Jakarta. The Indonesian Military will begin recruiting citizen soldiers next month to build the long-awaited military reserve force that will eventually have 25,000 members.
A Defense Ministry official said the program is different from the compulsory military enrollment because the application is voluntarily and selected members are allowed to retain their civilian jobs.
"We plan to start recruiting between March and June pending issuance of the related government regulation. The basic military skills training will begin soon afterward," Bondan Tiara Sofyan, the ministry's director-general for defense potentials, said in Jakarta on Thursday.
"Applicants must be between 18 and 35 years old. Qualified reservists will be on duty until the age of 48," she said.
Applicants who pass the selection test will undergo training on basic military skills for three months, during which they will receive allowances from the government, Bondan said.
"Reserve force is different from conscription – the voluntary application is open for people between 18 and 35 years old," she said.
"Selected applicants will undergo a three-month training before they are officially recruited as reservists and return to their previous jobs," Bondan said.
The reserve force will be employed only in situations where the military needs additional manpower, Bondan said.
Only the president can order the deployment of the reserve force after receiving approval from the House of Representatives, she said.
Bondan said the reservists will be recruited by the Army. The Navy and the Air Force are still discussing their own recruitment plans.