German youth refuses to serve in the Bundeswehr

New project of the Ministry of Defense of Germany to attract German youth into the ranks of the Bundeswehr fails. A few months after the start of the volunteer military service program in the national security unit, about a quarter of recruits refused to participate in it.
Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer personally dreamed of inspiring the younger generation of Germans to defend their homeland. In fact, she advocates the return to Germany of conscription, abolished in 2011, but so far she has to be content with volunteer calls. And in addition to the classic recruitment of volunteers this spring, a fundamentally new program was launched under the slogan “Your Year for Germany”, focused on serving in the country.

Soldiers undergoing training should be stationed and trained in the community. Sending recruits abroad is excluded. The unit is designed to strengthen the Bundeswehr’s reserve for crises such as the corona pandemic or floods that the country has recently faced. The first phase of basic and special training lasts only seven months. Another six months of standby service is extended over the next six years.

The Bundeswehr hoped that there would be many willing to serve on such flexible terms, but they were mistaken. After the first course, which started in April, 30 percent of potential defenders of the homeland refused to continue their studies. The second phase, which began in July, dropped out 17 percent of volunteers. Among the most frequent reasons, recorded by the Bundeswehr, were called “long absence from home” and “individual overstrain”.

“Young people often imagine things differently than they really are,” admitted Kramp-Karrenbauer.