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My military service

Time period: 1960-1993


Number of interviews: 7

Accessible in Studio Alijn

Pieces of the interviews have been made accessible online in montages:


In 1993, the last Belgian conscripts were discharged. The months of compulsory military service for many young men came to an end. How did previous generations experience life as a soldier, away from their familiar home? How did recruitment and training go? And what was it like in the soldiers’ dormitories?


The suspension of military service in 1993 is a decision with great impact. From now on, young men no longer had to reckon with months of military service. For previous generations of young people, military service was a period in the service of the fatherland and the community. A period that is part of becoming an adult.

The moment an 18-year old receives his call-up letter, he symbolically announces the start of his military service. Young men from all walks of life, from all corners of the country, enter the unknown world of the army. Discipline, uniformity, hierarchy and team spirit are highly valued. Away from their familiar homes, they try to adapt to a soldier’s life: drill, fry jackets, going on manoeuvres and beating the guard.


In the virtual tour in the exhibition MY MILITAIRY SERVICE, you will discover the story of the Belgian miliciens, from call-up to dismissal. For each theme, guide Naomi will tell you more about some of the objects in the exhibition, you can watch testimonies of ex-soldiers and consult the online collection.