BERLIN (AP) — Germany is moving ahead with plans to make service in the military more attractive with a raft of new measures including better pay for some specialists and more flexibility for service members with families.
Chancellor Angela Merkel's Cabinet signed off Wednesday on 22 measures costing some 300 million euros ($380 million) annually.
Germany's military abandoned conscription in 2011 and is undergoing a long-term reform plan toward a professional service of 170,000 and some 15,000 short-term volunteers.
The goal is a service better adapted to deployments in hotspots such as Afghanistan and Africa rather than the earlier priority of defending West Germany during the Cold War.
The new measures, which still need Parliament's approval, include job sharing possibilities, financial help for deployed soldiers with families in need, and additional retirement benefits.