I am no expert on the swiss army, but have been working and living there for some time, here is what I remember:
- The Swiss army is follows a Militia model, its mission is to defend the Swiss territory (and, in case of uproar or inssurection, to protect the state)
- the basic defensive idea is called "Raumverteidigung" (Area defense), where certaaain units are responsible for defending specifically dedicated areas of the territory, thus making the price for an invasion (Swizerland with its mountains - alps - is not really suitable terrain for fighting with armor) extremely high. All mountains have large bases inside and underground, even the military airports aare to some extent inside the mountains. Allegedly because of this a high percentage of the Swiss bases is nuke proof.
- all male Swiss are obliged (females can volunteer) to present themselves with earliest 18 and latest 25 for the militay and the recrute training. Of those around 70% - that pass the medical tests - go to the military, the rest does civil protection service.
- "Rekrutenschule" (RS), the recrute training, takes between 18-25 weeks, depending on job and function, and is divided in three parts: 7 weeks basic training, fuctional training depending on the job 7-10 weeks, and combined unit training 5-8 weeks.
- Once completed RS, every memeber of the army has to do service 3 weeks every year until he reaches 47 years, after that civil protection service of the same duration until 65.
- Every soldier takes his personal gun, the Sturmgewehr 90 (Sig 550) home with him (officers additionally the "Pistole 75" short arm), since mid ´50s up to 2007 together with "pocket ammo" of 20 rounds. In 2007 all ammunition handed out was re-requisted, the process allegedly will be completed in 2010 (which means some still have their ammo at home), after that only the alarm formations take their ammo home with them.
- After leaving active service every soldier has the right to buy his gun from the army, a lot do this.
- Also at home every soldier has his personal equipment, from complete uniform, over BDU, protective gear to their backpack and gas mask (I heard that they have changed this recently, now only the uniform/BDU goes home with the soldier)
- Also recently law got changed so that you now can do your complete military service in one stretch of about one year.
Last edited by rattler; April 11th, 2010 at 09:10..