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Last German Conscripts Start Service

German soldiers take part in a KFOR military exercise in the village of Novo Selo, in northern Kosovo, in 2009.
The last group of German conscripts has reported for military service as part of a major reform of the German armed forces.

Some 12,000 men have been called up for the six-month training program.

Starting in July, the German Army will end conscription and trim down from 250,000 troops to a volunteer force of some 185,000.

The changes are aimed at cutting expenditure and making the armed forces better able to respond to 21st century security threats.

compiled from agency reports