Contract service to replace conscription, intensive military training for citizens, coming to Ukraine’s army

Ukrainian servicemen on a ferry during exercises in Chernihiv Oblast, November 2, 2023
Ukrainian servicemen on a ferry during exercises in Chernihiv Oblast, November 2, 2023

Replacing conscription with contract service, intensive military training for citizens of service age, and expanding cooperation with NATO and the EU are some of the priorities in the Concept of Military Personnel Policy until 2028, signed into order by Defense Minister Rustem Umerov, the department’s Telegram channel reported on Nov. 5.

"The document defines a strategic vision for the development of military personnel policy in the defense sector over the next five years – both during wartime and in peacetime," the ministry said in a statement.

“The main emphasis of the concept is to guarantee the satisfaction of the Armed Forces' human resources needs during a full-scale war, integration into the Euro-Atlantic security space, and interoperability of the Armed Forces with the armed forces of NATO member states.”

The Defense Ministry said it expects that as a result of the implementation of this concept:

  • The Armed Forces will switch to contract service, and conscription will be replaced by intensive military training for citizens of service age.

  • Ukraine will have an effective system of recruiting professional and motivated personnel for the Armed Forces.

  • A human-centered approach to career management of military personnel will be applied, taking into account their education, professional development, and gender equality.

  • The electronic military registration system will be improved.

  • Personnel management processes will be automated and digitalized.

  • Cooperation between Ukrainian higher education institutions and universities of NATO and EU member states will be expanded.

  • The system of financial support for service members and their accommodation will be effective and transparent.

  • Psychological support will be improved.

  • A new culture of relationships between commanders and subordinates will emerge.

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"Monitoring and evaluation of the results of the concept's implementation will be carried out by the Committee on Human Resources Management within the Ukrainian Defense Ministry," the ministry said.

By laying this strategic groundwork for its future armed forces, Ukraine takes an important step toward establishing a fully modernized military poised to protect European security long after current hostilities end.

Earlier, Ukrainian Commander-in-Chief Valerii Zaluzhnyi wrote in a column published by The Economist that Ukraine needs to expand the category of people who can be mobilized.

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