Wednesday 11 April 2012: Women's Volunteer Draft and Selection Day
It was early in the morning, when I got on a bus that took me to the Naval Headquarters in Turku, where the Southwest Finland District Office is located in. I entered the main building of old barracks, signed up in the hallway, showed my ID card and collected the right papers to be filled before entering the auditorium. There were about 60 volunteer women, including me, waiting for the day to start.
This was the day when we all should be checked, tested, interviewed and at last given the next piece of information about our acceptance to the Finnish Defence Forces. Take note that in Finland women are not conscripted, but we can apply to the Forces; if you are motivated, adaptable and headstrong, you'll be accepted mostly straight away.
We were told about our rights and responsibilites we'd face during the service, all of the army units were introduced and in addition a female Sergeant and a Cadet had arrived to tell about their journey in the Forces.
After a short break we were given a command to get organized in alphabetical order, where I was number two in the row, for my surname starts with H. After that, all of us were supposed to try on the standard soldier's equipment, then squat, rise up and walk up and down the stairs due wearing that all. We also had to guess the weighth of it all, and because I thought it was very light, I answered "about 25 kg" - when the right answer was about 35 kg, so that's why the Captain was a bit abashed. (Well, sometimes they think women can't do things like carrying heavy stuff as good as men can, but after all the Captain was very pleased about my performance. That's good.)
After the equipment test, we were all interviewed. My interview was shorter, because they can't yet make the decision of acceptance here in Southwest Finland. My case will continue in next month in Tavastia Proper District Office in Hämeenlinna. I'll get my final decision there, but currently everything's looking fine.
If I ever get to the Forces, I'll go to the Signal Regiment for sure.
Denuntiatio solum translata valet!