The Finnish Defence Forces has said that it will lower its current physical fitness standards for conscripts, making it easier for those who would otherwise fail to meet the rigid requirements to serve in the military.
Commander of the Finnish Army, Lieutenant General Petri Hulkko, announced at a press conference on Monday that the military will expand its fitness criteria sometime next year and will include new roles in fields such as digital operations and cybersecurity.
According to Hulkko, a large number of young people who wish to serve in the armed forces are prevented from doing so due to their poor physical condition. The primary goal of the amendment is to enable conscripts who cannot meet stringent physical requirements to perform tasks that require mental skills in a safe environment instead.
The Finnish Defence Forces plans to introduce a new service category called B2. The current categories are A and B. Conscripts in the A category are able to participate in all missions, while those in the B category are unable to participate in certain missions, such as those that require combat, due to a health condition.
The introduction of the B2 category, which will have more relaxed physical fitness standards, is intended to increase recruitment, particularly for women, and help the military monitor and prevent non-physical threats such as cyber attacks.