The parliament on Tuesday passed the respective legislative amendments with 96 votes in favor, none against and one abstention.
The amendments raise the age limit at which a member of the Armed Forces is transferred to the reserve to 56 for non-commissioned officers and junior grade and senior grade officers, to 60 years for military specialists, and to 65 years for military chaplains. Currently, the age limit is around five years lower.
"The national defense system now faces a large personnel shortage. The military was short of over 300 military officers as of October 25 last year," Conservative MP Rasa Juknevičienė, a former defense minister, said.
Social Democratic MP Juozas Olekas, another former defense minister, said that it is unreasonable to send experienced military officers into the reserve so early, noting that it costs a considerable amount of money for the state to train an officer.
"Our officer corps and soldiers are younger than their foreign counterparts," he said.
The age limit for enlisted personnel and seamen remains unchanged at 40 years.
Currently, the majority of servicemen and servicewomen can serve in the Armed Forces until they turn 35 up to 53 years, depending on their military rank, and military specialists can serve until they reach the age of 55 to 65 years. However, most officers go into the reserve at the age of 36 to 45 years as they fear that they will have difficulty integrating into the civil labor market if they leave the military at an older age.
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