The nation of Estonia is the only Baltic country that still has a mandatory military service requirement for all men, lasting up to 11 months. The government is now experimenting with allowing tech savvy recruits to skip the infantry and serve by working to ensure the safety of the nation’s cyber infrastructure.
“The experiment involves between 10 and 20 draftees, Undersecretary of Defense Erki Kodar told The Associated Press at a cybersecurity conference in Lille, in northern France. The pilot program began last summer and will be evaluated after the conscription cycle ends in June.”
“Maybe a highly skilled IT specialist, it’s not good to get them as drivers,” he said.
With recent concerns about Russian hybrid-warfare, which employs disinformation as well as cyber attacks against civilian infrastructure and military targets, the new conscription opportunities look to be timely. It is likely that other militaries will follow this concept in the future to boost their cyber warfare capabilities and reserve forces.