Government wishes to revise the Military Service Law and establish rental assistance for young service members.

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The Ministry of Defense intends to amend the Military Service Law and promote the establishment of a rental assistance program for youthful members of the Armed Forces by 2025, according to a plan.

The Action Plan for the Professionalization of Military Service was established in 2019, and its revision – which will be presented today by the Minister of Defense, Helena Carreiras, at the Institute of National Defense (IDN) in Lisbon – includes 25 measures and 82 actions to be implemented over the next two years.

The document retains the three axes ‘Recruit’, ‘Retain’, and ‘Reintegrate’, as well as a fourth ‘Support Axis’ that includes “updating the Military Service Law and its regulation to adjust and clarify the configuration of the model of military service provision.”

In a first phase in 2024, the Defense Department will hold “internal debates” on the areas requiring “revision and updating” of this law, a process that will culminate in the first half of 2025 when the Ministry of Defense presents a legislative amendment to the Military Service Law and its regulations.

Compared to the 2019 document, the Ministry of Defense has added new measures to this plan, such as “social support mechanisms” to increase the disposable income of military personnel in the Armed Forces.

In this scope, the government seeks to “promote the development of a specific rental assistance program for young military personnel serving under a Volunteer Regime, Contract Regime, or Special Contract Regime.”

In addition, the executive intends to support military housing in these three types of contract regimes, “especially in large metropolitan areas,” thereby making the real estate assets allocated to the National Defense profitable, and “to study ways of co-funding the use of public transportation, especially for long distances,” for these military personnel.

In the document, the government commits to creating a permanent cadre of enlisted men in the Army and Air Force in the first semester of this year, and in the first six months of 2024, it intends to present an unspecified proposal for the valorization of enlisted men’s remuneration.

Another objective of this plan is to “attenuate the deficit” between the number of personnel in the Armed Forces and the number required, by designating this year the number of soldiers needed to accomplish the country’s missions and by presenting a plan to adjust the number of personnel in 2024.

Each year, the government intends to draft plans for interventions in military infrastructures such as barracks, dining halls, and study halls, which may be financed with funds from the Military Infrastructures Law (LIM) – which is currently being revised by the legislature – the State Budget, or “own funds or revenues.”

The government proposes to reduce the initial training period attrition rate by identifying the causes and implementing “best practices” already implemented by the branches to combat this phenomenon.

Concerning the qualification of the military, the objective of aligning professional training in the Armed Forces with the National Qualifications System and “in the case of regulated professions, with the national and international requirements demanded by the respective certifying entities” remains.

In this area, the executive wishes to develop education and training processes aimed at obtaining “at least the 12th grade of schooling for military, militarized, and civilian personnel”

In the ‘Reinsert’ axis, the supervisor proposes the establishment of a ‘Protocol Center dedicated to Defense’ with the aim of’stimulating professional qualification, development, and retraining of military personnel and ex-military personnel.

In coordination with the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Defense wishes to ensure that clinical conditions (physical or mental) exhibited by military personnel during their service can be monitored once they become available.

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