Éditoriaux Défense Sécurité Terrorisme Zones de conflits Logistique Livres de référence Liens
Terre Air Mer Gendarmerie Renseignement Infoguerre Cyber Recherche

A New Professional Army for France

A New Professional Army for France

Professionalisation (Part 13)

National Service today

1. The reference document

At its present status, National Service is ruled by decree no. 71-424 dated 10th June 1971 falling under Military Service law.

2. Principles

National Service is :

  • universal,
  • compulsory for young men and voluntary for young women.

3. Types of National Service

The following types exist:

  • a military type (Military Service within the Armed Forces or National Military Police Force)
  • 5 civil types,
  • 8 protocols.

Five civil types of National Service are ruled by the decree:

  • technical assistance service (1965)
  • co-operation service (1965)
  • conscientious objectors' service (1983)
  • National Police service (1985)
  • Civil Security service (1992)

Eight protocols placing conscripts at the disposal of civil ministries also exist. These protocols have been drawn up between the Ministry of Defence and the following ministries or administrative bodies for:

  • homecoming servicemen (1983)
  • professional training (1983)
  • the handicapped (1991)
  • National Education (1991)
  • urban affairs (1991)
  • employment (1992)
  • environment (1993).

4. Development

Over the past years, in order to introduce more flexibility into the ways of carrying out National Service, certain adaptations were made in terms of choice of the date (deferment regime), of the place of recruitment or of the type of function occupied. The number of civil functions has progressively increased whilst the number of conscripts within the Armed Forces has fallen.

5. The main figures concerning National Service (1995 data)

In 1995, 335 000 young Frenchmen took the selection tests (the "three day" selection).

Size of the contingent

  • Military form: 233 000 of which 8 000 under the various protocoles
  • Long Service Voluntaries : about 40 000 for an average duration of 19 months
  • Civil forms: 25 000

Number of waivers : 20 000

(for social, economic reasons,...)

Number of exemptions: 62 000

(on medical grounds)

Civil forms: 25 000 of which:

  • Civil Security (10 months) 650
  • Police (10 months) 8 000
  • Technical Assistance (16 months) 670 (French overseas departments and territories)
  • Co-operation (16 months) 5 300 (Foreign countries)
  • Conscientious objectors (20 months) 10 200

Main protocols (10 months): 8 800 of which:

  • Urban affairs 7000
  • Homecoming servicemen 250
  • Handicapped 200
  • Environment 260

Feminine voluntariate 1 400

Sources: French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Defence

French Embassies in London and Washington.

For more information, go to French National Defense.


Derniers articles

Verdun 2016 : La légende de la « tranchée des baïonnettes »
Eyes in the Dark: Navy Dive Helmet Display Emerges as Game-Changer
OIR Official: Captured Info Describes ISIL Operations in Manbij
Cyber, Space, Middle East Join Nuclear Triad Topics at Deterrence Meeting
Carter Opens Second DoD Innovation Hub in Boston
Triomphe de St-Cyr : le Vietnam sur les rangs
Dwight D. Eisenhower Conducts First OIR Missions from Arabian Gulf
L’amiral Prazuck prend la manœuvre de la Marine
Airmen Practice Rescuing Downed Pilots in Pacific Thunder 16-2
On ne lutte pas contre les moustiques avec une Kalachnikov...
Enemy Mine: Underwater Drones Hunt Buried Targets, Save Lives
Daesh Publications Are Translated Into Eleven Languages
Opération Chammal : 10 000 heures de vol en opération pour les Mirage 2000 basés en Jordanie
Le Drian : Daech : une réponse à plusieurs niveaux
Carter: Defense Ministers Agree on Next Steps in Counter-ISIL Fight
Carter Convenes Counter-ISIL Coalition Meeting at Andrews
Carter Welcomes France’s Increased Counter-ISIL Support
100-Plus Aircraft Fly in for Exercise Red Flag 16-3
Growlers Soar With B-1s Around Ellsworth AFB
A-10s Deploy to Slovakia for Cross-Border Training
We Don’t Fight Against Mosquitoes With a Kalashnikov
Bug-Hunting Computers to Compete in DARPA Cyber Grand Challenge
Chiefs of US and Chinese Navies Agree on Need for Cooperation
DoD Cyber Strategy Defines How Officials Discern Cyber Incidents from Armed Attacks
Vice Adm. Tighe Takes Charge of Information Warfare, Naval Intelligence
Truman Strike Group Completes Eight-Month Deployment
KC-46 Completes Milestone by Refueling Fighter Jet, Cargo Plane
Air Dominance and the Critical Role of Fifth Generation Fighters
Une nation est une âme
The Challenges of Ungoverned Spaces
Carter Salutes Iraqi Forces, Announces 560 U.S. Troops to Deploy to Iraq
Obama: U.S. Commitment to European Security is Unwavering in Pivotal Time for NATO
International Court to Decide Sovereignty Issue in South China Sea
La SPA 75 est centenaire !
U.S. to Deploy THAAD Missile Battery to South Korea
Maintien en condition des matériels : reprendre l’initiative
La veste « léopard », premier uniforme militaire de camouflage
Océan Indien 2016 : Opérations & Coopération
Truman Transits Strait of Gibraltar
Navy Unveils National Museum of the American Sailor
New Navy, Old Tar
Marcel Dassault parrain de la nouvelle promotion d’officiers de l’École de l’Air
RIMPAC 2016 : Ravitaillement à la mer pour le Prairial avant l’arrivée à Hawaii
Bataille de la Somme, l’oubliée
U.S., Iceland Sign Security Cooperation Agreement
Cléopatra : la frégate Jean Bart entre dans l’histoire du BPC Gamal Abdel Nasser
Surveiller l’espace maritime français aussi par satellite
America's Navy-Marine Corps Team Fuse for RIMPAC 2016
Stratégie France : Plaidoyer pour une véritable coopération franco-allemande
La lumière du Droit rayonne au bout du chemin

Directeur de la publication : Joël-François Dumont
Comité de rédaction : Jacques de Lestapis, Hugues Dumont, François de Vries (Bruxelles), Hans-Ulrich Helfer (Suisse), Michael Hellerforth (Allemagne).
Comité militaire : VAE Guy Labouérie (†), GAA François Mermet (2S), CF Patrice Théry (Asie).