Saudi Shura Council set to discuss new military service law

Legislation will determine whether to use expertise and services of retired military officers in ‘time of war’

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Saudi Arabia’s Shura Council will discuss a new law within weeks to make use of the expertise and services of retired military officers to defend the country and carry out different missions at times of need during war and peace.

“The security committee at the consultative body will discuss the law titled “National preparedness” proposed by Dr. Hamad Al-Fahhad,” an informed source told Okaz/Saudi Gazette.

As per the project a database of retired military officers would be prepared, denoting their qualifications and the sectors they have worked and specifying the jobs they like.

“The law will identify their role, the type of participation and the salaries and benefits they would receive for their services,” the source said.

He said the retired officers should be ready to work at any time whenever required, adding that they would be given training to maintain their fitness and combat readiness.

Al-Fahhad said the proposal was significant in light of new developments taking place in the region.
“Saudi Arabia is leading a coalition of several countries to restore Yemen’s legitimacy, fight terrorism and support the weak in Syria,” he explained.

He also noted Saudi efforts in providing humanitarian assistance to victims of natural and man-made calamities across the globe.

“Crowd management during the Haj and Umrah seasons is another major area where we can make use of the expertise of retired military and security officers,” he said.

Al-Fahhad said military officers, who are well-qualified and well-trained, retire at the early ages 43 or 45. “These officers are still capable of serving the country and a new law is required to make use of their expertise for accelerating the Kingdom’s progress and prosperity.”

The new law is not similar to the conscription law or the voluntary service law, the Shura member told Saudi Gazette. “It gives the framework for making use of highly qualified military officers. They will be called to carry out specific duties at specific times,” he added.

He said the proposal would facilitate quick deployment of qualified officers to execute specific missions and help avoid unnecessary huge expenses and intensive training caused by other systems.

“The proposal augurs well with the Kingdom’s specialty,” he said while indicating the demerits of conscription and voluntary service systems followed by other countries.

This article first appeared in the Saudi Gazette on Nov. 18, 2015.

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