In the face of increased Russian aggression against the Baltic States and the concern over a Ukraine-esque invasion, the Latvian government has announced the re-introduction of mandatory service. The terms are as follows:
Men aged 18-27 years (women voluntarily) can choose to serve one year in the Latvian Land Forces (NBS), or go through alternative services in internal affairs, health or welfare structures.
The Latvian Government hopes the mandatory services, beginning in July 2023 will initially train 1,000 citizens, eventually building to a force of 40,000-50,000 ready troops within five years. The government admitted that the country only has 6,700 combat ready troops, with the goal of 9,000 in the next year to be combat ready. Those 6,700 troops are spread throughout a single Mechanized Infantry Brigade which is composed of three battalions and various support units.
There are also 1,500 NATO troops in the country currently. Latvia will also build a new military base near its border with Belarus. Currently only one base supports the single infantry brigade.
The Lithuanian government also announced citizens will be compensated 400 Euros a month as well as a 100 euro travel expenses reimbursement for service rendered.
Being a NATO member, it is important to remember that the smaller Baltic States have structured their military to be able to survive up to four months until reinforcements can arrive from the alliance. However, after seeing the successful campaigns of Russian Ground Forces in Eastern and Southern Ukraine, Baltic planners have reassessed what military footprint is needed to assure that survivability.