Why shouldn't I go to the military?

Army and community service inquiries

Anyone who struggles with the military and is therefore looking for support is neither a wimp nor a slacker, but simply completely normal. On the contrary, it seems less normal to us that in the RS you should roll around in the dirt for 18 weeks and let yourself be sniffed at and then find this funny.

You can find GSoA material to order at gsoa.ch.

General note: Below you will find a lot of information about fitness, community service, compulsory military service, etc. If you have an army or community service request, please read this information carefully. If nothing helps you, please feel free to contact us


There are basically two ways to get away from the army:


1. Community service: In order to be admitted to civil service, you must create an account (eZIVI) on the homepage of the Federal Office for Civilian Service. The password for your account will be sent to you by post, so expect 2 to 3 days until you can activate your account! You can now submit your application for community service in electronic form via this platform. As soon as your application has been sent, you can register for a civilian induction day in your region via your account. The introductory day must be completed within 3 months. Don't forget to reconfirm your application within two weeks after the introductory day, otherwise it will expire!

You can find all information about the admission procedure at https://www.zivi.admin.ch/zivi/de/home/zivi- haben/die-vorauslösungen.html

In principle, you can switch to civilian service at any time, which lasts 1.5x (for former higher NCOs and officers 1.1x) as long as the remaining military service time. You can choose when and where you want to do what service.

You can find more information about community service below.


2. Unqualified (UT) are declared: For this you have to submit an application (requirements under: http://www.vtg.admin.ch/de/mein-militaerdienst/allgemeines-zum-militaerdienst/dienstbefreiung.html), for which you need a medical, psychological or psychiatric report , which proves why you can no longer do military service. In addition to physical complaints, possible reasons are anxiety, insomnia, sweating with regard to military service or the like.

If you are declared unfit, you may have to do civil defense (a few days per year, which reduce the military service compensation) and pay compulsory military service compensation (3% of taxable income, at least CHF 400 per year).


Community service

Do you want to do community service?
Switzerland has known civilian service as an alternative to military service since 1996. Even if you have already started the RS, you can still have yourself reassigned. It's always worth it! Community service has seen a strong increase in recent years. More and more conscripts are applying. You can easily be transferred from the military to community service by request. It is advisable to talk to a community service counseling center beforehand.

If you submit your civil service application during the RS, it is possible that your supervisor will summon you for an interview. This conversation has no influence on your civil service application. A civil authority decides on the approval, the military has nothing to say about it. The military may want to dissuade you from your community service application. You do not have to provide any information in this conversation if you do not want to and you do not justify your request to your superior. If they don't let up, just say you have a conflict of conscience with the military. No more justification is needed.

What is community service?

Community service is carried out in non-profit organizations and institutions in the areas of health and social affairs, environmental and nature conservation, agriculture as well as in development cooperation and humanitarian aid. Community service providers choose their deployment company themselves, and the time of deployment can also be chosen. The civil service is independent of the military and is therefore attached to the Department of Economics and not to the VBS. You will receive the same wage replacement (EO) according to the income compensation scheme for the assignments as for military service. There is also no compulsory military levy to be paid. The civil service is not to be confused with the civil defense, to which unfit for military service are assigned. The only "disadvantage" of civilian service is its duration: the days of military service still to be performed are multiplied by a factor of 1.5. If you've never been in the military, that's a total of 390 days that you have to do up to the age of 34, spread over several deployments. You can do something useful for that. Civil service offers the opportunity to gain professional experience - especially in professions that open up new perspectives. Many employers appreciate it when their employees were able to gain experience in other industries.

Admission process

The first step is to create a new account at https://www.ezivi.admin.ch/ivy/faces/instances/1604CCB7089C0EDF/MainPage.xhtml. The password will be sent to you by post, so expect 2 to 3 days until you can activate your account!

The application can only be submitted via this platform and in electronic form. As soon as the application has been sent, you can register for an introductory day in your region via your account. The introductory day must be completed within 3 months and the application must then be confirmed. If you do not do that, the application expires. But you can submit unlimited new requests!


You are only new until after the introductory day. You can only do community service after attending the introductory day and confirming your application. The introductory days are only offered during the week. You have to be exempt from RS and WK (application according to Art. 17aZDG). However, the leave of absence must be given. Your responsible command only has play area if the relevant service assignment lasts less than four weeks (Art. 26 Para. 3 ZDV). There is a limited number of participants on the introductory days. So you should look for a suitable date very quickly after registration, on which there are still places available. After completing the induction day, you have to confirm within two weeks that you are sticking to your application. You can do this in turn using your e-Zivi account.

Search location

As soon as you have confirmed the application, you will receive an electronic confirmation of admission. This is final after 30 days. From this moment you can apply for civilian missions.


The training courses are now compulsory for all civilians. They take place in the responsible regional center and have only limited places. In the specifications for the respective assignment, you can see which courses you need to have completed in order to be able to take up the assignment.

Expenses and charges

Compensation for overnight stays in private accommodation has recently ceased. However, the operations companies must provide overnight accommodation that the civil servants can use voluntarily. If no accommodation close to the place of deployment can be offered and there are no costs for the civilian commuting to work, this will be taken over by the deployment company. The basic tariff for the fee per Tuesday, which the operations companies have to pay, increases by 9%.

Civilians in schools

Zivis can now also be used in schools outside of the integrative area, for example to supervise the breaks, at lunch, in housekeeping, to help with tasks, to accompany school projects and to assist the teachers. However, you are not allowed to take responsibility for teaching yourself as a teacher.

Further information:

Here you can find the general explanations

Here you can find information about “becoming a civilian”.

If you have any concerns about community service, you can also contact the following addresses:

  • Zurich: Swiss Civil Service Association CIVIVA, Gartenhofstrasse 7, Postfach 9777, 8036 Zurich, www.civiva.ch.
  • Lausanne: Center pour l’action non-violente (CENAC), rue de Genève 52, 1000 Lausanne 9; Telephone 021 661 24 34, Fax 021 661 24 36; [email protected] / www.non-violence.ch


Inside the army

Management function, no thanks!

The Swiss Armed Forces have to fill numerous management positions every year. However, since there are usually too few volunteer or "qualified" people to be found, recruits are always growled to continue. It is advisable to be prepared for this event, as it can affect almost anyone! In principle, according to the military law, you can be “obliged to a certain degree” (DR Article 85). But you can try to prevent it. When recruiting, 40 percent of recruits are earmarked to continue. From the 3rd / 4th Week there are informal lists on which recruits are noted who get positive feedback. The first qualification interviews take place in the fourth week. This is usually followed by the selection. You are selected and have to go to the officer candidate school. The first few weeks of the RS give you time to convince your superiors of your inability. How? Here are seven tips:

  1. Make an unmotivated impression right at the beginning of the RS: Act stupid and always ask for the reasons for the commands.
  2. Disregard the official channels, do not greet briskly, rather hesitantly and quietly.
  3. Do not try to act as a mediator and motivator of the troops, at most when no cadre is present. First and foremost, social skills are sought, not military skills.
  4. Disorder and bad discipline are hated to be seen. Don't overdo it though, because acting is often seen through.
  5. If there is a one-on-one interview with one of your superiors, this can also be a qualification interview. Make a bad impression, don't use military slang, or suggest ways to improve your service. Don't mention any of your civilian qualifications or future plans.
  6. Ask the question about the meaning of it all. Show your rejection of the army with anti-militarist signs. For example, you can wear a GSoA shirt in sports.
  7. When asked if you want to continue, make it clear and clear no! Say that you will not continue in a way that makes it sound definitive and irrevocable!

You are threatened with the "proposal"

If your superiors want to force you to continue, they make you the «suggestion». Although they don't need your approval, they want your signature. Never sign this! Even if you are threatened with punitive measures. The signature is symbolic and shows your superiors that your will can be broken under certain circumstances.

If you are threatened with the obligation, you can visit the gun station psychiatrist or troop doctor to apply for a possible disqualification. Explain to him why you definitely cannot continue (and you do not want to!) And let your manager know.

Questions about the compulsory military service levy

In principle, all those who are judged to be fit for security service or wholly unsuitable owe the compulsory military service levy. This is levied as direct federal tax and amounts to 3% of taxable income, but at least CHF 400. Anyone who does not pay this after a reminder is operated by the FTA. According to Art. 4 WPEG, an exemption from the compulsory military service charge is only possible for people who are "due to a significant disability"

  • Achieve a taxable income that, after further deduction of insurance benefits and disability-related living costs, does not exceed the subsistence level under debt enforcement law by more than 100%
  • are considered unfit for service and are receiving a pension or helplessness allowance from the Federal Disability Insurance or accident insurance
  • are considered unfit for service and do not receive any helplessness allowance, but meet one of the two minimum requirements for helplessness allowance

or for people who

  • have been declared unfit for military service or community service due to an incident
  • belong to the military personnel, but are active as federal councilors, clergymen, police officers, border guards or indispensable employees of hospitals, penal institutions and public transport authorities.

The Swiss abroad are exempt if they have not lived in Switzerland for at least three years, work in their country of residence or pay replacement taxes. Special provisions apply to dual citizens of Switzerland and France, Austria or Italy and Swiss born and living in the USA.


Attention: change as of 01.01.2019

In connection with the WEA (further development of the army), the obligation to replace it has also been adjusted. The replacement tax can now be claimed up to the age of 37. The first replacement fee must be paid in the year following the recruitment. In total, a maximum of 11 replacement charges are to be paid.
This particularly affects people who have acquired or would like to acquire Swiss citizenship. Newly naturalized persons have to pay the replacement tax, also 11 times, but up to the 37th year of age at the latest. Since recruitment is only possible up to the age of 24, there is no possibility of fulfilling compulsory service afterwards and not having to pay a fee.

That means in concrete terms:

You are

  • Unfit for military service and unfit for protection: You pay a replacement tax for 11 years. The first is due in the year following recruitment.
  • Compulsory military service, but you are not doing any service: You pay for your service or until the end of your military service. The first submission is due after passing the RS. If your RS only starts at 25, you will have to pay a replacement tax by then at the latest.