In accordance with the 2011 National Guard Law, all male citizens of the Republic of Cyprus, aged 18-50 years old, have the obligation to serve in the National Guard.
The obligation for Backup Service is fulfilled within the Units of National Guard and is obligatory until the age of 50.
Duration of National Service
The duration of the National Service is 24 months long and is defined by Law. Its duration can be reduced in special occasions.
Submission of Statement by Persons Liable for National Service
All persons liable for national service have the obligation when they turn 16 to submit a written statement with their enlistment data to the Enlistment Office closest to their residence or in case they are students of a Secondary Educational Institution, to the School Prefect, required for the Enlistment Registers.
Contact Information – Enlistment Offices
Citizens may contact the Enlistment Offices for information regarding their enlistment.
Nicosia-Kyrenia-Morfou Enlistment Office
Address: 1 Diogenous St., “Phileleftheros” Building, 2404 Egkomi, Nicosia
Tel.: 22417130, 22417131, 22417135
Famagusta-Larnaka Enlistment Office
Address: Artemidos Ave., Alyki area, “A. Sourouklis” military camp, 6031 Larnaca
Tel.: 24625376, 24411300, 2,411302
Limassol Enlistment Office
Address: 168 Agias Fylaxeos & Ath. Tsakalof streets, 1st floor, TCI Building, Kapsalos District, Limassol
Tel.: 25369850, 25413366, 25413368
Pafos Enlistment Office
Address: Building A, New Government Buildings, Paphos
Tel.: 26413949, 26413916, 26933270
Exemptions – Deferments
These may apply for persons that fall in the categories below:
- Students of Secondary Education
- Students of the Nursery School– Hotel Institute (Culinary Arts)
- Citizens with a brother already serving in the National Guard
- The Clergy
- Students of Military Schools
- Citizens who reside permanently abroad
- Prisoners of war
- Citizens who have three or more minors
- Orphans by both parents
- Citizens who reside permanently abroad and have served in the armed forces of the foreign country of residence provided they have citizenship of the foreign country of residence
- Naturalised foreigners who have served mandatory service in their country of origin
- Ministers, members of the House of Representatives, members of the European Parliament, the Attorney General, the Deputy Attorney General, Judges.
Reduction of Military Service
National service is reduced to 14 months in the following cases:
For Large Families
- National service is reduced to 14 months as follows:
– For the first born son of family with four male children, as well as for the fourth son of the same family, provided that two of the brothers have served full term national service.
– For the first and second born sons of a family with five or more male children, as well as for all other children, provided that two of the male children of the family have served full term national service.
– For one son of a family with five children.
– For two sons of a family with six or seven children.
– For three sons of a family with eight or nine children.
– For four sons of a family with ten or eleven children.
– For five sons of a family with twelve or thirteen children.
– For six sons of a family with fourteen or fifteen children.
– For seven sons of a family with sixteen or more children.
- Reduction of military service:
– is permitted in order from older to younger male child of a family.
– will not be transferred to the next son in line in the case the first or second son in line etc. is identified as unsuitable for service or is benefiting from deferment.
The duration of national service is reduced to 14 months when one of the conscripts’ parents is deceased.
The duration of national service is reduced to 14 months for the following persons:
- Conscripts whose parents have been identified by competent authorities as “fallen”, “victims”, “missing” or “fully disable”. All the sons of such a family may benefit from this rule, excluding the first born son, who will be fully exempted from national service.
- The eldest son of persons identified by competent authorities as “disable” due to participation in the liberation struggles, with percentage of disability over 49%.
The duration of the national service of persons who permanently reside abroad, and lived abroad with their family for a period of 10 years or more and subsequently returned to Cyprus for permanent residence, is reduced, depending on their age at the time of repatriation:
- Persons aged 10 to 13 on repatriation will serve for 18 months.
- Persons aged 13 to 18 on repatriation will serve for 12 months.
- Persons aged 18 to 25 on repatriation will serve for 6 months.
- Persons aged 26 to 45 on repatriation will serve for 3 months.
During national service, conscripts are entitled to sick-leave, regular or honourary leave as follows:
Two days of regular leave is granted for each full month of service.
A leave of up to 20 days is granted for outstanding actions during military service.
Conscripts may be granted sick-leave of up to 24 days for each 12 months of actual service.
Conscripts of the National Guard, who participate in official international knowledge competitions or official international sport events, will be entitled to 60 days of additional leave, at the recommendation of the Cyprus Sports Organisation or the Ministry of Education and Culture.
Remission of Disciplinary Punishment
- The first 50 days of disciplinary imprisonment are written off, and are considered part of the military service.
- At the discretion of the Minister of Defence, when special circumstances demand it, disciplinary sentences exceeding 100 days may be reduced or written off completely (e.g. a conscript who accumulates 150 days of disciplinary imprisonment will not serve the initial 50 days, will serve the following 50 days, while the last 50 days may be reduced at the discretion of the Minister of Defence).
Discharge of Conscripts due to Special Family Circumstances
The Minister of Defence may, following a recommendation of the Counseling Committee, and when this is justified by special family or financial reasons, decide the permanent or temporary discharge of a conscript, provided he has completed at least three months of actual service.
Enlistment of Conscripts
Enlistment takes place following a Decision by the Council of Ministers and is effected twice a year in January and July.
Special Military Service
Special military service is served by conscripts who are identified by the competent Medical Board as able to serve this kind of service. Its duration is equal to the obligatory national service plus eight months.
National Service Objectors
Conscripts who refuse to serve their national service, due to religious or ideological beliefs, may be officially recognized as objectors, in accordance with a procedure determined by Law and can serve an alternative military or social service.
The duration of the alternative military or social service of conscripts recognized as objectors is equal to regular national service, either full or part term, plus an additional period of time as follows:
- For alternative military service:
– Five months, if they would have served from 18 months up to full-term service.
– Four months, if they would have served from 12 months up to 18 months.
– Three months, if they would have served for less than 12 months.
- For alternative social service either full or part term, plus an additional period of time as follows:
– Nine months, if they would have served from 18 months up to full-term service.
– Eight months, if they would have served from 12 months up to 18 months.
– Seven months, if they would have served for less than 12 months.
- Alternative social service is carried out in Departments of the Public Sector, to be defined by a decision of the Minister of Defence, in consultation with the Head of each Department, and comprises community work with priority to the social sector and the protection of the environment.
Enlistment of Women
The enlistment of women in the National Guard on a voluntary basis began in April 1990. Women can serve as Volunteer NCO’s (Non-Commissioned Officers). The enlistment of women continues until today, with great success.
The enlistment of women in the National Guard on a voluntary basis as NCO’s is based on the 1990 Regulations for Volunteer NCO’s of the Republic’s Army. They are appointed with an initial three-year contract, which may be renewed for additional three-year periods, if this is justified by the needs of the service.
Based on the 1993 Regulations for Women NCO’s of the Republic’s Army, women candidates for appointment as Women Officers must necessarily be Volunteer NCO’s who have served the Army for at least six years.