Do you have to serve Finnish Army as a naturalized citizen?

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Bubba Elvis XIV
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Re: Do you have to serve Finnish Army as a naturalized citizen?

Post by Bubba Elvis XIV » Fri May 29, 2009 11:24 pm

You were in the pioneers? (just asking like).

I dunno if I agree...I think the standards should be the same. The standards are made for a reason, so I think there shouldn't be any difference. Of course, there would be less women in the army but it shouldn't be about sex but ability to do what is required of them...and if you can't meet the requirements...then tough [email protected] Or make them secretaries. :lol:


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Re: Do you have to serve Finnish Army as a naturalized citizen?

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Re: Do you have to serve Finnish Army as a naturalized citizen?

Post by Upphew » Sat May 30, 2009 12:44 am

Bubba Elvis XIV wrote:You were in the pioneers? (just asking like).
Been there done that, got the hat.
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Re: Do you have to serve Finnish Army as a naturalized citizen?

Post by Bubba Elvis XIV » Sat May 30, 2009 12:59 am

Upphew wrote:
Bubba Elvis XIV wrote:You were in the pioneers? (just asking like).
Been there done that, got the hat.
what a crap deal - In Switzerland, they give you a gun! Send the hat back! :wink:
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Re: Do you have to serve Finnish Army as a naturalized citizen?

Post by ana74 » Mon Jun 29, 2009 1:20 pm

If you get a DUAL citizenship, then you don't have to go to army. (if you don't have to serve in your own country.)

I once knew a guy, who had 3 citizenships, and in ALL of them guys had to go to army. So he could choose which army to serve...

BUT if even one of the countries wouldn't have had a mandatory army then he could have chosen that one.

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Re: Do you have to serve Finnish Army as a naturalized citizen?

Post by laa » Thu Jul 02, 2009 6:09 pm

Idefix wrote:What exactly do you mean with the pay part? Do females earn more money than the guys while in service?
I know in Sweden the females get a little extra money per month to buy their own underwear, since the military do not (at least did not some years ago) supply female underwear. Is it something similar that the females get in Finland?
Females receive an extra 40 cents in their daily allowance (which is 4,40 euros for those serving for six months).

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Re: Do you have to serve Finnish Army as a naturalized citizen?

Post by Upphew » Sat Jul 04, 2009 4:51 pm

tummansininen wrote:A few random points to throw.
- A naturalised citizen can still do civvy service for around 1 year. No guns, war, tanks etc. This is an appropriate option for someone with a consciencious objection to handling firearms, for example.
No, if you have objection to handling firearms for a reason or another, you do your service unarmed, but still at the army.
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Re: Do you have to serve Finnish Army as a naturalized citiz

Post by freedomforever » Thu Apr 22, 2010 1:49 am

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TBH I think my questions have been answered. Thank you to the people who have responded.
Last edited by freedomforever on Thu Apr 22, 2010 10:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Do you have to serve Finnish Army as a naturalized citiz

Post by Rip » Thu Apr 22, 2010 5:33 am

freedomforever wrote: Am I going to be persecuted because I don't fit the bigots' view of proper humanity?
Define the 'view of proper humanity'? Regarding political views, considering we still have some old style Brezhneviks in the parliament, apart from advocating violence, the easiest way getting "persecuted" for public person (not in the third reich or soviet sense of the word of course) would probably be by voicing too right wing opinions (main stream US republican or more so, I'd say). I'm not aware of any reasonably functioning society that would not "persecute" criminals, although in this one it is actually pretty hard to end up in jail unless you actually kill somebody, steal a lot of money or try to defraud the tax office. Reasonably healthy people of working age, who do not care to make an effort (yes, I'm aware there are plenty of people on the employment office records now that are NOT lazy (or stupid)) to support themselves are not necessarily respected by those who do. Still, even they probably have relatively easy life here.
Does anyone know if autistic people would be exempted from "service" in Finland? I am absolutely certain that a great many autistic people couldn't do either military or alternative "service", particularly at age 18 (when I was 18 I couldn't even travel unaccompanied or stay overnight on my own and I'm considered "high functioning").
Certainly many people are exempt because of various medical grounds. What is the threshold in this kind of cases I care not to guess.
In cases such as state-enforced slave labour, it is clearly not defensible.
If you are referring to the armed service here, first of all your impression of the actual slaves is perhaps bit rosy (even if the army is no picnic either). Secondly, while there are informed opinions of many kind if the defence system at the present date is organized in the best fashion, in earlier times mandatory service was clearly the only possible way of doing it. Refusing to do so would not have been the mentality of rebelling slave but of a slave owner who wish to live from other people's work and effort. Having an army while living next to Soviet Union was as necessary for national survival as it for time to time for individual survival that we have legal obligations for individuals to help (to reasonable extent) another one in an obvious danger.
I don't think 'nations' have any entitlement to demand that others do it 'their way', because this leaves no space for those of us who fit into none of the 'ways'.
Too abstract description really to say if really agree or disagree with you, but you can certainly enjoy rather many kinds of lifestyles in Finland. On the other hand, every society MUST have some rules (defining 'their way') (if you disagree please try describe (or give an example) of society without laws that tell what can not be done and at least some rules on what must be done (paying taxes among the most universal ones). It is a biological strait (at least monkeys have it too) to object to free-riders who wish reap the benefits the society can offer but do not want be burdened by costs of its up-keeping.

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Re: Do you have to serve Finnish Army as a naturalized citiz

Post by Jukka Aho » Thu Apr 22, 2010 6:43 am

freedomforever wrote:So I think I have found the answer to the question I was looking for: if I migrated to Finland and became a citizen sometime in the future, I wouldn't be eligible for any kind of "service" as I'm over 30.
That is correct. (Asevelvollisuuslaki, 37 §: ”Velvollisuus suorittaa varusmiespalvelusta rauhan aikana päättyy sen vuoden lopussa, jona asevelvollinen täyttää 30 vuotta.”)
freedomforever wrote:Of course these people [bigots] exist in all societies. How widespread are they in Finland? How influential are they in society? Am I going to be persecuted because I don't fit the bigots' view of proper humanity? Or is it mostly OK except for a few oddball right-wingers?
This would probably be an easier question to answer if you listed, just offhand, some specific examples of the kind of views and opinions that irk you the most.
freedomforever wrote:On a related note:
Does anyone know if autistic people would be exempted from "service" in Finland? I am absolutely certain that a great many autistic people couldn't do either military or alternative "service", particularly at age 18 (when I was 18 I couldn't even travel unaccompanied or stay overnight on my own and I'm considered "high functioning").
According to this page (from the website of the Finnish Autists’ and Asperger’s Association), diagnosed high-functioning autism does not at least outright prevent one from doing the service, if the diagnosed person wants to and he is deemed capable of that. (They also suggest at least some of those having the Asperger’s might even like the daily routines and drills.)

However, as I understand it, getting exempted from the service for health reasons is not particularly difficult these days. The FDF have been leading, due to budget reasons and changing times, a somewhat more selective policy when taking in conscripts than they once used to. I think autism is probably one of the diagnoses which will, in practice, almost certainly give you an “automatic” exemption once you visit the doctor’s office (for the obligatory health check preceding the service place selection) and discuss the matter with him. That is, unless you express your personal desire to do the service, nonetheless.

But even if an autistic person didn’t get exempted on that basis (which I would find hard to believe if he doesn’t feel he could do the service himself), getting into the alternative line of service, “civilian service” – which is basically 12 months of ordinary day-job style work at an ordinary “civilian” workplace; often a school, a library, a hospital, or a government or municipality-run administrative office of some sort – is, for all practical purposes, just a matter of expressing your wish to do so.
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Re: Do you have to serve Finnish Army as a naturalized citiz

Post by freedomforever » Thu Apr 22, 2010 8:49 pm

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Re: Do you have to serve Finnish Army as a naturalized citiz

Post by Pursuivant » Thu Apr 22, 2010 9:03 pm

So, from your perspective you are expecting a "hippie heaven" of some sorts? It sort of depends where you are from and what you expect as "order", as countries are dfferent.

There was an article in the HS recently of an autistic bloke who'd been to Finland for some work placement from the UK back in the day so its nothing that hasn't been done before.

I think you can rely on two things: "Finns like things to be in order" & "foreigners are always a bit strange" so theres your leeway if you would find yourself somehow acting against the expected norms.
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Re: Do you have to serve Finnish Army as a naturalized citiz

Post by freedomforever » Thu Apr 22, 2010 10:46 pm

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Re: Do you have to serve Finnish Army as a naturalized citiz

Post by Jukka Aho » Fri Apr 23, 2010 12:07 am

freedomforever wrote:People who think that anything that isn't common sense is automatically invalid and that people who hold a view that isn't common sense should be locked up / sent to the loony bin / deported / [insert punishment or sanction here]. I got the sense from certain of the posts here of this kind of position being taken towards people who haven't done or don't support army 'service', and towards people (ostensibly foreigners, probably ethnic minorities) who don't do things in what they take to be 'our way'.

[...]

I get the sense that the public arrangements in Finland would be a lot more suitable than where I am now, but it's harder to establish what the informal climate is like. My worry from the tone of people like onkko was that there might be a widespread public perception that said: psychologically different, opposed to conscription, foreign -> should be locked up / sent "home". And that this could then give rise to, shall we say administrative harassment, which might be a problem in relation to services, or if I was on a course or in work locally. Remembering that I'm especially vulnerable to this kind of thing because I often need help figuring things out - it makes a huge difference whether there's a bit of leeway or not. You guys (Jukka / Rip) give me the impression there is quite a bit of leeway. But if there's a lot of Onkkas about, or they're in powerful positions, this might be less so ;-)
The Finnish Defence Forces, as an institution, and general conscription (compulsory national service) as means of getting the manpower for running that institution, is still highly regarded by Finns and enjoys a relatively large and uniform support among the populace. In this sense, Finland is in a minority among the other European countries; many of which have either abolished conscription or switched to a highly selective form of it.

The reasons for this lie in history. Finland sees itself as a nation who survived two different “masters” (Swedish Empire and the Russian Empire), oppression and counteracts, independence and a civil war (which tore the nation into two bitterly opposed factions), World War II (where especially in the Winter War, the Finnish Defence Forces – comprised of conscripts – did seemingly the impossible and managed to thwart the Soviets, and during which some of the wounds of the previous civil war healed due to the common combined war effort of both factions, and where Finland was saved from the fate of the Baltic States, while still having to endure serious blows such as the territories ceded to the Soviet Union, and having to relocate and re-settle more than 400,000 evacuees from the said territories, not to mention the other losses), then the war reparations and the ominous Porkkala base episode, Cold War (where Finland had a rather curious and delicate position between the east and the west), and finally the present day; as a member of the EU in post-Cold War Europe, no longer under Soviet threat, but still the neighbor of the Great and Sometimes Erratic Unknown; Russia.

Without having some sense of how all this history fits together (and especially if not fully understanding the primary motivating factor and fear here: the dreaded “Soviet Finland” occupation scenario – possibly the worst nightmare of Finns which would have come true had our grandpas not fought tooth and nail to prevent that from happening, and which was still deemed halfway possible throughout the Cold War era) it is probably difficult to appreciate the Finnish popular fondness for the conscription-based military. There are many other aspects to it as well, of course; the common public image of war (and men of war) as popularized – and, to some degree, idealized and stereotyped – by Linna’s Unknown Soldier; the newfound open appreciation of the war veterans after the SU collapsed (and it was no longer a politically touchy subject), the number of WW2 war graves you can find in every Finnish churchyard, etc. It all adds up.

But the things you’re referring to – the tough talk about “men” and “gays” and whatnot – are part of common folklore and pro-conscription “folk propaganda” from the Cold War decades, or even from the WW2 itself or earlier, when Finland was under constant political pressure from the Soviet Union. You see, chances were we might just get attacked again, for whatever freak reason, if we didn’t play our cards right. The entire nation saw the importance of keeping prepared for that possibility by maintaining whatever military “might” we could under the watchful eye of the big eastern neighbor, while at the same time trying to keep the said neighbor happy. One part of keeping them happy was the make-believe game of being “neutral” in the East-West relations, and not even dreaming of a military alliance with any western power. Since we could not rely on outside help, it was probably felt as necessary to try and maintain as big reserve of men as possible on our own, as the only possible military deterrent we could have. The only practical way of maintaining a big reserve in a not-that-rich country, was by means of conscription – which was of course just a natural continuation of the system that had already been in place before and during the war and proved to “work”, at least to the degree we didn’t get occupied, and maintained independence.

So, in that kind of an environment, it might not be that difficult to see how we got these folksy passage-rite ideas claiming that “a boy becomes a man” by doing his military service, and whatnot. Conversely, the idea of course went that he who should fail to do the service, will never reach that desired state of manly adulthood – the one which can only be attained during the military service – forever remaining an effete weakling (or a “gay”, or whatever), instead. How much this makes sense is left as an exercise for the reader, but I think it needs to be interpreted in the historical context where this kind of thinking was promoted. (Back in those days, the only way to get in the alternative, “civilian” line of service was stepping in front of a strict “examination commission” which thoroughly “examined” and questioned your religious or ethical beliefs and then decided whether you genuinely couldn’t do the armed service, because of your moral values and obligations, or were just faking, possibly allowing you to do the civilian service instead.)

Today, there are still people who like to repeat the above-mentioned “passage rite” slogans and genuinely feel that those who don’t do the armed service are no-good slackers who are evading their responsibility. But the kind of very strict and fervently aggressive views about these things – that you seem to be concerned about – have been losing ground ever since the Soviet Union collapsed, Cold War ended, and Finland became an EU member state. At the same time, the civilian service has become a way more common and usual choice than it once was, no longer carrying remotely the kind of stigma it once had. (Although there’s still some, and it will probably remain that way for as long as the current conscription-based system will remain in use.)

As mentioned above, due to budget cuts and changes in the political and tactical climate, the FDF has been closing down a number of garrisons in the recent years, and they have also started being more selective about the conscripts: they’re now more easily “letting go” of people who don’t want to do the traditional armed service, for one reason or the other. It is all part of the general European trend: for instance, our neighbors to the west, Sweden, have decided to abolish conscription and they are moving on to a professional army beginning from 2014.

There has been regular debate in Finnish media about what the future will bring for Finnish conscription, and whether we, too, should look into the options of joining NATO or creating a professional military force on our own. As it stands, the traditionalist view prevails, especially among “the common folks”, who support conscription quite strongly. The FDF itself seems to hold the position that professional military would be far more costly than the current system, and therefore wouldn’t be an improvement. Generally, the experts suggest that manpower (which conscription-based military certainly gives) is no longer the “key” in future wars, like it perhaps was in the WW2, so preparing for the re-enacment of WW2 is not sensible. But there are also opposing views (usually having something to do with guerrilla tactics etc.)

When talking about this subject, it should be kept in mind that in Finnish experience, and Finnish public discussion, conscription is not “just a duty” but also a “shared experience” between most of your own generation, and also the generations before and after you. Since it has traditionally been an experience shared by a rather large percentage of men, there is lots of nostalgia about it in all generations... as well as “folk-pedagogical” ideas about it being “good for the boys so they learn to get along with different types of people and notice they can’t always get what they want in life”, and whatnot. And, of course, some people are genuinely enthusiastic about camping in the woods, being given a chance of handling and firing firearms, driving army vehicles, subjecting themselves to a physical and psychological endurance test etc., and maintain the view that all this is generally good for you, even if forced on you. (Or especially if forced on you. >;)

So there you have it, in a nutshell. But in my experience, these extremely strict views about “doing your military service” are quite rare, overall, although civilian service is still viewed by most as “the easy way out” and not on any level equivalent in its “glory” to the armed service.

• • •

Should this matter to you, then, or affect your prospective life in Finland in some way? I don’t think so, as you would be entering the country as a foreigner, and you’re already over 30 years of age so you’re not really even part of the “conscription system”, anyway.

What might matter to you, on a philosophical level, is that those who object to any kind of service at all, and flat-out refuse to do it – the so-called total objectors (see here as well) – currently get a six month prison sentence in Finland. (Typically in an open institute, I believe, but still prison time.) Total objectors usually get little sympathy in Finland from anyone, except perhaps from the extreme left.

In practice, all this matters very little in so far as the daily life in Finland is concerned. Except, of course, when in a company of young Finnish men in their 20s who have recently finished their service. Then, from time to time, people will begin reminiscing about their service time, and how good or bad it was, and telling colorful (or colored) anecdotes about their weirdest experiences while “in the forces”. (It’s a Finnish thing.)
Last edited by Jukka Aho on Fri Apr 23, 2010 10:34 am, edited 17 times in total.
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Re: Do you have to serve Finnish Army as a naturalized citiz

Post by tuulen » Fri Apr 23, 2010 12:38 am

I was not in Finnish Army, but I did spend a couple of years in US Army, many years ago.

<sarcasm>

Oh, the joys of being woken a couple of hours before dawn on a cold winter day, dressing quickly and then running to the "mess" hall for breakfast including some of the best food anybody could ask for!

</sarcasm>

;-)

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Re: Do you have to serve Finnish Army as a naturalized citiz

Post by tuulen » Fri Apr 23, 2010 1:19 am

Jukka Aho wrote:...In practice, all this matters very little in so far as the daily life in Finland is concerned. Except when a group of young Finnish men in their 20s gather together, from time to time, the recent “shared” military service experience may suddenly pop up, as a topic of discussion, and people will begin reminiscing about their service time, usually telling colorful (or colored) anecdotes about their weirdest experiences while “in the forces”. (It’s a Finnish thing.)
Honestly, I think military experience goes far beyond being only a "Finnish" thing, and goes far beyond one's 20s, as a lifelong experience.

The smartest and the stupidest all get mixed into one group, and that group learns to depend on each other for their lives.

There is no college or university which can teach that kind of experience, as only the military can do that.


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