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In Finland we have this thing called mandatory military service! Why do we hold on to it? Let's find out! Read the full story
In Finland we have this thing called mandatory military service! Why do we hold on to it? Let's find out!
The numbers are not very favourable for Finnish people: We have a population of a fairly large city (5.5M) and our ground border with Russia is 1289 km (800 miles). What to do? Have all men serve in the Defence Forces and let women volunteer, of course!
With 22.000 conscripts trained annually, a war-time strength of 280.000 and a reserve of 900.000 fighters, military service touches virtually everyone. A man or woman in uniform doesn't draw attention on the street: everybody knows people who served, quite often by close relation.
The clothes and equipment issued by the FDF are actually quite good, but people often want to make things a bit more comfortable. This is what people most usually buy for their friend, family member, or significant other in service.
Group of soldiers attending a field exercise. Some of them have gone "gona" after several months of service, as is apparent from the stances.
Two soldiers catching a nap on a forest road while on foot march. Rest improves combat readiness!
A platoon maneuvering in the woods in a combat exercise. Judging from the weather, its Finnish mid-summer.