What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when someone mentions Switzerland? This small European country is located almost entirely within the Alps and is famous for its breathtaking natural scenery, winter sports, banking, chocolate, watches, and a high standard of living.
However, Switzerland remains one of the few European countries that have conscription, requiring all young males to serve for a period of time in the country’s armed forces. A neutral country for the past couple of centuries, Switzerland takes its independence quite seriously, so every citizen must take part in the defense of their proud country!
The Swiss army is one of the best-trained armies in the world but even Swiss army soldiers can make mistakes
For such a small country, Switzerland has a relatively large, well-equipped, and well-trained army, ready at all times to defend their nation’s independence. While most of us heard of the world-famous Swiss army knives you probably had no idea that Swiss army soldiers accidentally invaded the neighboring micro-nation of Lichtensiten on two occasions!
The last time it happened, a group of recruits on patrol had lost their way due to bad weather and stumbled across the border without realizing what they were doing! Another less known facts about the Swiss army is that vegans can serve in the military but have to pay for their own synthetic leather boots!
Serving in the Swiss army is no joke, however, as the recruits have to pass a rigorous training program
Even before they are allowed to join the army, recruits have to pass a series of medical examinations, as well as tests to determine the level of their physical and pshychological preparedness. Despite this, serving in the armed forces is a question of honor for most young men.
“During the Cold War, the Swiss Army numbered 600,000 men who could be called up at short notice. In 1995 the army was reduced to 400,000 and today it is 220,000. Today, able-bodied males between the ages of 20 and 36 must serve 260 days of military service. Military service is optional for women and Swiss living abroad.”
If you think that army life consists only of following a strict routine and there’s no room for fun, you’re wrong
Rigorous as it may be, army life is not just about discipline and endless drills. From time to time, even Swiss army soldiers show off their artistic side in order to make their every day routine more bearable!
This is precisely what happened one day at Alpnach military base as a group of soldiers hurried to line up before the assembled crowd to the sound of helicopters flying over the base. At their drill instructor’s command, the soldiers reassembled and began to march and sing the lyrics of the Queen classic ‘We Will Rock You’.
Their performance was top notch and it instantly captured the audience
It wasn’t long before the audience began humming the lyrics themselves, smiling at the sight of soldiers marching and singing while snow kept falling. And it wasn’t just a matter of routine, the soldiers sounded great and would’ve made an awesome band.
Who knows, maybe one day after the end of their service, they’ll start a music career and proudly remember the time when they marched to the sound of ‘We Will Rock You!’
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