers, 25 for other ranks, although these may be waived for recruits with key skills considered essential for the KSF
    (2021)

  • Kuwait

    17-21 years of age for voluntary military service; Kuwait reintroduced one-year mandatory service for men aged 18-35 in May 2017 after having suspended conscription in 2001; service is divided in two phases – four months for training and eight months for military service; women were allowed to volunteer in 2021 (2022)

     

  • Kyrgyzstan

    18-27 years of age for compulsory or voluntary male military service in the Armed Forces or Interior Ministry; 1-year service obligation (9 months for university graduates), with optional fee-based 3-year service in the call-up mobilization reserve; women may volunteer at age 19; 16-17 years of age for military cadets, who cannot take part in military operations (2022)

  • Laos

    18 years of age for compulsory or voluntary military service; conscript service obligation - minimum 18 months (2021)

  • Latvia

    18 years of age for voluntary male and female military service; no conscription (abolished 2007) (2021)

    note - as of 2019, women comprised about 16% of the military's full-time personnel

  • Lebanon

    17-25 years of age for voluntary military service (including women); no conscription (2022)

    note - as of 2020, women comprised about 5% of the active duty military

  • Lesotho

    18-24 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription; women can serve as commissioned officers (2021)

  • Liberia

    18-35 years of age for voluntary military service (men and women); no conscription (2021)

    note - as of 2020, women made up about .4% of the active military

  • Libya

    not available

  • Lithuania

    19-26 years of age for conscripted military service (males); 9-month service obligation; in 2015, Lithuania reinstated conscription after having converted to a professional military in 2008; 18-38 for voluntary service (male and female) (2021)

    note(s) - Lithuania conscripts up to 4,000 males each year; conscripts are selected using an automated lottery system; as of 2019, women comprised about 12% of the military's full-time personnel

  • Luxembourg

    18-26 years of age for male and female voluntary military service; no conscription (abolished 1969); Luxembourg citizen or EU citizen with 3-year residence in Luxembourg (2021)

    note - as of 2019, women made up about 8% of the military's full-time personnel

  • Madagascar

    18-25 years of age for males; service obligation 18 months; no conscription; women are permitted to serve in all branches (2022)

  • Malawi

    18 years of age for voluntary military service (men and women); high school equivalent required for enlisted recruits and college equivalent for officer recruits; initial engagement is 7 years for enlisted personnel and 10 years for officers (2021)

  • Malaysia

    17 years 6 months of age for voluntary military service (younger with parental consent and proof of age); mandatory retirement age 60; women serve in the Malaysian Armed Forces; no conscription (2021)

    note - in 2020, the Malaysian Armed Forces announced a goal of having 10% of the active military comprised of women

  • Maldives

    18-28 years of age for voluntary service; no conscription; 10th grade or equivalent education required; must not be a member of a political party (2022)

  • Mali

    18 years of age for selective compulsory and voluntary military service (men and women); 2-year conscript service obligation (2022)

  • Malta

    18-30 years of age for voluntary military service (men and women); no conscription (2021)

  • Mauritania

    18 is the legal minimum age for voluntary military service; no conscription (2022)

  • Mauritius

    service is voluntary (2022)

  • Mexico

    18 years of age for compulsory military service for males (selection for service determined by lottery); conscript service obligation is 12 months; those selected serve on Saturdays in a Batallón del Servicio Militar Nacional (National Military Service Battalion) composed entirely of 1-year Servicio Militar Nacional (SMN) conscripts; conscripts remain in reserve status until the age of 40; 16 years of age with consent for voluntary enlistment; cadets enrolled in military schools from the age of 15 are considered members of the armed forces; women are eligible for voluntary military service (2022)

    note - as of 2022, women comprised about 15% of the active duty military

  • Moldova

    18-27 years of age for compulsory or voluntary military service; male registration required at age 16; 1-year service obligation (2021)

    note - as of 2019, women made up about 20% of the military's full-time personnel

  • Mongolia

    18-27 years of age for compulsory and voluntary military service; 1-year conscript service obligation in army or air forces or police for males only (can be exchanged for a 24‐month stint in the civil service or a tax voucher); after conscription, soldiers can contract into military service for 2 or 4 years; citizens can also voluntarily join the armed forces (2021)

  • Montenegro

    18 is the legal minimum age for voluntary military service; conscription abolished in 2006 (2021)

    note - as of 2019, women made up about 6% of the military's full-time personnel

  • Morocco

    19-25 years of age for 12-month compulsory military service (reintroduced in 2019); both sexes (age 20-27 for women) are obligated to national service (2021)

  • Mozambique

    registration for military service is mandatory for all males and females at 18 years of age; 18-35 years of age for selective compulsory military service; 18 years of age for voluntary service; 2-year service obligation; women may serve as officers or enlisted (2021)

  • Namibia

    18-25 years of age for voluntary military service (men and women); no conscription (2021)

    note - as of 2018, women comprised more than 20% of the active military

  • Nepal

    18 years of age for voluntary military service (including women); no conscription (2022)

    note - as of 2020, women comprised about 5% of the active duty military

  • Netherlands

    17 years of age for an all-volunteer force; conscription remains in place, but the requirement to show up for compulsory military service was suspended in 1997 (2021)

    note - in 2019, women made up about 11% of the military's full-time personnel

  • New Zealand

    17 years of age for voluntary military service (men and women); soldiers cannot be deployed until the age of 18; no conscription (2022)

    note - New Zealand opened up all military occupations to women in 2000; in 2019, women accounted for about 18% of the uniformed full-time personnel

  • Nicaragua

    18-30 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription; tour of duty 18-36 months; requires Nicaraguan nationality and 6th-grade education (2022)

  • Niger

    has conscription, although it is reportedly not always enforced; 18 is the legal minimum age for compulsory or voluntary military service; enlistees must be Nigerien citizens and unmarried; 2-year service term; women may serve in health care (2022)

  • Nigeria

    18-26 years of age for voluntary military service (men and women); no conscription (2022)

  • North Macedonia

    18 years of age for voluntary military service; conscription abolished in 2007 (2021)

    note - as of 2019, women made up about 8% of the military's full-time personnel

  • Norway

    19-35 years of age for male and female selective compulsory military service; 17 years of age for male volunteers; 18 years of age for women; 19-month service obligation; conscripts first serve 12 months from 19-28, and then up to 4-5 refresher training periods until age 35, 44, 55, or 60 depending on rank and function (2021)

    note(s) - Norway conscripts about 8,000 individuals annually; Norway was the first NATO country to allow females to serve in all combat arms branches of the military (1985); it also has an all-female special operations unit known as Jegertroppen (The Hunter Troop), which was established in 2014; as of 2019, women comprised about 14% of the military's full-time personnel

  • Oman

    18-30 years of age for voluntary military service (women have been allowed to serve since 2011); no conscription (2022)

  • Pakistan

    16 (or 17 depending on service)-23 years of age for voluntary military service; soldiers cannot be deployed for combat until age 18; women serve in all three armed forces; reserve obligation to age 45 for enlisted men, age 50 for officers (2022)

  • Papua New Guinea

    16 years of age for voluntary military service (with parental consent); no conscription (2021)

  • Paraguay

    18 years of age for compulsory (men) and voluntary (men and women) military service; conscript service obligation is 12 months for Army, 24 months for Navy (conscripts also serve in the National Police); volunteers for the Air Force must be younger than 22 years of age with a secondary school diploma (2022)

    note - as of 2021, women made up about 6% of the active military

  • Peru

    18-50 years of age for male and 18-45 years of age for female voluntary military service (12 months); no conscription (abolished in 1999) (2022)

    note - as of 2019, women made up about 10% of the active duty military

  • Philippines

    18-23 years of age (officers 21-29; 21-26 for women officers) for voluntary military service (men and women); no conscription (2021)

    note - as of 2020, women made up about 6% of the active military; women were allowed to enter the Philippine Military Academy and train as combat soldiers in 1993

  • Poland

    18-28 years of age for male and female voluntary military service; conscription phased out in 2009-12; professional soldiers serve on a permanent basis (for an unspecified period of time) or on a contract basis (for a specified period of time); initial contract period is 24 months; women serve in the military on the same terms as men (2021)

    note - as of 2019, women made up about 7% of the military's full-time personnel

  • Portugal

    18-30 years of age for voluntary or contract military service; no compulsory military service (abolished 2004), but conscription possible if insufficient volunteers available; women serve in the armed forces, on naval ships since 1992, but are prohibited from serving in some combatant specialties; contract service lasts for an initial period from two to six years, and can be extended to a maximum of 20 years of service; voluntary military service lasts 12 months; reserve obligation to age 35 (2021)

    note - as of 2019, women made up about 12% of the military's full-time personnel

  • Qatar

    conscription for males aged 18-35 introduced in 2013; compulsory service times range from 4-12 months, depending on the cadets educational and professional circumstances; since 2018, women have been permitted to serve in the armed forces, including as uniformed officers and pilots (2022)

    note - as of 2020, the military incorporated about 2,000 conscripts annually

  • Romania

    conscription ended 2006; 18 years of age for male and female voluntary service; all military inductees (including women) contract for an initial 5-year term of service, with subsequent successive 3-year terms until age 36 (2021)

  • Russia

    18-27 years of age for compulsory service (males only); 18-40 for voluntary/contractual service; women and non-Russian citizens (18-30) may volunteer; males are registered for the draft at 17 years of age; 1-year service obligation (Russia offers the option of serving on a 2-year contract instead of completing a 1-year conscription period); reserve obligation for non-officers to age 50; enrollment in military schools from the age of 16, cadets classified as members of the armed forces (2022)

    note(s) - in May 2022, Russia's parliament approved a law removing the upper age limit for contractual service in the military; in the spring of 2022, Russia drafted 134,500 conscripts into the military; as of 2021, conscripts reportedly comprised about 30% of the Russian military's active duty personnel; in April of 2019, the Russian Government pledged its intent to end conscription as part of a decade-long effort to shift from a large, conscript-based military to a smaller, more professional force; an existing law allows for a 21-month alternative civil service in hospitals, nursing homes and other facilities for those who view military duty as incompatible with their beliefs, but military conscription offices reportedly often broadly ignore requests for such service; as of 2020, women made up about 5% of the active duty military

  • Rwanda

    18 years of age for voluntary military service (men and women); no conscription; Rwandan citizenship is required; enlistment is either as contract (5-years, renewable twice) or career (2021)

  • Saint Kitts and Nevis

    18 years of age for voluntary military service (under 18 with written parental permission); no conscription (2021)

  • San Marino

    18 is the legal minimum age for voluntary military service; no conscription; government has the authority to call up all San Marino citizens from 16-60 years of age to service in the military (2021)

  • Sao Tome and Principe

    18 is the legal minimum age for compulsory military service; 17 is the legal minimum age for voluntary service (2021)

  • Saudi Arabia

    17-40 for men; no conscription; as of 2021, women (aged 18-40) were allowed to serve in the Army, Air Defense, Navy, Strategic Missile Force, medical services, and internal security forces up to the rank of non-commissioned officer (2021)

  • Senegal

    18 years of age for voluntary military service (men and women); 20 years of age for selective conscript service; 2-year service obligation; women have been accepted into military service since 2008 (2022)

  • Serbia

    18 years of age for voluntary military service; conscription abolished January 2011 (2021)

    note - as of 2019, women made up about 6% of the military's full-time personnel

  • Seychelles

    18-28 (18-25 for officers) years of age for voluntary military service (including women); 6-year initial commitment; no conscription (2022)

  • Sierra Leone

    18-29 for voluntary military service; women are eligible to serve; no conscription (2022)

  • Singapore

    18-21 years of age for male compulsory military service; 16 1/2 years of age for voluntary enlistment (with parental consent); 2-year conscript service obligation, with a reserve obligation to age 40 (enlisted) or age 50 (officers); women are not conscripted, but they are allowed to volunteer for all services and branches, including combat arms (2021)

    note(s) - under the Enlistment Act, all male Singaporean citizens and permanent residents, unless exempted, are required to enter National Service (NS) upon attaining the age of 18; most NS conscripts serve in the SAF, but some go into the Police Force or Civil Defense Force; as of 2020, conscripts comprised over half of the defense establishment; as of 2017, women made up about 7% of the active force

  • Slovakia

    18-30 years of age for voluntary military service; conscription in peacetime suspended in 2004; women are eligible to serve (2021)

    note - as of 2019, women made up around 12% of the military's full-time personnel

  • Slovenia

    18-25 years of age for voluntary military service (men and women); conscription abolished in 2003 (2021)

    note - as of 2019, women comprised about 15% of the military's full-time personnel

  • Somalia

    18 is the legal minimum age for compulsory and voluntary military service; conscription is authorized, but not currently utilized (2021)

  • South Africa

    18-26 years of age for voluntary military service; women are eligible to serve in noncombat roles; 2-year service obligation (2021)

    note - in 2019, women comprised about 30% of the SANDF

  • South Sudan

    18 is the legal minimum age for compulsory (men) and voluntary (men and women) military service; 12-24 months service (2022)

    note - in 2019, women made up less than 10% of the active military

  • Spain

    18-26 years of age for voluntary military service by a Spanish citizen or legal immigrant, 2-3 year obligation; women allowed to serve in all SAF branches, including combat units; no conscription (abolished 2001), but Spanish Government retains right to mobilize citizens 19-25 years of age in a national emergency (2021)

    note - as of 2019, women comprised about 13% of the military's full-time personnel

  • Sri Lanka

    18-22 years of age for voluntary military service (men and women); no conscription (2022)

  • Sudan

    18-33 years of age for male and female compulsory or voluntary military service; 1-2 year service obligation (2022)

    note - implementation of conscription is reportedly uneven

  • Suriname

    18 is the legal minimum age for voluntary military service; no conscription (2022)

  • Sweden

    18-47 years of age for male and female voluntary military service; service obligation: 7.5 months (Army), 7-15 months (Navy), 8-12 months (Air Force); after completing initial service, soldiers have a reserve commitment until age 47; compulsory military service, abolished in 2010, was reinstated in January 2018; conscription is selective, includes both female and male (age 18), and requires 9-12 months of service (2021)

    note(s) - Sweden conscripts about 5,500 men and women each year; as of 2021, women made up about 11% of the military's full-time personnel

  • Switzerland

    18-30 years of age generally for male compulsory military service; 18 years of age for voluntary male and female military service; every Swiss male has to serve at least 245 days in the armed forces; conscripts receive 18 weeks of mandatory training, followed by six 19-day intermittent recalls for training during the next 10 years (2021)

    note - conscientious objectors can choose 390 days of community service instead of military service

  • Syria

    18-42 years of age for compulsory and voluntary military service; conscript service obligation is 18 months; women are not conscripted but may volunteer to serve (2022)

    note - the SAF is comprised largely of conscripts

  • Taiwan

    starting with those born in 1994, males 18-36 years of age may volunteer for military service or must complete 4 months of compulsory military training (5 weeks of basic training followed by 11 weeks of specialized training with field units); civil service can be substituted for military service in some cases; men born before December 1993 are required to complete compulsory service for 1 year (military or civil); men are subject to training recalls up to four times for periods not to exceed 20 days for 8 years after discharge; women may enlist, but are restricted to noncombat roles in most cases; as part of its transition to an all-volunteer military in December 2018, the last cohort of one-year military conscripts completed their service obligations (2022)

    note - as of 2021, women made up about 15% of the active duty military

  • Tajikistan

    18-27 years of age for compulsory or voluntary military service for men; 24-month conscript service obligation; in August 2021, the Tajik Government began allowing men to pay a fee in order to avoid conscription (2022)

  • Tanzania

    18-25 years of age for voluntary military service; 6-year commitment (2-year contracts afterwards); selective conscription for 2 years of public service (2022)

  • Thailand

    18 years of age for voluntary military service (men and women); 21 years of age for compulsory military service (men only); males register at 18 years of age; 2-year conscript service obligation varies by educational qualifications (2021)

    note(s) - information varies, but conscripts reportedly comprise as much as 50% of the RTARF; around 100,000 males are drafted each year; as of 2020, women comprised about 8% of active military personnel

  • Timor-Leste

    18 years of age for voluntary military service; 18-month service obligation (2021)

  • Togo

    18 years of age for military service; 2-year service obligation; no conscription; women have been able to serve since 2007 (2022)

  • Tonga

    men and women, 18-25, may volunteer; no conscription (2021)

  • Trinidad and Tobago

    18-25 years of age for voluntary military service (men and women; some age variations between services, reserves); no conscription (2022)

    note - as of 2017, women comprised about 14% of the active military

  • Tunisia

    men 20-23 years of age for compulsory service, 1-year service obligation; individuals engaged in higher education or vocational training programs prior to their military drafting are allowed to delay service until they have completed their programs; 18-23 years of age for voluntary service; women may volunteer (2022)

    note(s) - as of 2021, approximately 20-25,000 active military personnel were conscripts; women have been allowed in the service since 1975 as volunteers only, although as recently as 2018, the Tunisian Government has discussed the possibility of conscripting women; as of 2018, women constituted less than 7% of the military and served in all three services

  • Turkey (Turkiye)

    President Erdoğan on 25 June 2019 signed a new law cutting the men’s mandatory military service period in half, as well as making paid military service permanent; with the new system, the period of conscription was reduced from 12 months to six months for privates and non-commissioned soldiers (the service term for reserve officers chosen among university or college graduates will remain 12 months); after completing six months of service, if a conscripted soldier wants to and is suitable for extending his military service, he may do so for an additional six months in return for a monthly salary; under the new law, all male Turkish citizens over the age of 20 will be required to undergo a one month military training period, but they can obtain an exemption from the remaining five months of their mandatory service by paying 31,000 Turkish Liras (2021)

    note - as of 2019, women made up about .3% of the military's full-time personnel

  • Turkmenistan

    18-30 years of age for compulsory male military service; 2-year conscript service obligation (2.5 years for the Navy); 20 years of age for voluntary service (including females); males may enroll in military schools from age 15 (2022)

  • Uganda

    18-25 years of age for voluntary military duty (men and women); 9-year service obligation (2021)

  • Ukraine

    conscription abolished in 2012, but reintroduced in 2014; 20-27 years of age for compulsory military service; conscript service obligation is 12 months (2021)

    note(s) - the Ukrainian military has a mix of conscripts (14,000 conscripted in 2021) and professional soldiers on contracts; women can volunteer and have served in the Ukrainian armed forces since 1993; as of 2021, women comprised approximately 15-20% of the military; in late 2021, the Ukrainian Government began requiring women between 18 and 60 who are fit for military service and work in a broad range of professions to register with Ukraine's armed forces
     

  • United Arab Emirates

    18-30 years of age for compulsory military service for men (compulsory service initiated in 2014); 17 years of age for male volunteers with parental approval; males can volunteer up to age 40; 24-month general service obligation, 16 months for secondary school graduates; women can volunteer to serve for 9 months regardless of education (2022)

    note - compulsory service may be completed in the uniformed military, the Ministry of Interior, the State Security Service, or other institutions designated by the military leadership

  • United Kingdom

    slight variations by service, but generally 16-36 years of age for enlisted (with parental consent under 18) and 18-29 for officers; minimum length of service 4 years; women serve in military services including ground combat roles; conscription abolished in 1963 (2021)

    note - as of 2019, women made up about 11% of the military's full-time personnel

  • United States

    18 years of age (17 years of age with parental consent) for male and female voluntary service; no conscription  (currently inactive, but males aged 18-25 must register with Selective Service in case conscription is reinstated in the future); maximum enlistment age 34 (Army), 39 (Air Force), 39 (Navy), 28 (Marines), 31 (Coast Guard); 8-year service obligation, including 2-5 years active duty (Army), 2 years active (Navy), 4 years active (Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard); all military occupations and positions open to women (2021)

    note(s) - in 2020, women comprised 17.2 % of the total US military (16.9% of enlisted; 18.9% officers; highest was Air Force with women comprising 21.1% of its total personnel)

    - a small number of American women were involved in combat during the Revolutionary (1775-1783), Mexican (1846-1848), and Civil (1861-1865) Wars, but they had to disguise themselves as men and enlist under aliases; the first official US military organization for women was the US Army Nurse Corps, established in 1901; during World War I, the US Navy and Marine Corps allowed women to enlist; nearly 350,000 women served in the US military during World War II; the 1991 Gulf War was the first war where women served with men in integrated units within a warzone; in 2015, female service members were allowed to serve in direct combat roles

  • Uruguay

    18-30 years of age (18-22 years of age for Navy) for male or female voluntary military service; up to 40 years of age for specialists; enlistment is voluntary in peacetime, but the government has the authority to conscript in emergencies (2022)

    note - as of 2017, women comprised about 19% of the active military

  • Uzbekistan

    18-27 years of age for compulsory military service; 1-year conscript service obligation for males (conscripts have the option of paying for a shorter service of one month while remaining in the reserves until the age of 27); Uzbek citizens who have completed their service terms in the armed forces have privileges in employment and admission to higher educational institutions (2022)

  • Venezuela

    18-30 (25 for women) for voluntary service; the minimum service obligation is 24-30 months; all citizens of military service age (18-50 years old) are obligated to register for military service and subject to military training, although “forcible recruitment” is forbidden (2022)

    note - as of 2017, women made up more than 20% of the active duty military

  • Vietnam

    18-27 years of age for compulsory and voluntary military service (females eligible for conscription, but in practice only males are drafted); conscription typically takes place twice annually and service obligation is 2 years (Army, Air Defense) and 3 years (Navy and Air Force) (2021)

  • West Bank

    not available

  • Yemen

    18 is the legal minimum age for voluntary military service; conscription abolished in 2001; 2-year service obligation (note - limited information since the start of the civil war) (2021)

  • Zambia

    18-25 years of age for male and female voluntary military service (16 with parental consent); no conscription; 12-year enlistment period (7 years active, 5 in the Reserves) (2021)

  • Zimbabwe

    18-22 years of age for voluntary military service (18-24 for officer cadets; 18-30 for technical/specialist personnel); no conscription; women are eligible to serve (2021)