The solution is to launch another recruitment campaign of distributing leaflets in rural communities and shopping malls.
The recruitment drive is being spearheaded by the defense ministry. The target is to recruit 10,000 new soldiers. The action will involve military professionals touring rural communities, shopping and sports centers.
The present conservative government wants to see the army expanded to 200,000 men and women under arms. This number includes the target of 53,000 part-timers serving in the territorial army, even though this has of late been scaled down to 30,000.
100 EUR per month
According to the liberal opposition this campaign is a sign of the failure to recruit into the territorial army where remuneration is only just above 100 EUR per month. Currently the number under arms is less than 100,000, including around 10,000 reservists and less than 15,000 territorials.
Former special forces commander Roman Polko is also critical. “These are practices reminiscent of communist Poland. If we have a problem we go to schools, rural communities and bazaars mouthing off platitudes.”
The government disagrees, arguing that low unemployment means the army has to try harder to find recruits and do more outreach activities. It acknowledges that the package offered to full-timers is still attractive, but given the rapidly rising employment opportunities in other sectors that may not hold for long.