Call-ups mark the first step in the direction of military service
In Finland, the call-up event tends to mark the first time that young people establish contact with the Defence Forces and familiarise with the notion of liability for military service. And it is in the call-up event that young people also look for answers to questions raised by narratives related by family members and friends.
It pays off to be prepared for the call-ups
In the early spring the so-called call-up post arrives at the home address to remind a young person liable for military duty of their approaching service. This call-up notification includes relevant information and instructions for preparing for the call-up event as well as the Conscript booklet put together for prospective conscripts.
According to Chief of Central Finland Regional Office, Lieutenant Colonel Teijo Oksanen it is advisable that young people preparing for the call-ups think about their own wishes and goals for the future in particular.
– While preparing for the call-ups, it pays off to keep in mind one’s goals relating to studying and future career. These in mind one can then think about which training branch would serve one’s own goals most optimally, Lieutenant colonel Oksanen explains.
Familiarisation with a selection of service tasks can be done by consulting the Finnish Defence Forces’ online site intti.fi. Lieutenant Colonel Oksanen points out that it is vital for young people that suitable service tasks are found and identified.
– My advice is that, first of all, young people think about which service task would suit them best. Only after this it is worthwhile to figure out which FDF brigade-level units provide this particular type of training. The objective is that the wishes concerning the induction date and service location are taken into account when issuing the order to enter service.
In the call-ups young people are met in person by the Finnish Defence Forces
Although arrival at the call-up event may make one somewhat tense, it always is the case that the call-up event proceeds in its relaxed pace. The purpose of the call-up event is to meet the prospective conscripts in person and provide answers to their questions relating to military service. In conjunction with the call-ups, the Finnish Defence Forces also sustains contacts with municipalities in order to develop interagency cooperation.
– The call-ups offer us a suitable opportunity to disseminate information relating to military service and to provide answers to young people’s questions on site. It is highly important that we get to meet all these young people in person and are able to observe their physical and mental state of health parallel to the health certificates issued by medical practitioners, Lieutenant Colonel Oksanen describes.
While at the call-up event, young people meet a number of new people, such as service personnel from the municipality and the Finnish Defence Forces as well as youth councillors. And, in light of the approaching military service, Lieutenant Colonel Oksanen views this type of social interaction as good practice for young people.
– In the beginning of the military service young people meet a high number of new people and observe a series of instructed operating tactics, techniques and procedures. In this regard, the call-up event serves in preparing its attendants for the military service start proper.
Apart from offering a venue for social interaction, the call-up event also caters for discussing one’s current situation in life in that all persons liable for call-ups meet youth councillors as part of the Time Out! programme. Thus military service also impacts on preventing social exclusion.
– All conscripts start their military service from the same line. During the service, we encourage everybody in group formation and cooperation.
Following the call-ups it’s time to prepare for the service start
After the call-ups, more is internalised about the approaching service than prior to attending the event but further questions are bound to come to mind later on as well. Although the approaching service start has now become somehow more tangible, what can one actually do to prepare for the service in advance?
It always does pay off for a prospective conscript to start by getting physically fit. Besides, taking up physical exercising provides support for one’s overall well-being and increases stamina anyway. For instance, you may start getting fit by downloading the freely available FDF fitness application MarsMars into your phone. And even though good level of basic fitness will get you by, it is always beneficial to get increasingly fit. This is, the more fit you are at the service start, the better results you gain while in service.
As for what to expect while undertaking military service, you’ll get a good idea by browsing through the Conscript booklet. Additionally, you need to remember to fill out the recruit questionnaire sent to you by your set brigade-level unit, and let your regional office know, in case any changes occur in your state of health or if you need to propose a change concerning your service place or induction date.
Overall, most pieces of advice relating to preparing for military service emphasise one’s own attitude towards the service and the importance of keeping fit. Also Lieutenant Colonel Oksanen underlines this.
– Having an open mind and being fit are, to me, the key for everybody about to start their military service.
Again, the more carefully you prepare for the call-up event and for the approaching military service, the better equipped you are to influence on what type of service time you end up having. In case any type of questions relating to service come to mind, you may always contact your own set regional office. Please also familiarise with the FDF online site intti.fi and follow us in social media!