According to Left party politician Nobert Müller, public criticism of the army is likely why "so many young people and their parents have been dissuaded from the idea." The federal lawmaker called for a ban on recruiting under-18s as youth protection laws could not be guaranteed in army barracks.
Germany currently has a volunteer army. General conscription was suspended in 2011 after Berlin decided to professionalize its troops. Prior to this decision, all young males were obligated to either serve in the armed forces or perform an alternative service for a limited period of time in civilian areas
Germans wishing to enter the military but be at least 17 years old, and if they are still underage, they require permission from their parents. The Bundeswehr has reported that 60 percent of its minor recruits turn 18 by the end of their six-month probationary period. Until they turn 18, soldiers are not allowed to be deployed abroad and may only use a weapon during specific training sessions.