Voluntary military service for women
Are you interested in military service? You may apply to the voluntary military service for women if you are a Finnish citizen, 18-29 years old, and your state of health is suitable for undertaking military training. You may complete the service in all units and service tasks available in the Finnish Defence Forces.
Please consider that you may start the voluntary military service for women after you have turned 18. The service must be fully completed, in other words the service needs to be finished, by the end of the year when you turn 30. As of 2024, the service must start at the latest during the year when you turn 29. This applies to both men and women.
Everyone starts from the same line
The training contents and requirements for women’s military service are identical with those set for men. Both women and men have equal opportunities to qualify for leadership training and for a prospective military career. The quotas for service tasks are free from gender bias and dependent on suitability and skills. Women start their service conterminously with men. Read more about conscript training here.
Having completed the voluntary military service for women, women remain part of the Finnish Defence Forces’ reserve. They may receive orders to attend refresher training exercises on the same grounds as their male counterparts. Following 30 days of service, women will remain liable for military service until the end of the year when they turn 60. Read more about refresher training exercises here.
You may apply for the service at the earliest during the year when you turn 18 and do so easily by filling out a digital application. The application for the voluntary military service for women must be submitted by 15 January. Before submitting the application, it is worth familiarising with the versatile service tasks and to consider when and in which types of tasks you would like to complete the service.
Please see the application instructions here.
Pilot combining women’s voluntary military service selection events and men’s call-ups
The Regional Offices of Uusimaa, Häme and Lapland will pilot combining women’s voluntary military service selection events and men’s call-ups in 2024. In practice, this means that in the spring 2024, specific selection events will not be organized for women applying to voluntary military service in the regions of Uusimaa, Häme and Lapland. Instead, women’s selection events will be held, in your home municipality, in conjunction with men’s call-ups between 15 August - 15 December 2024.
As the selection event moves to autumn, it will not be possible to apply to the July 2024 contingent except for those accepted to special operations forces. You will be able to apply to the 2025-2027 January and July contingents.
From 2024 on, service must be started at the latest the year you turn 29. In case you turn 29 in 2024, contact your regional office, because applying online will not be possible.
Prepare for the service
You may prepare for the service in a number of ways. Before entry into service, it pays off at least to increase your physical fitness and tend to matters relating to your health and civilian life. You can see additional information on and tips relating to preparing for service here.
Furthermore, you can familiarise with experiences and stories concerning the voluntary military service for women online here Stories about the service.
Read more about being prepared for service here.
The conscript service involves a number of training phases containing training modules. All recruits start the service from the same line. In the Finnish Defence Forces, altogether more than 500 versatile service tasks in total are available at varying service levels for conscripts who start their service. This ensures that conscripts have a good chance to find a service task that is rewarding and corresponds to their skills. Dependent on the given training, the conscript service lasts 165, 255, or 347 days.
You will receive an order to enter service either in the selection event, or, alternatively, the order will be sent to you in the post. This order will clarify when and in which brigade-level unit you are to start the service. On the day of your service start, please arrive at the brigade-level unit early enough by noon or so to have plenty of time for receiving the equipment and trying it on.
Read more about the service and familiarise with service tasks beforehand.
In case you have second thoughts
As ordered to enter service, you must inform your own Regional Office in writing (by email or letter in the post) before your service is due to begin that you will refrain from starting the service. Once your service has started, you may give notice within 30 days that you will discontinue you service. Following this time period, you have become liable for military service.
Within the 30-day time frame, the commander of a brigade-level unit can also revoke the order to enter service on the grounds of the person failing to be fit for service in accordance with the Conscription Act, paragraph 9. For additional information on the Act on Voluntary Military Service for Women, please see here.