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Swiss soldiers Over 10,000 new recruits kick off 2018 army service

army recruits

Reporting for duty: army service of 18 weeks is obligatory for males in Switzerland.

(Keystone)

This week sees the start of the first of the year’s two Swiss army training schools, where according to official figures 10,200 recruits will line up for duty.

The school began officially on Monday. According to standard procedure the opening week will allow for organisation into squads and the sending home of recruits deemed unfit for service.

The year 2018 will also be first to be run under a reform plan for the development of the army. According to the changes, service will last 18 rather than 21 weeks, while soldiers will also be allowed take two days leave without justification.

+ Read more about the army and military service in Switzerland

According to the Defence ministry, about 1,570 recruits will complete their service in one continuous go during this session. Others may complete the service in chunks.

Some 120 women are lining up for duty. Military service is obligatory for Swiss men but optional for women; and although interest has been growing, numbers of full-time female soldiers remain low.

Recruits with psychological, spiritual, or social needs will receive support on-site during the service, the Defence ministry said. If they present a danger to themselves or others they will be excluded from completing service; 53 were already rejected during pre-screening.


swissinfo.ch and agencies/dos

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