Article continues below the advertisement.


Picture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today

On Epiphany Monday when most were enjoying a relaxed last holiday of the Christmas season, the military barracks across the country were swarming with young men and some women ready to enlist for service. About 12,000 conscripts were ready to begin military; 9,800 will serve in the Army and the rest will be divided between the Navy, the Air Force and the Finnish Border Guard.

Most conscripts will be received by the big military units such as the brigades of Karjala, Pori and Kainuu. The Finnish-Swedish conscripts will mostly serve in the Uusimaa Brigade.

The new conscripts are the first to participate in the Training 2020 Program, a renewed conscript training of the defense forces.

The military’s agenda is to revamp the call-up system, service selections, training system entity as well as methods of instruction.

According to the military’s statement, the set level for the training objectives will remain high. The objective will equal implementing high-impact, cost-effective training that meets the challenges posed by the future security environment. The idea is that the goal-oriented training benefits the conscript and the defense system.

Utilizing up-to-date technology and modern views on learning, the training will harness the trainees with increasing responsibility for their education. The learning will be systematically measured.

The concept for the Training 2020 Program will undergo piloted testing that will comprise experiments carried out in several brigade-level units across Finland.

In the beginning, the program will entail developing the following sub-areas:

  • Call-ups and service selections
  • Digitalization will be utilized in enhancing information transmission. The Finnish Defence Forces’ E-service will be available for all persons liable for military service.
  • Modern instruction methods
  • Simulation, online and virtual training will become a natural part of the instruction offered for persons liable for military service.
  • Training will assume modular structures, which in turn will support redefining the sub-objectives and ensuring calibrated training results. In addition, the number of transitions and waiting times will become reduced.
  • The objectives for learning will steer the training implementation. The instructor’s role as a facilitator will become pronounced. Training will support sustaining overall capability with physical, mental, social and ethical capabilities as its sub-components.

Training system

  • The scheduled training times will be examined from the viewpoint of the set competence objectives for learning.
  • The impact of the training system will be systematically assessed by focusing in this analysis on the learning outcomes, time efficiency, cost-efficiency, and optimal utilization of resources and facilities.
  • The readiness unit training will be further developed.
  • The reserve training system will be further developed. In the future, the Finnish Defence Forces’ E-service will also cover the reservists’ service needs.
  • Demanding training exercise activities will be reinforced. The set level for the training objectives will remain high and the training implemented will become increasingly comprehensive.

All Finnish men between the ages of 18 and 60 are liable for military service. Women can apply for voluntary military service. All men must either do military service or non-military service.