these reception areas for young people in the army

Visiting Mayotte, Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin announced proposals to open « places of rehabilitation and recovery » for juvenile delinquents, supervised by soldiers.

In France, many systems already exist to welcome young people, mainly intended to help them in their professional integration, to instil in them the values ​​of citizenship and to make them discover the defense professions.

► Voluntary military service

This device is intended to welcome young people between 18 and 25 years old, unemployed and without a required diploma. However, the young person’s situation varies slightly, depending on their educational background. Without a diploma, the « trainee » volunteer is paid up to €345 per month, for contracts ranging from 8 to 12 months. The “expert” volunteer (graduate of a CAP or more) receives €745 per month, for one-year contracts renewable four times. On the other hand, all the young people concerned are offered accommodation, food and uniforms.

In the six existing centers in France, the young person participates in basic military training, training in first aid and driving license and can attend school refresher training. The companions also help him to look for a job and offer training in the chosen trade (400 hours maximum).

► Adapted military service

Adapted military service (or SMA) concerns ultramarines, also aged 18 to 25. Approximately 6,000 young people can be accommodated each year.

The SMA mainly recruits young illiterate or non-qualified people. The course offered is similar to that of voluntary military service, but the young people welcomed into its regiments are also made aware of the specific risks in their territory and of the behavior to adopt in the event of natural disasters.

► Global defense and security classes

These middle and high school classes are sponsored by a military unit (army regiment, air or naval base, warship), a gendarmerie unit, or a security actor (police, firefighters, civil security) .

More than 200 entities from the armies, directorates and services are involved in this system with a triple objective: “contribute to national cohesion, promote the spirit of defense and guarantee the attractiveness of armed forces professions”, can we read on the site of the ministry of the armies.

► Defense cadets

The cadet centers are open to young people aged 14 to 16, during extracurricular times. Resulting from a partnership with the rectorates and directly implanted within military units, they offer various types of educational, sporting and recreational activities, supervised by soldiers and volunteer teachers.

► Institutions for integration into employment

These public administrative establishments welcome unemployed young people who have left school without a diploma or professional title. The latter sign a voluntary contract, lasting an average of ten months, enabling them to receive general and professional training in the centers managed by the EPIDE (public establishment for integration into employment). The proposed training is free and takes place in a boarding school.

Young people must wear a uniform and attend training workshops in French, mathematics, computer science or the highway code. Integration workshops are also administered there, to help build a professional project or find an internship. The public received also participates in civic actions outside the center (beach cleaning, blood donations, participation in memorial ceremonies, etc.)

► Universal national service

The universal national service is divided into three distinct phases. Cohesion stays concern young people between 15 and 17 years old. The latter are brought together in a boarding school for a period of twelve days. A “defence and national memories” day is organized there by the Ministry of the Armed Forces and a military facilitator comes to present the various defense professions.

The stay, which takes place under the direction of a company captain, is also punctuated by « regular demonstration of the symbols of the Republic and the Nation », including for example raising of flags and singing of the national anthem. .

Missions of general interest (MIG) are also offered by the ministry, between 16 and 17 years old, for 84 hours. This may be a « defence » MIG, in the armies or departments and services (army commissioner’s department or army health service, for example), or a « memorial » MIG, with the Department of Memory, Culture and Archives (DMCA).

Finally, young people can join a « voluntary commitment », between the ages of 16 and 25, for a period ranging from three months to a year. This gives the possibility of getting involved in the armies, with firefighters, in the associative sector or in a civic service mission.

► To sports young citizens!

This system of the Ministry of the Armed Forces is part of the « Legacy of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games » project, the objective of which is to combine “sport, memory work and citizenship”.

Participants can put themselves in the shoes of a resistance fighter during a « memorial escape game », meet high-level military athletes, competing in the next Olympics, carry out a memorial orienteering course, meet war wounded taking part in the Invictus Games or running for the Bleuet de France.


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