Germany has shortened its mandatory military service for young men from nine to six months.
The governing center-right coalition passed the legislation in parliament late Thursday evening.
The reform, to take effect on July 1, also shortens the duration of the social service men can do as an alternative to military service.
All German males by law must serve either in the armed forces or do social work, mostly after high school.
Defense Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg on Sunday said that Germany was likely to abolish conscription in 10 years in a bid to save money and to have a fully professional armed forces better able to deal with today's threats.
He says currently Germany's military of 252,000 soldiers is only able to deploy 8,000 abroad.