Prague, Nov 26 (CTK) – The Czech military opened a new recruitment centre in Prague yesterday as it needs 5000 more soldiers to reach the total number of 27,000, with which it is capable of fulfilling all of its present tasks.
The military commanders would like to reach the required number of troops in five years.
The Czech military does not have enough troops due to austerity measures in the past several years. Some units even lack up to half of their members.
The new centre will be used not only for the recruitment of professional soldiers but also for those who want to join the active reserve troops or study at the Defence Academy in Vyskov, south Moravia.
Defence Minister Martin Stropnicky said approximately 200 people apply for a job in the professional army every week, but many of them do not pass the demanding physical and psychological tests and the medical examination.
Stropnicky said certain changes would be made in the requirements. For example, the army would not mind if an IT expert had strong glasses or high blood pressure.
Lenka Smerdova, from the military´s recruitment section, said anybody interested in military service or study would receive all necessary information in the new centre to be able to make a responsible decision.
The military has recruitment centres in regional cities all over the Czech Republic.
This year, the military recruited over 1850 new soldiers. At the same time, about 1000 soldiers left the army.
This has been the first of several years, in which the number of new troops was higher than that of the troops leaving the army.
The military plans to annually recruit 2,000 soldiers in the next five years. It expects that 1000 experienced soldiers would get retired or find a civilian job every year. The professions that the military needs the most urgently are truck drivers, doctors and cooks.
The military also plans to increase the number of its active reserve troops from the present 1250 to 5000.