Naive Volunteers

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German Defense Minister Thomas de Maizière is satisfied with the first intake of volunteers since the end of compulsory military service last year. In an interview with the Rheinische Post newspaper, he said he had planned 5,000-15,000 per year and that 8,500 had volunteered the first year.

But he added that 20 percent quit before they have finished their service. "The expectations of some young people are somewhat naive," he told the newspaper. "Some recruits are apparently surprised that they have to report to duty in the morning with shined boots, have to sleep in a room with other soldiers or that they may only smoke during smoking breaks."

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