Implementing a New Basic Military Training

Thursday, 19 July 2018: 11:30
Oral Presentation
Johan OSTERBERG, Swedish Defense University, Sweden
Eva JOHANSSON, swedish defence university, Sweden
A new concept for the basic military training in Sweden was implemented in 2016. The reasons for this was that the Swedish armed forces had problems in recruiting sufficient amount of soldiers and officers. In 2016, the SAF struggled to recruit 2.300 individuals, and the requirement was 4.000. In 2021, the amount of soldiers recruited/year aims at being 8.000. The SAF have had a long period of downsizing, and depending on events in the Scandinavian region and the increased threat of terror, the SAF now needs to increase their organization.

The new basic military training implies that the former 3 month basic training, plus 3 month probationary employment, was replaced by a 9 or 11 month long training before getting an employment within the SAF.

A project was launched in order to evaluate the effects of the new system, and officers training recruits in the new system, were the target group for the evaluation. Interviews with officers were conducted at the beginning and in the middle of the military education training. Results show that there were fears about not being able to provide the recruits with requested equipment, and the lack of officers at the home unit was a source for misgivings. Interviews midway through the training showed that in general, the officer corps were satisfied with the way they have trained the recruits, but there was also big dropouts, up to 50 % in some units.

After just one year with the new basic military training system, Sweden re-instated conscription, gender neutral and still relying on voluntariness. The new basic military training will still be operative during conscription, and results from this first year is further discussed.