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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 and other personal characteristics are suitable for undertaking military training. You may complete the service in all units and tasks available in the Finnish Defence Forces. Please consider that you need to have completed the military service by the end of the year when you turn thirty. This applies to both men and women.

Women may undertake the voluntary military service in all the services and branches. The requirements for the women’s voluntary military service include Finnish citizenship, 18-29 years of age at the service start and a state of health and personal suitability for military service.

Everyone starts from the same line

The training contents and requirements for women’s voluntary 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 rather dependent on the set requirements and suitability. Women start their service conterminously with men. Further information on conscript training can be accessed online

Having completed the voluntary military service, the women remain part of the Finnish Defence Forces’ reserve and may receive orders to attend refresher training exercises on the same grounds as their male counterparts. Following 45 days (from 1st of July 2022 30 days) of service the women will remain subject to the Conscription Act until the end of the year in which they turn 60. Read more about the refresher training exercises.)

This is how you apply for the service

1. Think about when you want to start the service and in which type of task

It is possible to apply for the July contingent of the ongoing year as well as the January or July contingents of the following three years. Please note that the July contingent of the application year will feature only a limited number of positions. Varied brigade-level units of the Finnish Defence Forces provide versatile service duties and tasks for those undertaking the conscript service. However, not all the duties and tasks can be carried out in every brigade-level unit. Become familiar with the service tasks.

2. Fill out the application: "Application to voluntary military service for women"

The application is accessible at the Finnish Defence Forces’ E-Service available at https://asiointi.puolustusvoimat.fi/. At the moment, changes are being made to the E-Service application process on the basis of feedback, and it will reopen in the autumn of 2022. Until then, you can submit your application in paper to your regional office. The application form is accessible here. In the application, state your preferred date and location of entry into military service.  Notice that you have to print out both pages in order to sign them.  

3. Have your medical examination completed

Book a medical examination at your own municipal health centre, and remember to indicate that this examination is for fitness for military service. Please bring to the medical check a print-out of the application’s draft version and the form "Medical statement on the applicant’s state of health", to be filled out by the medical practitioner. The medical certificate form is available here. You can apply for reimbursement of your expenses by sending the doctor’s bill to your regional office. Please remember to ask a receipt or proof of payment while at the health centre! 

4. Finalise your application no later than 15 January

After the medical examination, attach the medical certificate to your application. The application is ready to be submitted. Having filled in and signed your application, send it to your regional office. The application has to be received by the regional office no later than 15 January.

Your own Regional Office will help you out before and after the conscript service. You can look up the contact information here.

5. In case you apply for special forces, please see here for application instructions.

Based your application, you will be invited to attend the selection event

The selection event will provide you information on the voluntary military service, you will be interviewed and your state of health will be checked. Your Regional Office will organise the selection event during the course of April.

The selection criteria include accounting for the person’s state of health and personal qualities. In addition, those qualifying must be deemed suitable for undertaking military training to become (a) part of the Finnish Defence Forces reserve.

Prepare for the service

In case you become selected, you will be given an order to enter service in the selection event, or alternatively, this order will be sent to you in the post following the selection event. This order will clarify when and in which brigade-level unit you are to start the service. This order to enter service also doubles as your travel ticket, so please look after it with care.

Before entry into service, it pays off to increase physical fitness and tend to matters relating both to one’s health and finances.

In case you have second thoughts

As ordered to enter service, you must report, in writing (by email or in the form of a letter in the post), before your service is due to begin that you will refrain from starting the service. Once your service has begun, you may give notice within 45 days (from 1st of July 2022 30 days) that you will discontinue your service. Following this time period, you have become liable for military service.

Within this 45-day time frame (from 1st of July 2022 30-day), the commander of a brigade-level unit can also revoke the order to enter service on the grounds of an injury, illness, evident unsuitability or other similar reason.

Application period for the voluntary military service for women will close on 1 March

Application period for the voluntary military service for women will close on 1 March

Undertaking the voluntary military service in the Karelia Brigade, Corporal Veera Parkkila and Jaeger Alissa Kahr encourage women to take up the challenge boldly. Over the past years, the number of women applying for the voluntary military service has been on the increase with more than 1,500 applicants in 2018.
5.2.2019 | 12.20
Finnish Army to muster out more than 7,700 conscripts on 14 June and 21 June

Finnish Army to muster out more than 7,700 conscripts on 14 June and 21 June

On 14 June and 21 June 2018, altogether 7,720 conscripts and women who have completed voluntary military service will be mustered out from eight Finnish Army brigade-level units. One of those to be mustering out this June will be Corporal Inka Rytilahti who completed the service in the Jaeger Brigade.
14.6.2018 | 9.10
Voluntary military service for women

Voluntary military service for women

2016 was a record year in terms of women applying for voluntary military service: an astonishing 842 women applied. It is almost 50 women more than the previous applicant record during the 20 year history of women's voluntary military service.
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