You will find "serve" used in place of "work" in certain settings.
When it comes to government officials, these are often termed "public servants" or similar. Even persons working in lower-ranking public service roles in many countries are still considered to be working for the most senior official in the country, and traditionally persons working for such a high ranking person have been termed "servants". For example in the UK persons employed in public service such as local administration, social security etc are called civil servants, or officially Her Majesty's Civil Servants. The British Prime Minister is considered to be the most high-ranking civil servant. It is also used for someone in the armed forces, as this is considered to be in the service of your country.
It also seems to be the case, as in your quotation, of countries where national service applies; that is some form of compulsory service to the country, either in the military or in another public service capacity.