Single Status Update
As most of you don't know, I've spent the last six months being a conscript in the Finnish army. A few days ago I had done my time and now I'm a free man again.
Now, a bit of info about my service. I went through the basic two month training that is the same for all conscripts, during which they taught us basic soldier skills such as shooting. Once this was done, I started specialising to my real job. My weapon was a 120 mm heavy mortar, for which I first was an ordinary team member. After a few weeks, they made me calculate the aiming values for the mortars and then again my job was changed to a signaller. Basically I didn't receive proper training for any of these gigs due to the constant switching.
All in all, I got a good insight to the army life and what it is about, and I'd like to open up it a bit by letting you guys ask me what it was like. I'll reveal more about the service as you shoot your questions at me.
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Mr. Freeze said:
Really? Damn thats short. Our terms are in years.
And you don't even have compulsory conscription anymore, to begin with.
The only way to spend "years" in the Army here is to opt for one of the career officer or NCO schools (which are considered on par with universities, acceptance/entry is highly competitive and they only accept kids out of high school anyway), or to become a professional grunt (pretty much only basic education needed), knowing that you will never get past the rank of Master Sergeant (after 25 years, you will be discharged with the honorary rank of Warrant Officer...big deal).
In the past, it was possible for reserve officers to become permanents, first for renewable 3-year terms, and then full permanence, although you could never advance beyond the active rank of Major, and Lt. Col upon discharge. This is no longer possible since the early 80s, else I'd have seriously considered staying in the Army.
Quite so. Most standard cannon fodder jobs have a 6-month service, while sub-officers and officers get a full year.
I was surprised that there is an equivalent to the greek Probationary Reserve Officer:
I served as one, and my term was 17 months because the first 5 are spent in a sort of cadet school, specialized according to Weapon/Corps (e.g. Infantry, Armor, Artillery, Transmitters, etc.). Then again the Turkish equivalent, Astegmen, also serve just 12 months total...