Training 2020 looks into the soldier’s mind, too

Utti Jaeger Regiment 31.5.2019 11.18
News item

The Training 2020 Programme aims at developing the call-up system, service selections, instruction methods and the overall training system. The training involving soldiers’ capability to perform is one of the aims of the reform.

Starting from 2018, the new training system has been undergoing pilot testing in Pori Brigade, the Coastal Brigade and Air Force Academy.  The reform will be implemented across the country in 2020. 

Capability to perform is a key quality of a soldier in addition to his know-how.  The concept “performance capability” comprises physical, psychological, social and ethical dimensions. For the purposes of the training system reform, performance capability training has been integrated into military training by means of programmes entitled Soldier’s Mind and Soldier’s Body, the latter being focused on physical capability. 

Making use of professionals’ experiences

Soldier’s Mind bases on the experiences of the personnel of several countries’ armed forces and the Finnish Police among others.  It is also based on the good practices of the Finnish Defence Forces company-level unit commanders and other personnel involved in the planning and implementation of training.  

The training will help conscripts to better understand and strengthen their motivation and self-confidence while providing them with tools for coping with stressful situations and regaining their capability to perform. Moreover, the programme helps the conscript commit to his task and strengthens group cohesion, which plays an extremely important role in military operations.

The aim of Soldier’s Mind is to provide the conscript with a basic understanding of the significance of the psychological, ethical and social performance capability, providing him with skills for maintaining his performance capability in military service and in demanding circumstances in the battlefield.

Soldier’s Mind does not teach skills that only count for military duties.  On the contrary, the lessons will also be useful for the conscripts in a larger sense later in life for learning to manage their lives, cope  with stress and strain, and keep up their self-confidence. 

These lessons will also be applied to special operations force conscript training

Two units of the Utti Jaeger Regiment, the Support Company and the Paratrooper Company provide conscript training.  The new conscript training system will be implemented at the beginning of 2020 in Utti along with other brigade-level units. 

The diverse tasks of special operations forces, their challenging training, wide operational area and demanding wartime duties require soldiers to have excellent performance capability.  The personnel structure of the Utti Jaeger Regiment is distinctively different from that of other Army units.  There are more salaried personnel than conscripts in the Regiment, the sharpest tip in terms of performance capability being composed of highly competent salaried personnel and a well-trained reserve. Special attention has always been focused on physical and psychological, social and ethical performance capability on all levels.  

The knowledge and skills learned on the Soldier’s Mind training programme will equip the conscripts with tools for operating in the battle field all through the various phases of the battle. The training started during conscript service must continue in the training of the personnel and reservists in a systematic way.  The Army Special Operations Force places a strong emphasis on this.