What Are Some Countries That Require Mandatory Military Service?

Some of the countries where mandatory military service is required of its citizens are Angola, Libya, Romania and Switzerland. Other countries, such as Mozambique, have a selective compulsory military service.

Conscription is the proper word for mandated military service. Men 18 and older in countries like the United States are required to register with the Selective Service, but are not normally forced into military service. The last time men were drafted in the United States was in 1973 for service in the Vietnam War.

Until recently, conscription was usually limited to healthy males, but today, some countries draft women into the military. Bolivia, Mozambique, North Korea and Israel draft women into their military. Israel has compulsory enlistment for females. Drafting women began in the UK during World War II.

Algeria limits its compulsory service to 18 months and Angola to two years. In Belarus, men between the ages of 18 and 27 are required to serve 12 to 18 months, and Thailand requires two years of service for its mandatory military members. In Vietnam, conscription takes place twice per year, and the terms of service vary between 12 and 24 months. Venezuela has one of the longest conscription terms in the world, at around 30 months.