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Mass Walk-Out? Hundreds of Soldiers Resign From German Army

© AFP 2021 / CHRISTOF STACHEMountain infantry soldiers stand in front of a troops transporter "Boxer" after an exercise of the mountain infantry brigade 23 of the German Bundeswehr near the Bavarian village Bad Reichenhall, southern Germany, on March 23, 2016
Mountain infantry soldiers stand in front of a troops transporter Boxer after an exercise of the mountain infantry brigade 23 of the German Bundeswehr near the Bavarian village Bad Reichenhall, southern Germany, on March 23, 2016 - Sputnik International
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Over 400 German soldiers have filed applications for resignation from the country's armed forces, Rheinische Post reported.

German Bundeswehr Soldiers, fire at their target. - Sputnik International
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Most applications have been approved. Though, the exiting soldiers have to pay back their education expenses to the state.

From the middle of 2014 to present, 469 soldiers, including 62 women, have filed applications to suspend their military service.

According to the newspaper, 67 % of the applications were accepted, 25% were disapproved. The remaining applications were considered unlawful or withdrawn by the applicants themselves.

"When the risk in the profession of a soldier — to kill or be killed in specific combat situations — is perceived as a fundamental experience for the first time…only then it leads to such consequences," German political expert Katrin Kunert said, cited by DW.

Earlier, Reihnische Post also reported that the number of German soldiers suffering from post-traumatic stress disorders was on the rise. In 2015, the figure increased by 15% compared to the previous year, from 204 to 235 patients.

German Minister of Defense Ursula von der Leyen (C) posing with mountain infantry soldiers of the mountain infantry brigade 23 after she watched an exercise near the Bavarian village Bad Reichenhall, southern Germany, on March 23, 2016 - Sputnik International
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The resignations are especially damaging in the case of officers or candidates for officers. All in all, 153 resignations were filed by German officers who now will have to reimburse the cost of their studies, totaling 5.6 million euro.

On a case by case basis, each officer will have to pay the German government between 1,200 to 69,000 euros.

Currently, the German army consists of 167,000 soldiers, which is lower than the initial target of 170,000. As previously reported, the head of the German Ministry of Defense Ursula von der Leyer is planning to expand the German armed forces by 7,000 before 2017.

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