Polish armed forces recruit over 16,000 in 2022
More than 16,000 people reported for voluntary military service in 2022, a deputy defence minister has said.
During a presentation on voluntary military service, Wojciech Skurkiewicz also said the Defence Ministry had plans to recruit a further 25,000 this year.
Poland introduced voluntary military service in April 2022 and initially the Defence Ministry planned to recruit 15,000 volunteers by the end of the year.
"Despite the law coming into force on April 23 last year, 16,226 people reported for training under voluntary military service," Skurkiewicz said
The deputy minister explained that training was conducted in two parts: a basic 28-day component and a more comprehensive 11-month one. Having completed the full training, a recruit can undergo specialist training and join the country's professional armed forces.
Every three in four volunteers have declared they will continue with their service having completed the training, Skurkiewicz said, adding that both men and women reported for service.
"Today the needs of the armed forces are very big due to the fact that we're determined to increase the headcount of the Polish Armed Forces," Skurkiewicz said.
Poland abandoned national service in 2009 as the country switched to a professional military. However, after Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Poland passed a law reinstating non-professional military service for volunteers. In 2017, the country established a new military unit, the territorial defence force.