Friday, May 9, 2008

A Professional Army?

From Gareth Jenkins:
Since the beginning of May, the Turkish military has stopped enrolling conscripts as reserve officers in its commando brigades. This is the initial stage of a process that is expected to culminate in the creation of the country’s first fully professional army units (Vatan, Milliyet, CNNTurk, NTV, May 5).

Turkey has the second largest military in NATO, with around armed 600,000 personnel. Approximately 100,000 are full-time professionals, while the rest are conscripts. Military service is compulsory for all Turkish males over the age of 20. Women are exempt, although a small number serve in the military as full-time professionals.

Traditionally, military units have consisted of conscripts under the command of a member of the officer corps. At the rank of lieutenant, full-time professionals are supplemented by a small number of highly qualified conscripts who perform their military service as reserve officers. Most are employed in non-combat roles, although some serve in fighting units, such as the commandos.

No comments: