Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class America A. Henry
Sweden just brought back conscription — and this time, women will be required to sign up too. Under the plan approved on Mar. 3, all of Sweden’s 18-year-olds could be called on to sign up for service each year.
Sweden did away with compulsory service seven years ago because voluntary participation was high, but the country decided to return to the draft in order to bolster readiness. Swedes who want to sign up voluntarily will still be able to serve as well.
It is rumored that the decision comes as a response to Russian aggression and the renewal of Cold War tensions.
According to Fox, “There have also been reports of airspace violations by Russia's military aircraft in the Baltics and a military buildup in the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad, which sits across the Baltic Sea from Sweden.”
Right now, the Swedish armed forces consist of about 20,000 service members, 84% male and 16% female. Sweden expects 13,000 young people will be called upon now, and 4,000 will be enrolled each year.
Bolstering troop numbers is also intended to help Swedes respond to natural disasters, oil spills, or cyberattacks that could disrupt power and water supplies, according to The New York Times. But there is no doubt that the Swedish authorities had Russia at the forefront of their minds when making this decision.
Fox also reported that Micael Byden, head of Sweden's armed forces, said an additional 6.5 billion kronor [$718 million] would be required to increase the country's military capabilities in the coming years.
The country joins a number of others around the world that currently require women to sign up for the draft, including Israel, Norway, North Korea, and China.
Benjamin Franklin nailed it when he said, "Fatigue is the best pillow." True story, Benny. There's nothing like pushing your body so far past exhaustion that you'd willingly, even longingly, take a nap on a concrete slab.
Retired U.S. Army Lt. Col. Charles Kettles was awarded the Medal of Honor July 18, 2016, for his actions while serving as a Flight Commander assigned to the 176th Aviation Company (Airmobile) (Light), 14th Combat Aviation Battalion, Americal Division. Then-Maj. Kettles distinguished himself in combat operations near Duc Pho, Republic of Vietnam, on May 15, 1967. (U.S. Army/Spc. Tammy Nooner)
by Martin Slagter, The Ann Arbor News, Mich.
YPSILANTI, MI - When a brigade of U.S. troops was ambushed by the North Vietnamese Army in the Song Tra Cau riverbed on the morning of May 15, 1967, Lt. Charles Kettles volunteered to lead the rescue, and he refused, again and again, to back down when faced with a barrage of gunfire.
His aircraft badly damaged, left spilling fuel, and his gunner was severely injured during the treacherous operation.
But he helicoptered in and out of the battlefield four times, saving the lives of 44 soldiers in a death-defying emergency operation that would become a legendary tale of bravery in the Vietnam War.
The M160 Robotic Mine Flail at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. Photo: Maj. Dan Marchik/U.S. Army
The battlefield of the future could feature robot medics delivering life-saving care to casualties in the line of fire. At least, that's what the Army is aiming for — and it's willing to pay millions for help doing it.
A Chinese tank rolls at the training ground "Tsugol", about 250 kilometers (156 miles ) south-east of the city of Chita during the military exercises Vostok 2018 in Eastern Siberia, Russia, Thursday, Sept. 13, 2018 (Associated Press/Sergei Grits)
China is developing a lot of new and advanced weaponry, but a recent state media report suggests the Chinese military may not be entirely sure what to do with these new combat systems.
The commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard called the ongoing partial government shutdown "unacceptable" following reports that some Coast Guardsmen are relying on donations from food pantries while their regular paychecks remain on hold.
"We're five-plus weeks into the anxiety and stress of this government lapse and your non-pay," Adm. Karl Schultz said in a video message to service members. "You, as members of the armed forces, should not be expected to shoulder this burden."