Martin/Bratislava, July 6 (TASR) – Military training of the first volunteers began at the Training Battalion base in Martin (Zilina region) on Wednesday and will last until September 30, Defence Ministry spokesperson Danka Capakova told TASR on the same day.
Under a pilot project, 37 volunteers (including 13 women) will undergo basic military training followed by professional training. Originally, 129 people applied for the project, but some failed to pass a medical check or psychological tests or were taken off the list for administrative reasons.
“As I’ve repeatedly said, we’d definitely be glad if more people were interested in voluntary military training, but there’s a need to stress that this is a pilot project and it should be given a chance. Anyway, we want voluntary military training be one of the sources of active military reserves in the future,” said Defence Minister Peter Gajdos (a Slovak National Party/SNS nominee).
“When the first volunteers have been trained, we’ll set the future procedure and adopt measures to make this form of military service more attractive for youth,” said Gajdos, admitting that legislative changes are needed.
In the first nine weeks the recruits will gain basic knowledge and skills in tactics, the use of small arms and orientation in terrain. During the three weeks of professional training they’ll gain skills in one of four military professions – infantry soldier, engineer, decontaminator and signals operator.
“In addition to gaining basic fighting skills, voluntary military training also contributes to forming moral qualities such as self-discipline, teamwork and better stress management,” said Chief of Staff of the Slovak Armed Forces General Milan Maxim.