VILNIUS - The Lithuanian Defense Ministry proposes to lower the age range at which men are called up for mandatory military service.
"We propose to cut the age of conscripts by setting it at between 18 and 23 years instead of the current 19 to 26 years," Deputy Defense Minister Vytautas Umbrasas told BNS.
Statistics show that the proportion of men aged over 23 years is disproportionately high among draftees, because older conscripts are more likely to have completed their studies and their military service is not deferred to a later date, he said.
According to the vice-minister, older draftees are also more likely to have families and jobs and a considerable number of them lives abroad. Nearly 3,000 requests for a deferment of military service were received in 2018 alone.
Older draftees are more likely to be recognized as unfit for military service for health reasons and are less motivated, he added.