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General Information on Greek Military Obligations
January 2013


Disclaimer: Nothing in this handout should be construed as the legal opinion of the Embassy.  This handout is merely an information sheet to assist American citizens and is based on the Embassy's understanding of the Greek regulations.  For official and authoritative information, please consult the Greek recruiting authorities.

This publication contains general information about Greek laws and regulations concerning conscription, military obligations, and related privileges of interest to American men of Greek extraction.

Greek males between the ages of 19 and 45 are required by Greek law to perform military service.  This applies to any individual whom the Greek authorities consider to be Greek, regardless of whether or not the individual considers himself Greek, has a foreign citizenship and passport, or was born or lives outside of Greece.  The US Embassy cannot intercede with the Greek recruitment authorities on behalf of individuals in Greece who are considered Greeks.

Generally, obligatory non-voluntary military service in Greece will not affect US citizenship.  Specific questions on this subject should be addressed to the citizenship section of the US Embassy in Athens.

Please note, only the Greek recruiting authorities have the right to decide, on a case-by-case basis, the eligibility of an individual to settle his military obligations in a method other than the full military service. (As of June 2009, the Ministry of National Defense has set the military service to 9 months for the Army, 12 months for the Navy and the Air Force)  

The American Embassy in Athens recommends that before traveling to Greece, American men of Greek extraction, who may or may not have, pending military obligations, discuss their case with the Greek Consulate in the area of their residence. They may also apply through relatives in Greece to the appropriate recruiting office (Stratologiko Grafeio) or directly to the Greek military recruiting offices website,  Another useful website is for the Greek Ministry of Defense.

The following category of men enjoys certain privileges under Greek DraftLaw relating to entry, stay and departure from Greece and length of military service.

Permanent Residents of Abroad (MONIMOI KATOIKOI EXOTERIKOU): 

Permanent residents are divided in two categories:  (a) Individuals who have the permanent residence abroad for at least eleven consecutive years to one or more countries; and (b) Individuals who for living needs have been residing abroad for at least seven consecutive years to one or more countries.  Permanent residents of abroad may remain in Greece, without incurring any military obligations for a cumulative period of SIX MONTHS within the same calendar year, only if they are registered as “permanent residents of abroad” (monimos katoikos exoterikou) with the appropriate recruiting office, and are in possession of a certificate confirming their status (pistopoiitiko monimou katoikou exoterikou) issued by the Greek consulate having jurisdiction over their foreign residence. The above certificate is valid for six months from the date of issuance.

WARNING: A stay in Greece longer than allowed for military-exempt status will result in military obligations and inability to leave Greece until these obligations are satisfied.

Special arrangements for persons classified as DRAFT EVADERS

Detailed information concerning settlement of military obligations for draft evaders can be obtained from the nearest Greek Diplomatic or Consular authority or the appropriate recruiting authority in Greece.

As of 7/04 the Greek law for military obligations provides that draft evaders may travel and stay in Greece for a maximum of thirty days (in total or partially) within the same calendar year.

The American Embassy in Athens strongly suggests that persons classified as draft evaders, should first check with the nearest Greek Consulate or appropriate recruiting authority in Greece before traveling to Greece.  

Recognition of Active Duty Service in regular armed forces of allied countries

Upon application, individuals who have completed  a minimum of three months of active duty service in regular units of the armed forces of any country allied to Greece, including the United States, can have such service credited on a month-by-month basis against the mandatory active duty.  The remaining period of time can be settled financially at the rate prescribed by the Greek Draft Law at the time of settlement. The application should be done with the respective recruiting office (Stratologiko Grafeio).

Supporting documents required for Service Credit in the United States

Armed Forces:

a.   The original of the U.S. Department of Defense Form DD-214 "Report of Transfer, Discharge, or Certification" (blocks 1 through 30), issued by the appropriate military agency in the United States, should be certified by the Greek Consulate in the United States and should also be accompanied by an official Greek translation showing the active service performed in regular units of the United States armed forces and the date of enlistment and discharge.

b.   A copy of all the pages of the individuals US passport.

The documents described above, together with the individual's application for credit of service in the United States armed forces, should be submitted to the recruiting office where the person is registered.  (If he is not already registered, he must do so.)

NOTE: For current information please contact the Greek Diplomatic missions in the U.S. or visit the website of the Greek recruiting offices at under communication (epikoinonia) or the website of the Greek Ministry of Defense .

American Embassy

Athens, Greece