TBILISI, DFWatch — The Ivanishvili government is reducing the length of compulsory military service from fifteen to twelve months.
Defense Minister Irakli Alasania on Tuesday said this will be the first stage of a reform to reduce the length of military service to one year. More details will be known by the end of January.
The defense minister also said that Georgia’s military may be changed into a purely professional force by 2016, by a stepwise transition.
“We desire and we plan to fully transform Georgia’s armed forces to a military service based on contract,” he said, adding that length of service and number of recruits will be reduced, and there will be transition to a professional army in four years.
“We shouldn’t force anyone to serve in the army,” the minister said. “Only people with professional education should serve in the armed forces.”
Currently, there is a mixed system of compulsory and contract based personnel.
In February, 2012, the National Movement government increased the length of service from 12 to 15 months.