Back in uniform...

...but only for a few days.

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Back in uniform...

#1  Postby Varangian » Mar 15, 2011 6:35 am

Last weekend I was back in uniform. I've joined the Home Guard, our equivalent of the National Guard, and went to a refresher course. It was 20 years since I last fired an assault rifle (25 years for the particular model I'll use, a Swedish version of the Heckler & Koch G3), so the training was needed. Sweden used to have a conscripted army until last year, but the army has been severely downsized since I did my military service in the mid-80's, and now the recruits are contract soldiers much like the US army. Our task is to protect local objects of importance, and we cannot be deployed overseas. In May, we'll have a four-day manoeuvre. I joined partly because I want to defend my country if worst comes to worst, but also because I've missed being a soldier... Any of you ex-service guys doing something similar?
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Re: Back in uniform...

#2  Postby chairman bill » Mar 15, 2011 9:41 am

My soldiering days are well behind me now. I'd sign up for something similar if there was an attack on the UK. Or maybe an International Brigade to fight in support of Libyan liberation. Otherwise, I just get nostalgic at the smell of the dawn air, deisel fumes & whenever helis fly overhead, set to land or having just taken off from 40 Commando's base just down the road. And I miss Sea Kings and lobbing out at 800' over a snowy Norway. Sod it, I hate getting old.
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Re: Back in uniform...

#3  Postby Weaver » Mar 15, 2011 11:02 am

I'm retiring at the end of this year, and have no plans to continue in any sort of reserve function (though the Army could call me back, as a retiree, but it's massively unlikely short of WWIII).

I will miss the comradarie, miss jumping from aircraft (but I sure don't miss landing under a parachute!), miss some of the technical things I was really good at (computing accurate firing data for howitzers rapidly and without computers) - but won't miss the pains my body is subjected to trying to keep up with kids 20 years younger than me, and won't miss some of the BS associated with being in the military. I won't miss the smell of diesel fumes either - too much time getting sick on aircraft, waiting to jump in crappy weather, while some asshole C130 driver pretends he's flying an F16 and tries his damdest to bounce us all off the roof - I've got a great trained aversion to the smell of JP8 diesel exhaust.
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Re: Back in uniform...

#4  Postby Animavore » Mar 15, 2011 11:04 am

You mean like...

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0V3SqxUomwk[/youtube]

?
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Re: Back in uniform...

#5  Postby LarianLeQuella » Mar 15, 2011 12:07 pm

I miss flying airplanes. However, since I retired, if I joined up with some guard unit or something, that would impact my access to my pension until 65. Even with the added percentage, it wouldn't pay off since I am only in my mid-40s. Maybe the civil aviation branch of my company will pick me up at a later date?
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Re: Back in uniform...

#6  Postby Varangian » Mar 15, 2011 6:44 pm

What I like about the Home Guard is that it is pretty informal. It was rather laidback at the course, with no chickenshit attitude from the officers. They know we are volunteers, that we have military experience, and that several of us served as corporals or higher when we were in the army. There was even a former captain, but I guess he will advance within the HG.
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Re: Back in uniform...

#7  Postby The_Metatron » Mar 15, 2011 8:14 pm

Negative, Ghost Rider. I don't miss a bit of it. After doing my bit for 25 years, that's just plenty for me.
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Re: Back in uniform...

#8  Postby Varangian » Mar 16, 2011 12:51 am

Heh, there might be a difference between those who were in it for a short time and those who had it as a career for 20+ years. I would probably prefer to move on, too. I did my ten months as a conscripted corporal in the motorized infantry back in the end years of the Cold War; living close to the Soviet Union was a great motivator. Now the Russians are about to upgrade their armed forces, and unlike some, I don't think that the current status quo will last (mostly because it isnt really quo)...
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Re: Back in uniform...

#9  Postby akigr8 » Apr 01, 2011 8:59 am

I'm in for training again in june, a week of fun. Hope it won't snow ;) As Varangian i'm in the home guard, 9 years of service left. I did not have the option of choosing to join the home guard, called up right after my year in the army at the Russian border.
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Re: Back in uniform...

#10  Postby Varangian » May 10, 2011 9:03 am

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Here I am with my AK4 last Saturday. Otherwise, it is kept under lock and key at the local garrison. It is an AK4, the Swedish version of the H&K G3. The bag at the ejection port is to catch empty shells (they are recycled), and the lump at the muzzle is used when firing blanks.

Last weekend, there was the annual manoeuvre. Found out that the battalion CO was an old acquaintance, and there we were, the newest recruit and the major, chatting away as equals.
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Re: Back in uniform...

#11  Postby akigr8 » Jun 10, 2011 7:02 pm

Just got home from a miltary exercise today. Tired now, a lot of contact through the nights. :)

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Re: Back in uniform...

#12  Postby Weaver » Jun 10, 2011 7:11 pm

I love that feeling - tired from an exercise, constantly re-playing the contact in your head, re-hashing the tactics, and trying to ramp yourself down so you aren't tempted to go all tactical when the wife shuts a cabinet door too hard.

By the way - did you see me on the NRK program about the PRT in Meymanah?
http://www.nrk.no/nett-tv/prosjekt/2225/

I'm in Episode 6, at about 1:40 - being interviewed prior to a "ramp ceremony" when we sent the body of one of our killed home.

I was interviewed a couple other times by that filmmaker - not sure if the footage made it into the program though.
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Re: Back in uniform...

#13  Postby akigr8 » Jun 10, 2011 7:37 pm

Weaver wrote:I love that feeling - tired from an exercise, constantly re-playing the contact in your head, re-hashing the tactics, and trying to ramp yourself down so you aren't tempted to go all tactical when the wife shuts a cabinet door too hard.
:lol:

True, all the different scenarios are spinning in my head. Some we did great, but many need improvement.
Try to improve on it next year.

Weaver wrote:By the way - did you see me on the NRK program about the PRT in Meymanah?
http://www.nrk.no/nett-tv/prosjekt/2225/

I'm in Episode 6, at about 1:40 - being interviewed prior to a "ramp ceremony" when we sent the body of one of our killed home.

I was interviewed a couple other times by that filmmaker - not sure if the footage made it into the program though.

Hey! Weaver in full HD :smoke:
Just checked out the clip of you, you can get the documentary downloaded legaly for free as NRK has put it out as a torrent.
I have it downloaded, but not watched the series yet.
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Re: Back in uniform...

#14  Postby Weaver » Jun 10, 2011 7:54 pm

Yeah, I got the torrent from another friend on another site - downloaded it, intend to burn it to disks to distribute to friends and family. Still need to scan through to see if I'm anywhere else in the series.
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Re: Back in uniform...

#15  Postby akigr8 » Jun 10, 2011 8:05 pm

Weaver wrote:Yeah, I got the torrent from another friend on another site - downloaded it, intend to burn it to disks to distribute to friends and family. Still need to scan through to see if I'm anywhere else in the series.

:thumbup:

I'll watch them this weekend and let you know.
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Re: Back in uniform...

#16  Postby Weaver » Jun 10, 2011 8:09 pm

Thanks!
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Re: Back in uniform...

#17  Postby akigr8 » Jun 12, 2011 11:32 am

Weaver wrote:Thanks!

Unfortunately I didn't see you anywhere else in the documentary. :(
What did they ask you about?

A good documentary though, I learned a lot from it.
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Re: Back in uniform...

#18  Postby Tursas » Jun 12, 2011 11:52 am

Varangian wrote:Heh, there might be a difference between those who were in it for a short time and those who had it as a career for 20+ years. I would probably prefer to move on, too. I did my ten months as a conscripted corporal in the motorized infantry back in the end years of the Cold War; living close to the Soviet Union was a great motivator. Now the Russians are about to upgrade their armed forces, and unlike some, I don't think that the current status quo will last (mostly because it isnt really quo)...


What, they don't think the little country between you and Russia isn't enough of a buffer zone anymore? :D

Well, maybe we aren't. I had a compulsory refresher course just last month, and the age of the equipment is starting to show... Lugging those old AN/PRC-77s and Racal BCC39s around made me wonder what kind of radios modern militaries use in let's say, a recon squad?
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Re: Back in uniform...

#19  Postby Varangian » Jun 12, 2011 12:45 pm

Tursas wrote:
Varangian wrote:Heh, there might be a difference between those who were in it for a short time and those who had it as a career for 20+ years. I would probably prefer to move on, too. I did my ten months as a conscripted corporal in the motorized infantry back in the end years of the Cold War; living close to the Soviet Union was a great motivator. Now the Russians are about to upgrade their armed forces, and unlike some, I don't think that the current status quo will last (mostly because it isnt really quo)...


What, they don't think the little country between you and Russia isn't enough of a buffer zone anymore? :D

Well, maybe we aren't. I had a compulsory refresher course just last month, and the age of the equipment is starting to show... Lugging those old AN/PRC-77s and Racal BCC39s around made me wonder what kind of radios modern militaries use in let's say, a recon squad?

Well, it is not just Finland that shares a border with Russia; the Baltic Sea was seen as an inroad for a Warsaw Pact invasion. In fact, attacking Sweden through Finland would probably have resulted in delays. Attacking us with airborne and marine forces would have had a greater chance of success, as the WP would've had the opportunity to occupy vital places before we had mobilized. But don't think we're not grateful for our eastern speedbump! ;)
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Re: Back in uniform...

#20  Postby Weaver » Jun 12, 2011 1:30 pm

Tursas wrote:
Varangian wrote:Heh, there might be a difference between those who were in it for a short time and those who had it as a career for 20+ years. I would probably prefer to move on, too. I did my ten months as a conscripted corporal in the motorized infantry back in the end years of the Cold War; living close to the Soviet Union was a great motivator. Now the Russians are about to upgrade their armed forces, and unlike some, I don't think that the current status quo will last (mostly because it isnt really quo)...


What, they don't think the little country between you and Russia isn't enough of a buffer zone anymore? :D

Well, maybe we aren't. I had a compulsory refresher course just last month, and the age of the equipment is starting to show... Lugging those old AN/PRC-77s and Racal BCC39s around made me wonder what kind of radios modern militaries use in let's say, a recon squad?

You have PRC-77s???!!! I haven't seen one of them since '91! What a clunker.
We mostly use Harris PRC-148s now - having gone through SINCGARS, ASIPs, and some that came and went so quick I never learned them.
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