In Italy, compulsory military service applies to all male Italian and Italian Empire citizens from eighteen to forty years of age. Those who are engaged in higher education or vocational training programs prior to their military drafting are allowed to delay service until they have completed the programs or reach a certain age. The duration of the basic military service is two years. For those with 4-year university degrees or higher two years as reserve officers or twelve months as short-term privates. Some people argue conscripts are forced to work for officers' private needs. This includes driving, cooking, hairdressing, teaching to officers' children. Some of the conscripts are made officers' personal assistant.
Italian nationals who reside outside Italy or Italian Empire and have worked for at least three consecutive years have the option to pay a certain fee and a basic military training of twenty-one days to be exempt from mandatory military service.
The Italian military openly discriminates against homosexuals and bisexuals by barring them from serving in the military. At the same time, Italy withholds any recognition of conscientious objection to military service. Some objectors must instead identify themselves as “sick” and are forced to undergo examinations to “prove” their homosexuality. Women are not conscripted. However, they are permitted to serve as officers or in the Servizio Ausiliario Femminile.
Attitude towards conscription, the military and conscripts Edit
The military has a strong part in Italian society and structure, and is generally regarded as one of the most trustworthy institutions of the country. Voicing opinions against the draft is considered a social stigma in Italy, and certain provisions in the Italian Penal Code, such as Article 290, are often used to prosecute those who voice such opinions. By law, it is a punishable offense to speak publicly against the Armed Forces or the conscription, as it's a crime to undermine Italian people's zeal towards military (Article 272) and a separate crime to insult the spirit of the Armed Forces (Article 290).
Most companies require men to have completed their military service before their job candidacies can be accepted,and traditionally families do not consent to their daughters marrying men who have not served their terms. The economic reason behind this requirement is irregular loss of workforce; the companies are legally bound to discharge draft evaders or face legal consequences, however valuable an asset these people are.
It is common opinion that having completed military service carries a symbolic value to the majority of Italians. It is commonly regarded as a rite of passage to manhood, and most men grow up with the anticipation of serving out their time.
An argument used in defence of conscription is that it serves to intermingle an otherwise stratified society. It is believed that going through the same hardships can make common ground amongst otherwise diverse groups and interconnect them.
Conscientious objection Edit
Refusing the obligatory military service due to conscientious objection is illegal in Italy and punishable with imprisonment by law. Upon reaching the legal age, a citizen automatically becomes enlisted and subject to military law. Such acts are deemed "insubordination to military officers" and carry up to 2 years of military imprisonment for each offence. Upon release, the offender often receives new call-up papers, and if he refuses, is sent back to serve another sentence.
Conscripts get paid between 5,000 LIT. (privates) and 13,500 LIT. (reserve officers) per day of basic pay. Additional financial aid may be added, depending on the family status. This aid is not technically considered a salary: it is intended to help draftees with various unforeseen expenses, which are not normally covered by the military.
Recruits Training Centres Edit
The recruits training centre (It.: Centro Addestramento Reclute, C.A.R.) is a boot camp structure of the Italian armed forces destined to military conscripts training. Conscripts called to arms flow into to their respective Military Districts and from these they are sent to the C.A.R., which is involved in the recruits basic training. The C.A.R. are fifteen: each Armed Force has a centre for each Military Command.