Newly Swissed Online Magazine

20 typical things about everyday life in the Swiss Army

Swiss Military Jacket

Hot or cold, rain or shine, a majority of Swiss men are out there at any given time, diligently carrying out their military service duties.

Their task? To protect the land of cheese and mountains! “To be or not to be” is not a question that is asked around here. Every year, going under camouflage for a week or two is as normal for Swiss males as eating Birchermüesli for breakfast.

Let me explain the strange behaviors, concerns and joys of an imaginary Swiss (boy)friend who is leaving this world for a government paid, kick-ass discipline course (let’s call it that). What’s his daily life like “out there”?

On the first day of military service.

Swiss Army - New recruits on the first day

What a Swiss train station looks like on Friday evenings and Sunday mornings. (That’s when many arrive home or return to their assigned military service area.)

Swiss Train Station with Military


“There can never be enough entertainment in the military bunkers.”


“And why in the world is there no WiFi?”


Your friend’s face after two weeks of military service:


How kids in nearby villages view Swiss soldiers:


A typical lunch during Swiss military service:

Swiss Army - Eating Cervelat

Early mornings in the army be like:


“Hey, don’t judge us! The military sure drains you of energy…”

Swiss Army on a break

After a few weeks of WK*, everyone suddenly knows all the latest books by heart:

*WK stands for Wiederholungskurs, the annual three week long refresher course.

How every girl on the street feels when a group of deprived Swiss Army men pass by and send her looks… (After all, they have spent two months exclusively with guys.)


A typical afternoon break in the Swiss military comes with a view like this:

Swiss Army Break

Ask a Swiss soldier what Swiss neutrality is, and they will answer: “The military biscuits. They taste good both with chocolate or cervelat sausage!”

Swiss Military Biscuits

A day before leaving for the next stint: “Honey, have you seen my gun?” “I think it’s still under the bed.”

Swiss Army Weapon

Receiving a package of goodies from home during military service:


A hike at 10 PM in the dark and no one knows where to, how far and why in the first place. (Obviously, you don’t ask questions in the military!)

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When you get lost in the mountains:


When the lieutenant is looking for volunteers:

Homer Simpson

That moment when you receive your Marschbefehl, the invitation to return for your next refresher military service:


When you’re trying to look busy:


And finally: The look upon returning from the Swiss army!


Kristīne is a Tourism Organisation and Management graduate from Latvia, currently living in Bern.

She is into travelling, photography, handicrafts and online marketing. She doesn't spend the weekends home, and she will never say "no" to an invitation to go hiking in the mountains.


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