Having completed their military service, conscripts are placed in reserve. Refresher courses are held to maintain and supplement the training received during military service. By law, every male Finnish citizen is liable for military service starting from the beginning of the year in which he turns 18 years old until the end of the year in which he turns 60.
Reserve officers and non-commissioned officers are obligated to participate in reservist training for up to 100 days, persons with special training for up to 75 days and the rank and file for up to 40 days.
Under the Conscription Act, reservists are entitled to accommodation, food, clothing, health care, other upkeep, financial and social benefits as well as legal and social counselling, free of charge.
The objective is to train key wartime troops with a five-year training cycle. About 35,000 reservists are trained each year. In addition, about 17,000 people are trained each year in supplementing voluntary military exercises provided by the Defence Forces or commissioned from the National Defence Training Association of Finland.
Finland’s defence doctrine of territorial defence is designed and adapted to suit the country’s population, financial resources, conditions and needs. Defence planning focuses on preventing and repelling a strategic strike. The overall strength of wartime troops is about 350,000 soldiers. Refresher courses form an essential part of the peacetime training system of the Defence Forces, and they have a significant impact on our country’s defence capability.
Reservists may also supplement their wartime preparedness by attending military and non-military training commissioned by the Defence Forces from the National Defence Training Association of Finland. The objective of voluntary national defence is to strengthen the national willingness to defend, promote national defence capability and support the preparedness of the authorities in different crisis scenarios. The training portal of the Defence Forces enables reservists to maintain and develop their military skills and, for example, prepare for refresher courses through distance learning.