Pending changes in Greece’s long-standing military conscription system are apparently near finalization, although no change in the duration of a compulsory term in the armed forces is expected.

The “guide” in coming changes appears to be the oft-cited “Finnish model”, with Greek Defense Minister Nikos Dendias among the first to refer to such a prospect and following up with a visit to Helsinki and meetings with his Finnish counterpart and defense officials in the Scandinavian country late last month.

Among the prospective changes is allowing the voluntary service of women at the conscript level, as women have served as officers and NCOs in Greece’s armed forces and coast guard for nearly four decades now.

“The main idea is to transform, as Nikos Dendias said, military service from a chore into an opportunity, allowing our young people, when they leave the military, to retain certain skills that will be useful to them in their professional life,” Deputy DM Yannis Kefalogiannis said on Tuesday, during a television appearance.

As per the much-vaunted Finnish model, the Greek side favorably views a more “mixed” military, i.e. conscripts, professional NCOs, reservists and border guards, with the deputy minister reminding that Finland shares a lengthy border with Russia.

“Throughout the history of the two countries (Greece and Finland) one sees a very small nation in terms of population…faced at various times in its history with a very major threat, which (in Finland’s case) used to be the Russian Empire, later the Soviet Union and now Russia,” Kefalogiannis said.

He added that one advantage of the “Finnish model” is the accelerated training of citizen-soldiers, allowing the country to retain an advanced readiness by fully training, fielding and then keeping in reserve the latter.

Other initiatives in Greek military conscription will be to establish a certification process for various specializations, such as life guard, paramedic and technicians, that will be achieved during military training and apply in civilian life. The deputy minister, finally, said a separate IT and computer science department will be created in the military branches.