Military Reserve is voluntary and selective

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A Military Reserve components is formed through enrolment, selection, basic military training and appointment. (Photo: Aslam Iqbal/IO)

IO – Government Regulation No. 3/2021 on the Implementing Regulations  of  Law  No.  23/2019  on National  Resource  Management has officially taken effect. Signed by President Joko Widodo, one of its provisions is related to a citizen’s contribution to state defense by taking part in the selection of reserve components.

Edy Prasetyono, an academic from University of Indonesia (UI), has declared that a reserve component is a vital part of the total defense concept which seeks to optimize the utilization of national potential and resources.

In the total defense system (sishanta), he emphasized, the Indonesian Military (TNI) is the main defense component in dealing with military threats. “However, the development of military capability is always faced with the problem of sustainability, limited national resources, and unpredictability,” he said, Tuesday (9/2/2021).

According to him, advanced countries with enormous resources are also faced with this problem. A number of countries with strong military forces, such as the US, Russia and China, have also built their own reserve components. “… let alone countries whose military is not as large or strong,” said the Head of the UI’s International Relations Program.

He explained that many countries create reserve components through recruitment, based on rigorous selection criteria and provision of education, training, salary and social security. In some countries, the reserve components can be formed with civilians who voluntarily sign up for military service or by recruiting former soldiers or other readily-available forces. “Compulsory military service is carried out by taking into account the level of threats to state defense, emergency situations, or national resources considerations,” he added. In the context of Indonesia, he highlighted the public’s concern, fueled by the perception that reserve components are the same as mandatory military service as irrelevant. Based on Article 28, Paragraph 2 of Law No. 23/2019 on Management of National Resources for State Defense, it is clearly stated that reserve components recruitment is done on a voluntary basis.

Reserve components are created through enrolment, selection, basic military training, and appointment. Article 13 also states that basic military training is only mandatory for those who pass a selection stage. Furthermore, the deployment of reserve components can only be done through a mobilization decree by the President, as the head of state.

“The key word here is voluntary, through a selection process, and is only activated after the President’s mobilization decree,” he said. (eka)