It is possible to apply for civilian service any time after the call-up, also during the military service. The possibility exists throughout the military service, for example, swearing a military oath does not affect it in any way. The Civilian Service Act states that the application must be processed "without delay", which also applies to applications made by those who are in the military service at the time of application. In practice, this means that a military serviceman who declares that he wants to apply for civilian service must also be repatriated without delay.


How do you get to civilian service from the army?

During military service, a civilian service application is submitted to the Commander of the Military Department (Civil Service Act, 12§). In practice, the matter goes to the person who wants to change to civilian service goes to inform the base unit officer who has to give him a form to apply for civilian service. The form has been published on the Internet, so it can also be printed and completed by yourself. The completed form will be forwarded from the base unit to the military department commander, who will approve it.

In practice, applying for civilian service is a matter of notification, as the law requires the application to be automatically approved as long as it is properly completed (the "civilian service application" box is ticked at the top, the personal details requested are correct, and the application is signed). After accepting the application, the person in question returns the army equipment and is free to leave. There is no need to submit your application personally, so you can also submit it to the military department on your vacation or weekend break.



Although, by law, the processing and repatriation must take place promptly, in practice, this has often not been the case. On the basis of internal instructions from the army, the applicant may be assigned to "conversations" with the commander of the unit and the social curator. Such discussions are not explicitly prohibited by law, but are not based on them, but on the military's own regulations and instructions. Therefore, they should not cause any delay in the processing and repatriation of the application, as this would conflict with a higher-level instrument - the Civilian Service Act.

Ultimately, these discussions must also be based on volunteering for the person applying to civilian service, as the Parliamentary Ombudsman states in his ruling in a January 2014 delay event . It must therefore also be possible to refuse interviews without delaying the processing of the application or other consequences. Needless to say, military personnel should treat civilian applicants in polite way and misconduct or misrepresentation may constitute maladministration or an offense in office.

Before returning to freedom, one must return the military equipment in his possession, which has sometimes caused delays: once the application has been signed by the commander, the warehouse has already been closed and the repatriation has been delayed the following morning or over the weekend. However, this does not affect the fact that your application should be processed promptly, and if you state in the morning that you want to be a civilian servant, the starting point must be that you can leave either the same day or the following morning.


The civilian service is always your own choice

Although the beliefs of applicants seeking civilian service are not examined, their application is still based on their beliefs (Civilian Service Act, 1§). In practice, this means that the transition to civilian service is always based on the will of the person concerned and the initiative must come from him / herself. Anyone cannot be transferred to civilian service against her/his will. If the military service is not possible due to health problems, the solution should be exemption, not civilian service. Civilian service can also be exempted on health grounds, and the criteria are the same as for military service.


Commencement of civilian service

The Lapinjärvi Civilian Service Center orders the civilian servant to start civilian service. Usually, the civilian service starts a few months after the military service is finished, but time may vary. There are about one monthly entry into the Civilian Service, and usually the summer entries are filled earlier. You can express your wish in the application form when you would like to start doing civilian service.

The duration of civilian service is 347 days, including a four-week training period and work service. Military service performed prior to application for is credited for using multipliers obtained by dividing the length of civilian service in the Army service by a specified period of service. Thus, for those who have 165 days of service in the army, each military day reduces the civil service time by 2.1 days (347/165 days), whereas those with the longest term of service reduces only one day. If the period of service has not been ordered before applying for a civilian service, the coefficient corresponding to the shortest period of service shall be used.


Position during the crisis

Under current law, anyone applying for civilian service before or during military service is released from military service, both during peace and war, regardless of whether they have completed civilian service. During a crisis, civilian servants may be assigned to civilian duties under the Standby Act or the Civilian Service Act.