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As part of the professionalization of the armies decided by the President of the Republic, and to replace compulsory military service, the law of October 28, 1997 created a set of obligations aimed at all young French people, boys and girls.

This reform instituted a new  National service  » by establishing a real  citizenship journey   However  national service is suspended and not abolished.

Its objective is simple  :
arouse a
  collective awareness of duties  that every citizen has, towards the national defense effort.
Today's participation in national defense translates into
  3  stages of the "citizenship journey".

Defense teaching during schooling

The first compulsory step in the "citizenship course", teaching Defense has been provided for by law in the school programs of 3rd grade classes.  and 1st.

This awareness of the duty of Defence, an integral part of civic education, relates to the principles and general organization of national defense and collective security.

It is up to the teachers to conduct their cycle freely, throughout the school year.

In addition, this Defense teaching must be completed, in the courses of Education  Civic,  Legal and  Social (ECJS) of 1st grades  and terminal.

Indeed, the civic education of students requires reflection on defense policy, security conditions, and the diversification of threats in today's world.


Compulsory census at age 16

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An essential civic approach, the compulsory census is the second stage of the "citizenship course".


Since the 1st  January 1999, all young French people, boys and girls, must register at the town hall of their place of residence, or at the consulate, if they live abroad.

This legal obligation must be carried out within three months of your  16th  birthday.

The town hall (or the consulate), will then give you a  Certificate of Census . It's a priority  for you to treasure it.

Indeed, this certificate will be required if you want to register for any exam or competition subject to the control of the public authority (CAP, BEP, BAC, driving license, and even accompanied driving), etc.

The data from the census will facilitate your automatic registration on the electoral lists at the age of 18 if the legal conditions for being an elector are met.




The person concerned (or his representative) signs a declaration mentioning:

  • his marital status (surname, first name, date and place of birth, etc.),

  • his domicile and residence,

  • his family, school, university or professional situation.

Documents required :

  • an identity document (national identity card, passport or any other document proving French nationality),

  • a family book,

  • proof of address.


Defense Preparation Appeal Day (JAPD)

The JAPD is the third mandatory step in the citizenship course.

  • when ?  Before the age of 18, on the condition of having carried out the census procedure at the age of 16

  • by who ?  By all French people (boys and girls), except those who are exempt

  • or ?  In a military or civilian site closest to home (Meyenheim)

  • How? 'Or' What ?  By receiving a notice of call to choose a date, then a summons order, from a national service organization


The JAPD takes place over one day. It starts around 8:30 a.m. and ends around 5 p.m. The day begins with administrative formalities and evaluation tests aimed at estimating the level of French reading in order, if necessary, to request help and lessons. Then three modules are proposed, of about fifty minutes each. They aim to provide a better understanding of the objectives of the defence. Several speakers take turns to talk about international agreements, the European and international geopolitical situation.

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This day is an opportunity to discover the different professions of the army (example: technician, soldier, cantinier, pilot, sailor, tank driver, etc ...), the different military preparations, the military reserve, the Initial Military Training of Reserve (FMIR), etc.

In addition, a practical first aid module is integrated into this day. The training is given by members of the Red Cross. A certificate is issued at the end of this module.


At the end of the day, a  CERTIFICATE OF PARTICIPATION  is returned. Like the census certificate, this compulsory certificate is required for registration for examinations and competitions subject to the control of the public authority until the age of 25.

The JAPD certificate is unique and no other copy can be given to you. In case of loss, you will have to request a  Military Position Certificate  at the National Service Office (BSN) in Strasbourg.

Contact details of the National Service Office in Strasbourg:
Turenne Barracks
42, rue Lauth 67000 STRASBOURG

Additional info available at  "young people, internships and JAPD" sections

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