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Military parade marching in Helsinki in May 2016. Picture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today

On Monday, over 12,000 conscripts will begin their military service.

Nearly 10,000 will begin their service in the Army and about 1,700 in the Navy.

The rest will begin their service in the Air Force and in the Finnish Border Guard.

In the Army, the brigades in Pori, Karjala and Kainuu have the largest number of conscripts—about 2,000 conscripts in each brigade.

The Finnish-Swedish conscripts, about 700, will mostly begin their service in the Navy, at Nyland Brigade.

Military service lasts 165, 255 or 347 days. Non-military service lasts 347 days. After conscripts have completed their military service, they go into the reserve.

Every man must attend a call-up the year he turns 18. Where and when a conscript will serve is determined during the call-up. If a conscript is not fit for service, he is exempt from peacetime military service. A conscript may serve later if he has a good reason to postpone his service.

Women can apply for voluntary military service by sending an application to one of the Defence Forces’ regional offices. The application and any attachments must be sent to a regional office by 1 March.

As Finland is not a member of any military alliance, it is prepared to defend its territory relying on its own resources. General conscription generates enough resources for the Army, Navy and Air Force to act effectively in times of war and crises.

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