All male Swiss citizens are required to perform military or civilian service. Those who are fit for military service but have a conscientious objection to serving may apply to perform civilian service instead. Civil protection duties are performed by those who are unfit for military service, but fit enough to carry out civil protection duties.
Whether a person is fit for military service is determined during the recruitment process. Men and women interested in serving are called up for recruitment at the age of 19.
Those who are assigned to civil protection duties are called up for basic training (not available in EN) by their canton of residence. Training lasts 10 to 19 days.
Service begins in the year in which your complete your basic training, and continues for the next 14 years or until you have performed 245 days of service. You can be called up for a maximum of 66 days per year. You will receive notification (not available in EN) of your service at least six weeks in advance, although that does not apply for deployments in the event of disasters and emergencies.
To postpone a civil protection training or refresher course, you must submit a written request in writing stating the reasons at least ten days before you are due to report for duty. The office issuing the call-up will decide whether or not to approve your request. As long at it has not been approved, you must report for duty.
If you do not perform military or civilian service and even if you perform civil protection duties, you are subject to military service exemption tax. However, if you perform civil protection duties, every day of service reduces the amount due by 4 per cent.
Civil defence service is open to everyone. The following persons may volunteer for civil protection service:
Men no longer required to perform civil protection duties;
Men no longer required to perform military or civilian service;
Women with Swiss citizenship from the day they turn 18;
Foreign nationals residing in Switzerland from the day they turn 18.