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Friday, October 30, 2020

Qatar’s national service program puts new emphasis on military training

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army2
Photo for illustrative purposes only

Starting next month, Qatari men enrolled in the country’s new national service program will now spend four weeks embedded in the army as part of their training.

According to Al Raya, Qatar’s National Service Authority has decided to make significant changes to the way the three- to four-month period of training is conducted.

Brig. Nasser Abdul Rahman Al Jaber, deputy head of authority, told the newspaper that the focus would now be “more on military training than civilian aspects.”

Qatar’s Emir signed a mandatory conscription bill into law last year, requiring Qatari men between the ages of 18 and 35 years old to train in the military for at least three months if they are college graduates, and four months if they have high school diplomas or have dropped out of school.

Apache helicopters
Apache helicopters

The changes come at a time when Qatar is spending heavily to bolster its defenses amid increasing instability in the region.

Starting in September, incoming cadets will be required to spend two months at the national service training camp in Al Shamal and one month embedded in the army to gain more experience with light weapons.

Their non-college counterparts meanwhile will spend four months at the Al Shamal camp in basic training, which will include an unspecified period of time attached to an army unit.

‘Tough regime’

Speaking before the launch of the national service program, Minister of State for Defense Maj. General Hamad bin Ali Al-Attiyah said that it would help make Qataris “ideal citizens.”

Recruits at the Al Shamal camp
Recruits at the Al Shamal camp

Last April, Qatar’s first batch of 2,000 national service recruits began their training.

The men – who had all signed up voluntarily – shared some of their experiences on social media, giving details of their simple meals, required supplies and the fact that they had to cut their hair short.

The Peninsula reports that the new daily curriculum at the Al Shamal camp would “continue to be tough, and training will begin right after pre-dawn prayers and last until late at night.”

Cadets will also attend lectures on Qatar’s history, culture, environment and society, as well as drug abuse and the importance of physical fitness.

Exemptions

Under the National Service Law, Qatari men currently studying and graduates of military colleges are exempted from the training.

Those who fail their medical and those who have no siblings are also not expected to enroll.

Female Qataris are also currently not required to enter the training, and suggestions that compulsory service for women would be introduced this year have so far not come to fruition.

Even if national service is introduced for women, it is likely that they would only be assigned social, cultural and medical roles, officials have previously suggested.

Qatari men who are not exempt and fail to sign up for military service or who do not respond to a summons to do so face up to a month in jail and a QR50,000 fine.

Thoughts?

16 COMMENTS

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Paul
Paul
5 years ago

Nice: a bit of boot camp never hurt anybody.. it teaches discipline, respect and responsibility. 🙂

gore
gore
5 years ago
Reply to  Paul

in 4 months? Nah; in the one ear out the other.

Paul
Paul
5 years ago
Reply to  gore

Anything longer and people would chose the 1 month prison..

MIMH
MIMH
5 years ago

I was skeptical at first why they would need this but the gulf is starting to become an unsafe place and if the situation stays the same Saudi will explode into a complete mess. If you liked Libya and loved Syria, wait until Saudi falls apart. Deeply unhappy parts of the population waiting to rebel, IS bombing mosques and deep inflitration into Saudi sow the seeds but the biggest problem they have is money.
Saudi uses money to buy friends and influence people, no more importantly their own population but with the crash in oil price they are burning through reserves at an alarming rate. One of the last great religious dictatorships could be a mess in the next two years and those living on its borders need to be ready, therefore Qatar having a trained citizenship backed with US might is not a bad thing.
Learn well young Qataris, your time to fight might be coming in the next few years.

Michkey
Michkey
5 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

Rather than about going to actual battle, learning the history and strategic stand of the country, and more importantly, discipline and teamwork is much more important.

MIMH
MIMH
5 years ago
Reply to  Michkey

I’m not sure you understand what the military is for, it is not for advancing knowledge, learning Neitzche or advanced theoretical physics. They get you fit and teach you how to kill people.

Michkey
Michkey
5 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

No thanks for poor satire. Discipline and teamwork, did you read that? Killing comes after that. Been through the training, lucky enough not to be in a conflict, but the training comes in handy in many situations in daily life, both physically and psychologically.

MIMH
MIMH
5 years ago
Reply to  Michkey

It’s true they do teach you things that can be used in civilian life, but the ultimate aim is being able to kill people and destroy infrastructure quickly and efficiently.

Lisa Clayton
Lisa Clayton
5 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

The ultimate aim is to neutralize threats to security and enhance one’s geo-political position. The means sometimes involve killing and infrastructure destruction. But then, I am a military mom so I have a different perspective than you MIMH 🙂

MIMH
MIMH
5 years ago
Reply to  Lisa Clayton

The military are just the tool of the leaders/rulers/politicans and do not think in terms of threats or geopolitics. Their job is to kill and not be killed, be it the invasion of Iraq, the Muslim conquests, the Thirty Years War or the Vietnam War. Sometimes they are sent to what they know are unwinnable wars. They sell the noble idea you are doing something great, a patriot blah, blah and your sacrifice or your family’s sacrfice is worth it. If that was so why are they not fighting in the front line for what is right…. we all know the answer to that.

Mehrea
5 years ago

I am very glad for the Qatari but, the minimum duration of a military training is six months. They can learn a lot. They can gain a lot of experience and discipline. They have got a rich economy and they can afford to buy well advanced military training. They are lucky.I say congratulations!

Michkey
Michkey
5 years ago

But can they get R. Lee Ermey for training new recruits? Jokes apart, it is a great move.

Observant One
Observant One
5 years ago

Perhaps imbed some discipline in the brats so they stop driving like homicidal maniacs.

MIMH
MIMH
5 years ago
Reply to  Observant One

But when you are trying to kill the enemy and you rush in on a humvee you are supposed to drive like a homicidal maniac! That is what they train you for!

Amber
Amber
5 years ago

It’s great that they have conscription but seeing how unstable the gulf is becoming maybe they need to increase the time spent on military training.

Nuremburg
Nuremburg
5 years ago
Reply to  Amber

I think cyber espionage/espionage training would prove more useful for a small country like Qatar.

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