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Estonian Defence League

The Estonian Defence League is a part of the Defence Forces, a voluntary militarily organised national defence organisation operating in the area of government of the Ministry of Defence. The Estonian Defence League possesses arms, engages in military exercises and fulfils the tasks prescribed by the National Defence League Act.

The Estonian Defence League is the legal successor of the Estonian Defence League established on 11 November 1918 as a self-defence organisation. The Estonian Defence League is a legal entity governed by public law. The Estonian Defence League is an organisation outlying of any political party. All political activities of political parties and other political associations and their representatives are prohibited in the Estonian Defence League.

The task of the Estonian Defence League is to enhance, by relying on free will and self-initiative, the nation’s readiness to defend the independence of Estonia and its constitutional order.

The activities of the Estonian Defence League are provided by the Estonian Defence League Act, the Statutes, which prescribe internal organisation of the Estonian Defence League more precisely, and the rules of procedure, which prescribe relations of active members of the Estonian Defence League to the codes of conduct of the Defence Forces, rules of conduct and internal administration procedure. The Statutes and rules of procedure of the Estonian Defence League are approved by the Government of the Republic.

There are 15,500 members in the Estonian Defence League. Together with affiliated organisations Women’s Home Defence (Naiskodukaitse), Young Eagles (Noored Kotkad) and Home Daughters (Kodutütred), the Estonian Defence League has more than 24,500 volunteers in action.

A COMMANDER OF GREAT MILITARY FORCES MAY BE DEFEATED. A SIMPLE COUNTRYMAN WITH A BELIEF IS INVINCIBLE. Confucius