VILNIUS - Almost 400 recruits from the Lithuanian Great Duke Kestutis Mechanised Infantry Battalion are taking oaths in Taurage, western Lithuania, today............
The event commenced with a church service, followed by a march to the city's central Pilies Square for the oath ceremony.
In the early weeks of training, recruits attend a basic course, which is comprised if theoretical classes, formations and military statute, military tactic, and lessons about weapons and means of communication. Following the course, they will continue onto a specialist phase to learn acting in a unit and perform assigned tasks.
Nearly half of Lithuanian conscripts are willing to remain in the military after finishing their mandatory service, the Defense Ministry reports.
Approximately 200 conscripts have joined the professional military service.
"A total of 1,562 (conscripts) have completed their service to date. Over 700 conscripts have expressed their wish to remain in the Lithuanian military and over 200 have already been admitted to the professional military service," the ministry informed BNS.
Lithuania reintroduced conscription in 2015 due to Russia's hostilities in Ukraine. The first groups of conscripts started their service in Aug. 2015.
Around 3,000 to 4,000 young people are asked to take part in mandatory military service each year. The Defense Ministry says that most of them join the service voluntarily.
The Lithuanian military consists of 8,200 professional military servicemen, about 2,600 conscripts, 4,600 members of the National Defense Volunteer Forces, and around 2,600 non-military personnel.