Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Draft Avoided as 12,000 Volunteers Join Armed Forces

Chile's armed forces were unsure they'd get enough volunteers this year after a protracted student protest frustrated the military's recruitment efforts. But in the end, more than 21,000 applied for military service -- 53.5% more than the required number. In the Army, 11,040 were accepted, including 842 women. Indeed, the interest among women to serve continues strong. More than 4,000 applied for the 842 slots available to them in the Army, meaning that just one in five was accepted. The Navy enlisted 620 men, the Air Force 460. This marked the sixth consecutive year that the three branches have filled their conscription rolls without having to call up anybody. There's a sense of patriotism for those who volunteer, but they also enjoy free training in technical and vocational fields. There's the morale aspect, too: Ask any commander, and they'll tell you they rather have a force of volunteer soldiers than anyone who's under compulsion to serve.

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