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A third of volunteer military recruits drop out
Photo: DPA

A third of volunteer military recruits drop out

Published: 03 Jan 2013 08:50 GMT+01:00
Updated: 03 Jan 2013 08:50 GMT+01:00

Nearly one in three of Germans who volunteer to join the armed forces leave before the end of their six-month trial period, figures released this week show.

The 30.4 percent drop-out rate is an increase on a year ago when the rate was 27 percent. Defence Ministry figures released on Wednesday showed that 11,150 people completed a voluntary military service which lasts on average 13 months.

Defence Minister Thomas de Maiziére set a target of between 5,000 and 15,000 volunteers in July 2011, when compulsory military or social service was scrapped.

He said recently that the high drop-out rate was not a surprise. "Some recruits are obviously surprised when they are expected to show up with polished boots in the morning, have to sleep in a room with several other soldiers, or that they can only smoke during smoke breaks," he said.

Interest in the voluntary social service is significantly greater, with nearly all 35,000 open places filled since the start of 2012. This is despite the fact that those signing up for voluntary military service are paid up to €1,146 a month while those doing social service get just €348.

Those who volunteer for social service are far less likely to break off their commitment early, with just 15 percent doing so, the Family Ministry said on Wednesday.

DPA/The Local/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

09:41 January 3, 2013 by raandy
Maintaing numbers in the military must be a challenge if given a 6 month trial period.

The military I remember made it clear become an actual or an inmate.
11:00 January 3, 2013 by Zubair Khan
To me sole reason is disciplined life. Specially when it comes to personal freedom. Specific timings for each personal act no one here in Germany likes. Its a societal behaviour or attitude. Social and other experts can do a lot by introducing some discipline in erly school life.
15:56 January 3, 2013 by 9900lawre
And for 1 in 3 there is always flower arranging classes! Thats if you like to and it doesn't offend you or get you out of bed to early or go against your human rights or put you at risk from getting your fingers pricked by a rose so that you can sue the flower shop owner!
18:23 January 3, 2013 by twisted
Sure as hell ain't the army I was in back in the 1960's (US Army 1966-69). While not the Marine Corps, it wasn't a picnic either. And once you were in, you were in short of medical discharge. Mud, lousy food, fart-infested barracks, cold showers, and shiny books and knife creases. If you weren't running, you were marching and if not marching, maybe sleeping ot attending classes or peeling potatoes or washing dishes....no civilian contractors to do those jobs. No wonder our wars drag on forever anymore.
19:15 January 3, 2013 by Berlin fuer alles
The drop-outs would rather be out writing graffiti, damaging property and generally being anti-social a-holes.
16:22 January 4, 2013 by Morseman
@twisted

In the British Army, stationed in Germany in the 1960s, my unit had been living in the forests for six weeks on NATO exercise. We stank. Our CO got permission from nearby US barracks to use their washroom and showers - a real luxury in our situation.

We entered a long washroom and found washbasins along one wall, and WCs with no partitions of any kind along the other wall. Some guys standing there shaving, others sitting on the johns.

So in the US Army you don't even have five minutes of privacy to smoke a cigarette on the john! The idea of spending years like that was horrifying to us!

Best wishes Marine...
16:55 January 4, 2013 by Timec
@Berlin fuer alles - That's hilariously presumptuous of you. Military life, while extremely rewarding for some, isn't for everyone. To assume that anyone who tries it but chooses not to stick around must be a delinquent of some sort is really, really stupid.
08:27 January 5, 2013 by Morseman
@twisted

Sorry, just noticed I referred to you as a marine.

My post should have ended with

Best wishes, soldier.
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