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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Military draft cards. What do we know about them? The Military Recruitment Center explains

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“Have you already been called up for military exercises…” – these types of comments are circulating on social media in response to military call-up cards published online. According to the publicized message, the army will now send more such cards to people “rounded up”. We calm down and explain.

It achieved over half a million views in two days post published on June 13 on the X platform on Mateusz Jarosiewicz's account. He showed the draft card that was to be received by one of the Polish citizens from the Warsaw-Śródmieście Military Recruitment Center. The name and surname on the document are visible – we have hidden them in the illustration below. The content of the post was: “I received: 'Attention, attention. The army has just knocked on my door and they have personally handed me the 'Call-up card' for exercises. So, not by Polish post, but personally to the roundup. Be careful who calls on the intercom, buteeeeeeee she called yesterday lady to confirm the address and make sure I live there. I confirmed it and when I asked what was going on, “are they completing the database?” Anybody? (original spelling of all posts).

The card shows that it was issued on May 17, 2024. The man mentioned by name and surname was summoned to report to the military unit in Zegrze for short-term exercises between June 3-7, 2024.

Vocation cards issued and circulating on the Internetx.com

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Mateusz Jarosiewicz is an active Internet user, co-creator of the Facebook page Neos – New System for Poland. He has often been misleading with his posts. He claimed, for example, that after blocking the PESEL number in the event of a war, we would not have access to money in the bank – this type of falsehood regarding the new service we verified at Konkret24. Jarosiewicz also argued that fires at a market hall in Warsaw and waste landfill in Siemianowice Śląskie, which occurred in May, as well as information about the need to close windows and stay at home, were deliberate actions aimed at limiting freedom – which was false claim. In March, he published an appeal to Russian President Vladimir Putin false content. And recently we verified as fake news the message he spread that President Volodymyr Zelensky had bought a casino and hotel in Cyprus.

“The steppes of Ukraine are waiting” vs. “a terrible weak provocation”

The post caused a wave of comments. Some Internet users believed the content and linked it to the war on the eastern border. They suggest that the document shows that Polish soldiers will be sent there. The comments are filled with anti-Ukrainian messages. “It's getting hot”; “The steppes of Ukraine are waiting. Someone must replace the million Ukrainians eliminated by the Russians”; “They are running out of canned cannon fodder in Ukraine”; “Someone must defend the poor, traumatized Ukrainian refugees who honored us with their trust and populated the streets of Polish cities”; “So NATO wants to send Poles to fight and Germany wants to rebuild Ukraine. What's not to understand”; “They want to depopulate the Slavs,” they write.

However, some Internet users claim that either the document was fabricated (“Kacap's weak provocation”; “Nicely crafted fejur”; “Won za don, weak provocation”), or that it is completely normal (“Ordinary reserve training”; “It's probably good, that we are training society rather than having to create bases when the war breaks out”; “These are just exercises. Every citizen should receive such calls once every few years”; “They call for exercises, nothing new”). Still others doubt the authenticity of the letter shown, noting that someone was called for only a few days.

Someone noticed that there was another one circulating on the Internet calling card – issued by the Head of the Recruitment Center in Żagań. He calls on May 21 for exercises on June 15-16, 2024, someone for the position of an electrician.

The law even provides for one-day exercises for reservists

Although the Ministry of National Defense announced at the beginning of the year that it wanted to call up twice as many active reserve soldiers in 2024, it also informed that a small percentage of those called for exercises would be those who had not previously undergone military training, i.e. passive reserve people. According to the announcement, the call-ups for military exercises this year were to concern mainly people who had been assigned mobilization assignments – that is, they had already undergone military training and taken the oath. The number given at that time was 200,000. reserve soldiers designated for military exercises does not differ significantly from the number called up for the same exercises in 2022 and 2023.

Act on the Defense of the Homeland in accordance with Art. 248 point 1 imposes an obligation on passive reserve soldiers to undergo military exercises. However, art. 249 provides that:

Military exercises may be held as: 1) one-day; 2) short-term – lasting continuously for up to 30 days; 3) long-term – lasting continuously for up to 90 days; 4) rotational – lasting a total of up to 30 days and held with breaks on specific days during a given calendar year.

This means that reserve soldiers may be called up for exercises for a very short period of time, even for one day.

Military: “this is a natural action”, “we constantly send such cards for reserve exercises”

So are the vocation cards published online authentic and have more of them been issued recently? We asked both Military Recruitment Centers whose names are on these cards about this. Both the unit from Warsaw's downtown and the one from Żagań sent us to the Ministry of National Defense.

So we sent questions to the Ministry of National Defense. In response, we were referred to message published on June 14 on the website of the Central Recruitment Center entitled “Appointing reserve soldiers for training is a natural action related to maintaining their combat activities.” The announcement explains in detail who may be called up for exercises and why. It informs, as previously reported, that “appointments for military exercises in 2024 concern mainly people who have been assigned mobilization assignments – they have already had previous military training and took the military oath.”

We cannot confirm that the cards circulating online are authentic. They certainly cause concern and discussion. But Maj. Renata Mycio, spokeswoman for the Central Military Recruitment Center, reassures in an interview with Konkret24: – Sending such vocation cards is nothing extraordinary or sudden. It's a natural, continuous process. We send such cards all the time for reserve exercises, he explains. He adds that the army regularly exercises reservists, also because they have to familiarize themselves with new equipment.

– There is no increase in the number of such cards issued – assures Major Renata Mycio. He emphasizes that every wise country that has a war abroad must constantly train its army to be ready to repel any threats.

Main photo source: Łukasz Gągulski/PAP



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