Information on Greek Military Obligations for Greek-Americans

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

This page 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 20 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 January 2003, the Ministry of National Defense has set the military service to 12 months for the Army, 15 months for the Navy and 14 months for 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 two categories of men enjoy certain privileges under Greek Draft Law relating to entry, stay and departure from Greece and length of military service.

Permanent Residents of Abroad (MONIMOI KATIKOI EXOTERIKOU): Persons who were born or established residence abroad before January 1st of the year of their 10th birthday. 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.

Emigrants (METANASTES): Persons who acquired the status of the emigrant before August 31, 1997. Emigrants are treated as permanent residents of abroad. They should also be registered as emigrants with the appropriate recruiting office when traveling to Greece. It is recommended that they carry verification documents from the recruiting office or the Greek consulate proving their status.

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:

- 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, 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. A photocopy of the above documents will be accepted in lieu of the original, if certified by a Greek Consular Office abroad, an attorney or licensed translator in Greece, or by the Translation Unit of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Athens.

- A Statement of Responsibility (Ypefthinos Dhelosis) executed by the applicant before any administrative, military, municipal, communal or consular official of the Greek state, who will certify the authenticity of the applicant's signature. The statement must contain the individual's personal and conscription data, i.e., his Greek name in full, the names of his parents, his birth data, the name of the city or community where he is registered in the Records of Males (Mitroa Arrenon), the place of his residence, his exact address abroad, and a history of his United States military service (including the names of the units in which he served, the length of service in each, the places where he was stationed, and any promotions and awards received).

- A statement issued by the mayor of the Greek town or by the President of the Community where the applicant is registered in the Records of Males, and countersigned by the parish priest of the community, certifying that the person whose name appears on the Greek translation of the American military document, and who has served in the United States armed forces as stated in the translation of the American military document, is one and the same person as the individual registered in the Records of Males of that town or community.

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.)

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