Organized recruitment of citizens for military service in Soviet times began in 1918. The decree of the Council of People's Commissars on the creation of the Workers' and Peasants' Red Army of January 15, 1918 provided for: voluntary recruitment, registration of volunteers at least 18 years old, the credence of weapons only to the most persistent and loyal workers, peasants and soldiers, as well as the service life - by subscription for at least 6 months.
However, the very first months after the publication of this document showed that the tasks of recruiting the Red Army on a voluntary basis could not be solved. In this regard, on May 29, 1918, the resolution of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee "On compulsory recruitment into the Workers' and Peasants' Red Army" was issued. The initial service life was set at least 6 months. In October 1918, the service life was extended to 1 year.
The decree on compulsory military service for citizens of the RSFSR of September 28, 1922 was a further step in the legislative regulation of the issues of recruiting the army. He established: compulsory military service, conscription of all men at the age of 20 (later, by decree on March 21, 1924, the age of conscription was set at 21). The service life was determined as follows: in the infantry and artillery - 1.5 years (from 1924 to 1939 - 2 years); in the Air Fleet - 3.5 years (3 years); in the Navy - 4.5 years (4 years).
On September 18, 1925, the law "On Compulsory Military Service" was adopted - the first law of the Soviet state regulating the performance of military service duties by workers. It maintained the previous terms of conscription and the age of conscription, provided benefits for conscription for citizens, taking into account their marital status. Students of educational institutions received a deferral from conscription until completion of education. The law of August 13, 1930 granted deferrals based on religious beliefs.