At the Utti Jaeger Regiment, conscripts serve in two separate units, the Paratrooper Company and Support Company. The companies are housed in the same barracks building and have a strong sense of camaraderie.
The Paratrooper Company requires voluntary application. There, the conscripts are provided with basic training for the reconnaissance and combat tasks of the Army Special Forces. The training is characterised by versatile weapons, firing and combat training as well as parachute training and cooperation with helicopters. The service period for all paratroopers is 347 days.
All paratroopers complete leadership training. The majority go through NCO-level training, while around 20% are accepted onto the Reserve Officer Course to be trained as reserve officers.
Approximately 350 people apply for paratrooper training each year. A two-day entrance examination is used to screen applicants, with 60–80 of the most suitable applicants for the training selected. The application period closes on 6 December and the training begins in July.
The majority of the Support Company conscripts are admitted through call-ups, but some special positions are filled through separate application processes. The Support Company trains conscripts for diverse support tasks that require special expertise.
Some Support Company conscripts go through their entire training at the Utti Jaeger Regiment, whereas some receive basic training elsewhere and are then transferred to Utti at the beginning of the special training or leadership period. The service period is 165–347 days, depending on the task.
Joining the Special Forces Qualification Course of the Defence Forces after the conscript service
The Special Forces Qualification Course of the Defence Forces is a basic course on professional special forces operations. The course trains contract soldiers for demanding reconnaissance and combat tasks. The combatants on the Special Forces Qualification Course are employed by the Defence Forces for a fixed 12-month period and receive pay for the duration of the training.
Reservists who have completed leadership training and those conscripts in NCO or reserve officer training whose conscript service will end before the beginning of the Special Forces Qualification Course are eligible to apply. It is permissible to complete the conscript service in any unit of the Army, Navy or Air Force.
Applicants are accepted based on entrance examinations. The application period ends on 6 December each year and the course begins in July.