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Promotions in the reserve

Military ranks and service ranks signify a supervisory position, training and task. Promotions in the reserve are based on the number of refresher training days, wartime task as well as suitability.

You may accumulate the number of refresher training days that qualify you for promotion by successful participation in the following:

  • Refresher training exercises
  • Finnish Defence Forces’ voluntary exercises
  • Courses by National Defence Training Association focusing on military readiness
  • Other equivalent training events as applicable

You may also earn refresher-training-day equivalents that qualify you for promotion by developing your own competences and capabilities by the following:

  • Completing studies in the Finnish Defence Forces’ open access online learning environment (PvMoodle
  • Completing the set tests for physical capability (Cooper’s test/UKK walking and muscle fitness test)
  • Completing two of the set three field fitness performances (marksmanship, marching, orienteering)

For more specific information, please look up details as outlined in the Defence Command document HP965.

Service in the Finnish Defence Forces, peace keeping tour of duty, or equivalent can be taken into account in the promotion decision-making.

You can be promoted every four to seven years. Please note that the higher the reservist’s officer rank, the less frequently the next promotion is likely to take place. All promotions always remain subject to discretionary criteria.

Being promoted presupposes that

  • You have been placed or can be placed to a task that allows being promoted
  • You have been reserved for another wartime task (person reservation)

Promotions usually take place on 4 June, the Flag Day of the Finnish Defence Forces, or on 6 December, the Independence Day. The rank and file can also be promoted in conjunction with the refresher training exercises as well.

Military rank

Training requirement

+placement and suitability as regards the equivalent wartime task

Private First Class/ Seaman

1 day


7 days (4 yrs.)


Reserve NCO, 10 days (4 yrs.)

Staff Sergeant

Reserve NCO, 20 days, Conscript Sergeant 10 days, (4 yrs.)

Sergeant First Class/ Chief Petty Officer

Reserve NCO, 40 days, Conscript Sergeant 30 days (5 yrs.)

Master Sergeant/ Senior Chief Petty Officer

Reserve NCO, 50 days, Conscript Sergeant 40 days (5 yrs.)

Sergeant Major

Reserve NCO (5 yrs.)

Second Lieutenant / Ensign

Reserve Officer


Reserve Officer, 10 days (4 yrs.)

First Lieutenant

Reserve Officer, 30 days (5 yrs.)

Captain / Lieutenant, Senior Grade

Reserve Officer, 60 days (6 yrs.)

Major / Lieutenant Commander

Reserve Officer (7 yrs.)

Lieutenant Colonel / Commander

as above, only in exceptional cases (7 yrs.)