Countries With Mandatory Military Service 2019

Around the world, nations have their own militaries. How citizens are chosen for military service varies based on the country’s laws. In some nations, military service is voluntary. Citizens opt to sign up to join the military as their career. In other nations, there is a conscription system. This is also known as a draft, where a group of people (such as men over the age of 18) are required to sign up for military service but will not report for duty unless they are called to serve. Other nations have mandatory military service, where all citizens or a select group must sign up to serve their country. Finally, there are nations that have a combination of these systems.

There are several nations that have compulsory, or required, military service as well as voluntary military service. Those nations are Bermuda, Burundi, Cape Verde, Colombia, France, Kuwait, Mali, Mauritania, Singapore, Sweden, Thailand, and Venezuela. The United States does not have compulsory military service, but it is also included in this list because all males between the ages of 18 and 25 must register with the Selective Service to be drafted if needed.

There are many nations that have compulsory military service up to one year. Those nations are Brazil, Estonia, France, Greece, Qatar, Sweden, and Turkey.

Nations that require one year of military service include Algeria, Bolivia, Colombia, Guatemala, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Mongolia, Paraguay, Russia, Taiwan, Tunisia, and Uzbekistan.

There are several nations that require military service of no more than 18 months. Those nations are Azerbaijan, Belarus, Benin, Cambodia, Cote d’Ivoire, Cyprus, Egypt, Georgia, Kuwait, Laos, Morocco, and United Arab Emirates.

The nations that require military service of longer than 18 months include Armenia, Angola, Central African Republic, Chad, Cuba, Eritrea, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Iran, Israel, North Korea, South Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Myanmar, Niger, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Singapore, Somalia, Syria, Sudan, Tajikistan, Thailand, Turkmenistan, Togo, and Yemen.

Most compulsory service is for adult males. However, there are also nations that have compulsory service for women. These countries are Armenia, Cape Verde, Chad, China, Eritrea, Israel, Norway, North Korea, and Sweden.

Country Mandatory Military Service Military Service Age and Obligation Population 2019
AfghanistanNo18 is the legal minimum age for voluntary military service; no conscription (2017)38,041,754
AlbaniaYes19 is the legal minimum age for voluntary military service; 18 is the legal minimum age in case of general/partial compulsory mobilization (2012)2,880,917
AlgeriaYes18 is the legal minimum age for voluntary military service; 19-30 years of age for compulsory service; conscript service obligation is 18 months (6 months basic training, 12 months civil projects) (2018)43,053,054
AngolaYes20-45 years of age for compulsory male and 18-45 years for voluntary male military service (registration at age 18 is mandatory); 20-45 years of age for voluntary female service; 2-year conscript service obligation; Angolan citizenship required; the Navy (MGA) is entirely staffed with volunteers (2013)31,825,295
Antigua And BarbudaNo18 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription; Governor-General has powers to call up men for national service and set the age at which they could be called up (2012)97,118
ArgentinaNo18-24 years of age for voluntary military service (18-21 requires parental consent); no conscription; if the number of volunteers fails to meet the quota of recruits for a particular year, Congress can authorize the conscription of citizens turning 18 that year for a period not exceeding one year (2012)44,780,677
ArmeniaYes18-27 years of age for voluntary or compulsory military service; 2-year conscript service obligation, which can be served as an officer upon deferment for university studies if enrolled in officer-producing program; 17 year olds are eligible to become cadets at military higher education institutes, where they are classified as military personnel (2019)2,957,731
AustraliaNo17 years of age for voluntary military service (with parental consent); no conscription; women allowed to serve in most combat roles (2018)25,203,198
AustriaYesregistration requirement at age 17, the legal minimum age for voluntary military service; 18 is the legal minimum age for compulsory military service (6 months), or optionally, alternative civil/community service (9 months); males 18 to 50 years old in the militia or inactive reserve are subject to compulsory service; in a January 2012 referendum, a majority of Austrians voted in favor of retaining the system of compulsory military service (with the option of alternative/non-military service) instead of switching to a professional army system (2015)8,955,102
AzerbaijanYes18-35 years of age for compulsory military service; service obligation 18 months or 12 months for university graduates; 17 years of age for voluntary service; 17 year olds are considered to be on active service at cadet military schools (2012)10,047,718
BahamasNo18 years of age for voluntary male and female service; no conscription (2012)389,482
BahrainNo18 years of age for voluntary military service; 15 years of age for NCOs, technicians, and cadets; no conscription (2012)1,641,172
BangladeshNo16-21 years of age for voluntary military service; Bangladeshi nationality and 10th grade education required; officers: 17-21 years of age, Bangladeshi nationality, and 12th grade education required (2018)163,046,161
BarbadosNo18 years of age for voluntary military service, or earlier with parental consent; no conscription (2013)287,025
BelarusYes18-27 years of age for compulsory military or alternative service; conscript service obligation is 12-18 months, depending on academic qualifications, and 24-36 months for alternative service, depending on academic qualifications; 17 year olds are eligible to become cadets at military higher education institutes, where they are classified as military personnel (2016)9,452,411
BelgiumNo18 years of age for male and female voluntary military service; conscription abolished in 1994 (2012)11,539,328
BelizeNo18 years of age for voluntary military service; laws allow for conscription only if volunteers are insufficient; conscription has never been implemented; volunteers typically outnumber available positions by 3:1; initial service obligation 12 years (2012)390,353
BeninYes18-35 years of age for selective compulsory and voluntary military service; a higher education diploma is required; both sexes are eligible for military service; conscript tour of duty - 18 months (2013)11,801,151
BermudaNo18-45 years of age for voluntary male or female enlistment in the Bermuda Regiment; males must register at age 18 and may be subject to conscription; term of service is 38 months for volunteers or conscripts (2012)62,506
BhutanNo18 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription; militia training is compulsory for males aged 20-25, over a 3-year period (2012)763,092
BoliviaYes16-49 years of age for 12-month voluntary male and female military service; Bolivian citizenship required; minimum age for combat duty is 18; when annual number of volunteers falls short of goal, compulsory recruitment is effected, including conscription of boys as young as 14; 15-19 years of age for voluntary premilitary service, provides exemption from further military service (2017)11,513,100
Bosnia And HerzegovinaNo18 years of age for voluntary military service; mandatory retirement at age 35 or after 15 years of service for E-1 through E-4, mandatory retirement at age 50 and 30 years of service for E-5 through E-9, mandatory retirement at age 55 and 30 years of service for all officers (2014)3,301,000
BotswanaNo18 is the legal minimum age for voluntary military service; no conscription (2012)2,303,697
BrazilYes18-45 years of age for compulsory military service; conscript service obligation is 10-12 months; 17-45 years of age for voluntary service; an increasing percentage of the ranks are "long-service" volunteer professionals; women were allowed to serve in the armed forces beginning in early 1980s, when the Brazilian Army became the first army in South America to accept women into career ranks; women serve in Navy and Air Force only in Women's Reserve Corps (2012)211,049,527
BruneiNo17 years of age for voluntary military service; non-Malays are ineligible to serve; recruits from the army, navy, and air force all undergo 43-week initial training (2013)433,285
BulgariaNo18-27 years of age for voluntary military service; conscription ended in January 2008; service obligation 6-9 months (2012)7,000,119
Burkina FasoNo18 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription; women may serve in supporting roles (2013)20,321,378
BurundiNo18 years of age for voluntary military service; the armed forces law of 31 December 2004 did not specify a minimum age for enlistment, but the government claimed that no one younger than 18 was being recruited; mandatory retirement ages: 45 (enlisted), 50 (NCOs), 55 (officers), and 60 (officers with the rank of general) (2017)11,530,580
CambodiaYes18 is the legal minimum age for compulsory and voluntary military service (2012)16,486,542
CameroonNo18-23 years of age for male and female voluntary military service; no conscription; high school graduation required; service obligation 4 years; periodic government calls for volunteers (2012)25,876,380
CanadaNo17 years of age for voluntary male and female military service (with parental consent); 16 years of age for Reserve and Military College applicants; Canadian citizenship or permanent residence status required; maximum 34 years of age; service obligation 3-9 years (2012)37,411,047
Central African RepublicNo18 years of age for military service; no conscription (2017)4,745,185
ChadYes20 is the legal minimum age for compulsory military service, with a 3-year service obligation; 18 is the legal minimum age for voluntary service; no minimum age restriction for volunteers with consent from a parent or guardian; women are subject to 1 year of compulsory military or civic service at age 21; while provisions for military service have not been repealed, they have never been fully implemented (2015)15,946,876
ChileYes18-45 years of age for voluntary male and female military service, although the right to compulsory recruitment of males 18-45 is retained; service obligation is 12 months for Army and 22 months for Navy and Air Force (2015)18,952,038
ChinaYes18-22 years of age for selective compulsory military service, with a 2-year service obligation; no minimum age for voluntary service (all officers are volunteers); 18-19 years of age for women high school graduates who meet requirements for specific military jobs (2018)1,433,783,686
ColombiaYes18-24 years of age for compulsory and voluntary military service; service obligation is 18 months (2012)50,339,443
ComorosNo18 years of age for 2-year voluntary male and female military service; no conscription (2015)850,886
CroatiaNo18-27 years of age for voluntary military service; conscription abolished in 2008 (2017)4,130,304
CubaYes17-28 years of age for compulsory military service; 2-year service obligation for males, optional for females (2017)11,333,483
CyprusYesCypriot National Guard (CNG): 18-50 years of age for compulsory military service for all Greek Cypriot males; 17 years of age for voluntary service; 14-month service obligation (2016)1,198,575
DenmarkYes18 years of age for compulsory and voluntary military service; conscripts serve an initial training period that varies from 4 to 12 months according to specialization; former conscripts are assigned to mobilization units; women eligible to volunteer for military service; in addition to full time employment, the Danish Military offers reserve contracts in all three branches (2016)5,771,876
DjiboutiNo18 years of age for voluntary military service; 16-25 years of age for voluntary military training; no conscription (2012)973,560
Dominican RepublicNo17-21 years of age for voluntary military service; recruits must have completed primary school and be Dominican Republic citizens; women may volunteer (2012)10,738,958
Dr CongoYes18-45 years of age for voluntary and compulsory military service (2012)86,790,567
EcuadorNo18 years of age for selective conscript military service; conscription has been suspended; 18 years of age for voluntary military service; Air Force 18-22 years of age, Ecuadorian birth requirement; 1-year service obligation (2012)17,373,662
EgyptNo18-30 years of age for male conscript military service; service obligation - 18-36 months, followed by a 9-year reserve obligation; voluntary enlistment possible from age 15 (2017)100,388,073
El SalvadorYes18 years of age for selective compulsory military service; 16-22 years of age for voluntary male or female service; service obligation is 12 months, with 11 months for officers and NCOs (2012)6,453,553
Equatorial GuineaYes18 years of age for selective compulsory military service, although conscription is rare in practice; 2-year service obligation; women hold only administrative positions in the Navy (2013)1,355,986
EritreaYes18-40 years of age for male and female voluntary and compulsory military service; 18-month conscript service obligation (2019)3,497,117
EstoniaYes18-27 for compulsory military or governmental service, conscript service requirement 8-11 months depending on education; NCOs, reserve officers, and specialists serve 11 months (2016)1,325,648
EthiopiaYes18 years of age for voluntary military service; no compulsory military service, but the military can conduct callups when necessary and compliance is compulsory (2012)112,078,730
FijiNo18 years of age for voluntary military service; mandatory retirement at age 55 (2013)889,953
FinlandNoall Finnish men are called-up for military service the year they turn 18; at 18, women may volunteer for military service; service obligation 6-12 months; individuals enter the reserve upon completing their initial obligation; military obligation to age 60 (2016)5,532,156
FranceNo18-25 years of age for male and female voluntary military service; no conscription; 1-year service obligation; women serve in noncombat posts (2013)65,129,728
GabonNo20 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription (2012)2,172,579
GeorgiaYes18 to 27 years of age for compulsory and voluntary active duty military service; conscript service obligation is 12 months (2017)3,996,765
GermanyNo17-23 years of age for male and female voluntary military service; conscription ended 1 July 2011; service obligation 8-23 months or 12 years; women have been eligible for voluntary service in all military branches and positions since 2001 (2013)83,517,045
GhanaNo18-26 years of age for voluntary military service, with basic education certificate; no conscription; must be HIV/AIDS negative (2012)30,417,856
GreeceYes19-45 years of age for compulsory military service; during wartime the law allows for recruitment beginning January of the year of inductee's 18th birthday, thus including 17 year olds; 18 years of age for volunteers; conscript service obligation is 1 year for the Army and 9 months for the Air Force and Navy; women are eligible for voluntary military service (2014)10,473,455
GuatemalaNoall male citizens between the ages of 18 and 50 are eligible for military service; in practice, most of the force is volunteer, however, a selective draft system is employed, resulting in a small portion of 17-21 year-olds conscripted; conscript service obligation varies from 1 to 2 years; women can serve as officers (2013)17,581,472
GuineaYesno compulsory military service (2017)12,771,246
Guinea BissauYes18-25 years of age for selective compulsory military service (Air Force service is voluntary); 16 years of age or younger, with parental consent, for voluntary service (2013)1,920,922
GuyanaNo18 years of age or older for voluntary military service; no conscription (2014)782,766
HondurasNo18 years of age for voluntary 2- to 3-year military service; no conscription (2018)9,746,117
HungaryNo18-25 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription; 6-month service obligation (2012)9,684,679
IndiaNo16-18 years of age for voluntary military service (Army 17 1/2, Air Force 17, Navy 16 1/2); no conscription; women may join as officers, currently serve in combat roles as pilots, and under consideration for Army combat roles (2019)1,366,417,754
IndonesiaNo18-45 years of age for voluntary military service, with selective conscription authorized; 2-year service obligation, with reserve obligation to age 45 (officers); Indonesian citizens only (2013)270,625,568
IranYes18 years of age for compulsory military service; 16 years of age for volunteers; 17 years of age for Law Enforcement Forces; 15 years of age for Basij Forces (Popular Mobilization Army); conscript military service obligation is 18-24 months; women exempt from military service (2019)82,913,906
IraqNo18-40 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription (2017)39,309,783
IrelandNo18-25 years of age for male and female voluntary military service recruits to the Permanent Defence Forces (PDF; 18-27 years of age for the Naval Service); 18-28 for cadetship (officer) applicants; 18-35 years of age for the Reserve Defence Forces (RDF); maximum obligation 12 years (PDF officers), 5 years (PDF enlisted), 3 years RDF (4 years for Naval Service Reserves); EU citizenship, refugee status, or 5-year residence in Ireland required (2014)4,882,495
IsraelYes18 years of age for compulsory (Jews, Druze) military service; 17 years of age for voluntary (Christians, Muslims, Circassians) military service; both sexes are obligated to military service; conscript service obligation - 32 months for enlisted men and 24 months for enlisted women (varies based on military occupation), 48 months for officers; pilots commit to 9-year service; reserve obligation to age 41-51 (men), age 24 (women) (2015)8,519,377
ItalyNo18-25 years of age for voluntary military service; women may serve in any military branch; Italian citizenship required; 1-year service obligation (2013)60,550,075
Ivory CoastYes18-25 years of age for compulsory and voluntary male and female military service; conscription is not enforced; voluntary recruitment of former rebels into the new national army is restricted to ages 22-29 (2012)25,716,544
JamaicaNo17 1/2 is the legal minimum age for voluntary military service; no conscription (2012)2,948,279
JapanNo18 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription; mandatory retirement at age 53 for senior enlisted personnel and at 62 years for senior service officers (2012)126,860,301
JordanNo17 years of age for voluntary male military service; initial service term 2 years, with option to reenlist for 18 years; conscription at age 18 suspended in 1999; women are not conscripted, but can volunteer to serve in noncombat military positions in the Royal Jordanian Arab Army Women's Corps and RJAF (2013)10,101,694
KazakhstanYes18 is the legal minimum age for compulsory military service; conscript service obligation is 2 years, but Kazakhstan is transitioning to a largely contract force; military cadets in intermediate (ages 15-17) and higher (ages 17-21) education institutes are classified as military service personnel (2017)18,551,427
KenyaNo18-26 years of age for male and female voluntary service (under 18 with parental consent), with a 9-year obligation (7 years for Kenyan Navy) and subsequent 3-year reenlistments; applicants must be Kenyan citizens and provide a national identity card (obtained at age 18) and a school-leaving certificate, and undergo a series of mental and physical examinations; women serve under the same terms and conditions as men; mandatory retirement at age 55 but personnel leaving before this age remain in a reserve status until they reach age 55 unless they were removed for disciplinary reasons; there is no active military reserve, although the Ministry of Defence has stated its desire to create one as recently as 2017 (2019)52,573,973
KuwaitNo17-21 years of age for voluntary military service; conscription suspended (2012)4,207,083
KyrgyzstanYes18-27 years of age for compulsory or voluntary male military service in the Armed Forces or Interior Ministry; 1-year service obligation, with optional fee-based 3-year service in the call-up mobilization reserve; women may volunteer at age 19; 16-17 years of age for military cadets, who cannot take part in military operations (2013)6,415,850
LaosYes18 years of age for compulsory or voluntary military service; conscript service obligation - minimum 18-months (2012)7,169,455
LatviaNo18 years of age for voluntary male and female military service; no conscription; under current law, every citizen is entitled to serve in the armed forces for life (2016)1,906,743
LebanonNo17-30 years of age for voluntary military service; 18-24 years of age for officer candidates; no conscription (2013)6,855,713
LesothoNo18-24 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription; women serve as commissioned officers (2012)2,125,268
LiberiaNo18 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription (2012)4,937,374
LibyaNo18 years of age for mandatory or voluntary service (2012)6,777,452
LithuaniaNo18 years of age for military service; 9-month service obligation; in 2015, Lithuania reinstated conscription after having converted to a professional military in 2008 (2019)2,759,627
LuxembourgNo18-24 years of age for male and female voluntary military service; no conscription; Luxembourg citizen or EU citizen with 3-year residence in Luxembourg (2017)615,729
MacedoniaNo18 years of age for voluntary military service; conscription abolished in 2008 (2013)2,083,459
MadagascarNoMadagascar has an all-volunteer military; 18-25 years of age for males; service obligation 18 months; women are permitted to serve in all branches (2018)26,969,307
MalawiNo18 years of age for voluntary military service; high school equivalent required for enlisted recruits and college equivalent for officer recruits; initial engagement is 7 years for enlisted personnel and 10 years for officers (2014)18,628,747
MalaysiaNo17 years 6 months of age for voluntary military service (younger with parental consent and proof of age); mandatory retirement age 60; women serve in the Malaysian Armed Forces; no conscription (2013)31,949,777
MaldivesNo18-28 years of age for voluntary service; no conscription; 10th grade or equivalent education required; must not be a member of a political party530,953
MaliYes18 years of age for selective compulsory and voluntary military service; 2-year conscript service obligation (2012)19,658,031
MaltaNo18 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription (2017)440,372
MauritaniaNo18 is the legal minimum age for voluntary military service; no conscription (2012)4,525,696
MexicoYes18 years of age for compulsory military service, conscript service obligation is 12 months; 16 years of age with consent for voluntary enlistment; conscripts serve only in the Army; Navy and Air Force service is all voluntary; women are eligible for voluntary military service; cadets enrolled in military schools from the age of 15 are considered members of the armed forces (2012)127,575,529
MoldovaYes18 years of age for compulsory or voluntary military service; male registration required at age 16; 1-year service obligation; note - the ultimate abolition of military conscription has been announced (2018)4,043,263
MongoliaYes18-27 years of age for compulsory and voluntary military service; 1-year conscript service obligation in army or air forces or police for males only; after conscription, soldiers can contract into military service for 2 or 4 years; citizens can also voluntarily join the armed forces (2017)3,225,167
MontenegroNo18 is the legal minimum age for voluntary military service; no conscription (2012)627,987
MoroccoYes19 years of age for compulsory military service; both sexes are obligated to military service; conscript service obligation - 12 months (2019)36,471,769
MozambiqueYesregistration for military service is mandatory for all males and females at 18 years of age; 18-35 years of age for selective compulsory military service; 18 years of age for voluntary service; 2-year service obligation; women may serve as officers or enlisted (2012)30,366,036
NamibiaNo18 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription (2012)2,494,530
NepalNo18 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription (2018)28,608,710
NetherlandsNo17 years of age for an all-volunteer force (2014)17,097,130
New ZealandNo17 years of age for voluntary military service; soldiers cannot be deployed until the age of 18; no conscription; 3 years of secondary education required; must be a citizen of NZ, the UK, Australia, Canada, or the US, and resident of NZ for the previous 5 years (2018)4,783,063
NicaraguaNo18-30 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription; tour of duty 18-36 months; requires Nicaraguan nationality and 6th-grade education (2012)6,545,502
NigerYes18 is the legal minimum age for compulsory or voluntary military service; enlistees must be Nigerien citizens and unmarried; 2-year service term; women may serve in health care (2017)23,310,715
NigeriaNo18 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription (2012)200,963,599
North KoreaYes17 years of age for compulsory male and female military service; service obligation 10 years for men, to age 23 for women (2017)25,666,161
NorwayYes19-35 years of age for male and female compulsory military service; 16 years of age in wartime; 17 years of age for male volunteers; 18 years of age for women; 19-month service obligation (2017)5,378,857
OmanNo18-30 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription (2012)4,974,986
PakistanNo16-23 years of age for voluntary military service; soldiers cannot be deployed for combat until age 18; women serve in all three armed forces; reserve obligation to age 45 for enlisted men, age 50 for officers (2019)216,565,318
Papua New GuineaNo16 years of age for voluntary military service (with parental consent); no conscription; graduation from grade 12 required (2013)8,776,109
ParaguayYes18 years of age for compulsory and voluntary military service; conscript service obligation is 12 months for Army, 24 months for Navy; volunteers for the Air Force must be younger than 22 years of age with a secondary school diploma (2012)7,044,636
PeruNo18-50 years of age for male and 18-45 years of age for female voluntary military service; no conscription (2012)32,510,453
PhilippinesNo17-23 years of age (officers 20-24) for voluntary military service; no conscription; applicants must be single male or female Philippine citizens with either 72 college credit hours (enlisted) or a baccalaureate degree (officers) (2013)108,116,615
PolandNo18-28 years of age for male and female voluntary military service; conscription phased out in 2009-12; professional soldiers serve on a permanent basis (for an unspecified period of time) or on a contract basis (for a specified period of time); initial contract period is 24 months; women serve in the military on the same terms as men (2019)37,887,768
PortugalYes18-30 years of age for voluntary military service; no compulsory military service, but conscription possible if insufficient volunteers available; women serve in the armed forces, on naval ships since 1993, but are prohibited from serving in some combatant specialties; reserve obligation to age 35 (2012)10,226,187
QatarYesconscription for males aged 18-35; compulsory service times range from 4 months to up to a year, depending on the cadets educational and professional circumstances; women are permitted to serve in the armed forces, including as uniformed officers and pilots (2019)2,832,067
Republic Of The CongoNo18 years of age for voluntary military service; women may serve in the Armed Forces (2012)5,380,508
RomaniaNoconscription ended 2006; 18 years of age for male and female voluntary service; all military inductees (including women) contract for an initial 5-year term of service, with subsequent successive 3-year terms until age 36 (2015)19,364,557
RussiaYes18-27 years of age for compulsory or voluntary military service; males are registered for the draft at 17 years of age; 1-year service obligation (conscripts can only be sent to combat zones after 6 months of training); reserve obligation for non-officers to age 50; enrollment in military schools from the age of 16, cadets classified as members of the armed forces (2018). From 2016 to 2018, Russian officials assessed that about 76-79% of draft age males were sufficiently fit for military service145,872,256
RwandaNo18 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription; Rwandan citizenship is required, as is a 9th-grade education for enlisted recruits and an A-level certificate for officer candidates; enlistment is either as contract (5-years, renewable twice) or career; retirement (for officers and senior NCOs) after 20 years of service or at 40-60 years of age (2012)12,626,950
Saint Kitts And NevisNo18 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription (2012)52,823
Saint LuciaNo18 years of age for voluntary security service; no national army (2012)182,790
San MarinoNo18 is the legal minimum age for voluntary military service; no conscription; government has the authority to call up all San Marino citizens from 16-60 years of age to service in the military (2012)33,860
Sao Tome And PrincipeYes18 is the legal minimum age for compulsory military service; 17 is the legal minimum age for voluntary service (2012)215,056
Saudi ArabiaNo17 is the legal minimum age for voluntary military service; no conscription (2012)34,268,528
SenegalNo18 years of age for voluntary military service; 20 years of age for selective conscript service; 2-year service obligation; women have been accepted into military service since 2008 (2013)16,296,364
SerbiaNo18 years of age for voluntary military service; conscription abolished December 2010; reserve obligation to age 60 for men and age 50 for women (2013)8,772,235
SeychellesNo18 years of age for voluntary military service (younger with parental consent); no conscription (2012)97,739
Sierra LeoneNo18 is the legal minimum age for voluntary military service (younger with parental consent); women are eligible to serve; no conscription; candidates must be HIV negative (2012)7,813,215
SingaporeYes18-21 years of age for male compulsory military service; 16 1/2 years of age for volunteers; 2-year conscript service obligation, with a reserve obligation to age 40 (enlisted) or age 50 (officers)5,804,337
SlovakiaNo18-30 years of age for voluntary military service; conscription in peacetime suspended in 2006; women are eligible to serve (2012)5,457,013
SloveniaNo18-25 years of age for voluntary military service; conscription abolished in 2003 (2012)2,078,654
SomaliaYes18 is the legal minimum age for compulsory and voluntary military service (2012)15,442,905
South AfricaNo18 years of age for voluntary military service; women are eligible to serve in noncombat roles; 2-year service obligation (2012)58,558,270
South KoreaYes18-35 years of age for compulsory military service, with middle school education required; minimum conscript service obligation - 21 months (Army, Marines), 23 months (Navy), 24 months (Air Force); 18-26 years of age for voluntary military service; women, in service since 1950, admitted to 7 service branches, including infantry, but excluded from artillery, armor, anti-air, and chaplaincy corps; HIV-positive individuals are exempt from military service (2017)51,225,308
South SudanYes18 is the legal minimum age for compulsory and voluntary military service; the Government of South Sudan signed agreements in March 2012 and August 2015 that included the demobilization of all child soldiers within the armed forces and opposition, but the recruitment of child soldiers by the warring parties continues; as of the end of 2018, UNICEF estimates that more than 19,000 child soldiers had been used in the country's civil war since it began in December 2013 (2018)11,062,113
SpainNo18-26 years of age for voluntary military service by a Spanish citizen or legal immigrant, 2-3 year obligation; women allowed to serve in all SAF branches, including combat units; no conscription, but Spanish Government retains right to mobilize citizens 19-25 years of age in a national emergency; mandatory retirement of non-NCO enlisted personnel at age 45 or 58, depending on service length (2013)46,736,776
Sri LankaNo18-22 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription; 12-year service obligation (2018)21,323,733
SudanYes18-33 years of age for male and female compulsory or voluntary military service; 1-2 year service obligation; a requirement that completion of national service was mandatory before entering public or private sector employment has been cancelled (2012)42,813,238
SurinameNo18 is the legal minimum age for voluntary military service; no conscription (2019)581,372
SwazilandNo18-30 years of age for male and female voluntary military service; no conscription; compulsory HIV testing required, only HIV-negative applicants accepted (2012)1,148,130
SwedenYes18-47 years of age for male and female voluntary military service; Swedish citizenship required; service obligation: 7.5 months (Army), 7-15 months (Navy), 8-12 months (Air Force); after completing initial service, soldiers have a reserve commitment until age 47; compulsory military service, abolished in 2010, was reinstated in 2018 (2018)10,036,379
SwitzerlandYes18-30 years of age generally for male compulsory military service; 18 years of age for voluntary male and female military service; every Swiss male has to serve at least 245 days in the armed forces; conscripts receive 18 weeks of mandatory training, followed by six 19-day intermittent recalls for training during the next 10 years (2019)8,591,365
SyriaYes18 years of age for compulsory and voluntary military service; conscript service obligation is 18 months; women are not conscripted but may volunteer to serve (2017)17,070,135
TaiwanYesstarting with those born in 1994, males 18-36 years of age may volunteer for military service or must complete 4 months of compulsory military training (or substitute civil service in some cases); men born before December 1993 are required to complete compulsory service for 1 year (military or civil); men are subject to training recalls up to four times for periods not to exceed 20 days for 8 years after discharge; women may enlist, but are restricted to noncombat roles in most cases; as part of its transition to an all-volunteer military in December 2018, the last cohort of one-year military conscripts completed their service obligations (2019)23,773,876
TajikistanYes18-27 years of age for compulsory or voluntary military service; 2-year conscript service obligation; males required to undergo compulsory military training between ages 16 and 55; males can enroll in military schools from at least age 15 (2012)9,321,018
TanzaniaNo18 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription (2012)58,005,463
ThailandYes21 years of age for compulsory military service; 18 years of age for voluntary military service; males register at 18 years of age; 2-year conscript service obligation based on lottery (2018)69,625,582
TogoNo18 years of age for military service; 2-year service obligation; currently the military is only an all-volunteer force (2017)8,082,366
TongaNo16 years of age for voluntary enlistment (with parental consent); no conscription; the king retains the right to call up "all those capable of bearing arms" in wartime (2012)104,494
Trinidad And TobagoNo18-25 years of age for voluntary military service (16 years of age with parental consent); no conscription; Trinidad and Tobago citizenship and completion of secondary school required (2012)1,394,973
TunisiaYes20-23 years of age for compulsory service, 1-year service obligation; 18-23 years of age for voluntary service; Tunisian nationality required (2012)11,694,719
TurkeyYesTurkey has a system of male compulsory military service from 21-41 years of age (in case of mobilization, up to 65 years of age) and is expected to implement a new five-tier conscription model in May 2019; Tier 1: Six-months of obligatory service with possible exemption (subject to a lottery system), following 21-day basic training, in exchange for a one-time payment of 31,343 Turkish Lira; Tier 2: Following initial six-month conscription period, an additional six months paid service and possibility to convert to "Specialized Sergeant" category with full pay and benefits; Tier 3: Aimed at vocational school graduates, consists of 12-month service with possibility to convert to non-commissioned officer status; Tier 4: Aimed at university graduates, consists of 12-month service with possibility to convert to officer status (First Lieutenant); Tier 5: Turkish citizens with a residence or work permit who have worked abroad for at least 3 years (1095 days) can be exempt from military service in exchange for 5,000 EUR or its equivalent in foreign currencies (2019)83,429,615
TurkmenistanYes18-27 years of age for compulsory male military service; 2-year conscript service obligation; 20 years of age for voluntary service; males may enroll in military schools from age 15 (2015)5,942,089
UgandaNo18-26 years of age for voluntary military duty; 18-30 years of age for professionals; no conscription; 9-year service obligation; the government has stated that while recruitment under 18 years of age could occur with proper consent, "no person under the apparent age of 18 years shall be enrolled in the armed forces"; Ugandan citizenship and secondary education required (2012)44,269,594
UkraineYes20-27 years of age for compulsory military service; conscript service obligation is 12 months (2019)43,993,638
United Arab EmiratesYes18-30 years of age for compulsory military service for men, optional service for women; 17 years of age for male volunteers with parental approval; 2-year general obligation, 12 months for secondary school graduates; women may train for 9 months regardless of education (2016)9,770,529
United KingdomNo16-33 years of age (officers 17-28) for voluntary military service (with parental consent under 18); no conscription; women serve in military services including ground combat roles; must be citizen of the UK, Commonwealth, or Republic of Ireland; reservists serve a minimum of 3 years, to age 45 or 55; 17 years 6 months of age for voluntary military service by Nepalese citizens in the Brigade of Gurkhas; 16-34 years of age for voluntary military service by Papua New Guinean citizens (2016)67,530,172
United StatesNo18 years of age (17 years of age with parental consent) for male and female voluntary service; no conscription; maximum enlistment age 42 (Army), 27 (Air Force), 34 (Navy), 28 (Marines); 8-year service obligation, including 2-5 years active duty (Army), 2 years active (Navy), 4 years active (Air Force, Marines); all military occupations and positions open to women (2016)329,064,917
UruguayNo18-30 years of age (18-22 years of age for navy) for male or female voluntary military service; up to 40 years of age for specialists; enlistment is voluntary in peacetime, but the government has the authority to conscript in emergencies; minimum 6-year education (2013)3,461,734
UzbekistanYes18 years of age for compulsory military service; 1-month or 1-year conscript service obligation for males; moving toward a professional military, but conscription in some form will continue; the military cannot accommodate everyone who wishes to enlist, and competition for entrance into the military is similar to the competition for admission to universities; note - widely considered to have one of the strongest militaries in Central Asia, although it is untested (2019)32,981,716
Vatican CityNoPontifical Swiss Guard Corps (Corpo della Guardia Svizzera Pontificia): 19-30 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription; must be Roman Catholic, a single male, and a Swiss citizen, with a secondary education (2019)799
VenezuelaNoall citizens of military service age (18-60 years old) are obligated to register for military service, though mandatory recruitment is forbidden; the minimum service obligation is 12 months (2016)28,515,829
VietnamYes18-25 years of age for male compulsory and voluntary military service; females may volunteer for active duty military service; conscription typically takes place twice annually and service obligation is 18 months (Army, Air Defense), 2 years (Navy and Air Force); 18-45 years of age (male) or 18-40 years of age (female) for Militia Force or Self Defense Force service; males may enroll in military schools at age 17 (2013)96,462,106
YemenNo18 is the legal minimum age for voluntary military service; no conscription; 2-year service obligation (2018)29,161,922
ZambiaNonational registration required at age 16; 18-25 years of age for male and female voluntary military service (16 years of age with parental consent); no conscription; Zambian citizenship required; grade 12 certification required; mandatory HIV testing on enlistment; mandatory retirement for officers at age 65 (Army, Air Force) (2012)17,861,030
ZimbabweNo18-24 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription; women are eligible to serve (2012)14,645,468