Advent Calendar #14: Walking on Sunshine

In Finland the Border Guards occupy an interesting place in the total defence concept. In peacetime, the FBG reports to the Interior Ministry, as does the Police. However, come a crisis, and the FBG would mobilise into wartime units which differ from the peacetime organisation and transfer over to the FDF. As such, it is possible to do your conscript service in the FBG, though seeing the conscripts one would be forgiven for not realising they belong to a civilian agency.

The ‘basic’ Rajajääkäri, border jaeger or border ranger, are trained at two companies, one in Lappland in Ivalo and one in Northern Karelia in Onttola. It is conscripts from the latter that in the picture above are seen marching through the wilderness of Koli. The rajajääkärit are trained as light infantry with reconnaissance as their main mission, and as such a premium is placed on the ability to operate in small units over long distances with everything one needs carried on one’s back. Picture source: Pojhois-Karjalan Rajavartiosto’s Twitter

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