This write-up is a continuation of this one, another chapter in my diary from doing military service for 10 months in the Swedish Army. As I go along, I am translating and noding my diary entries, in the hopes that some people will find them an interesting read. This node holds day 8 through 14 - in real life that's July 24 through 28, since I have most weekends off.

24th of June, 2002 - 23:00
The first day after our first weekend leave became the roughest one so far: The morning started with physical excercise, pushups, situps, the whole kit. Not unbearably hard, but being a total computer geek, I have not exactly got the fittest body around. What really ruined the day were all the drills that followed the PE, all morning, which would not have been so bad either had my pants not started chafing the insides of my thighs for some reason. Ouch.

The afternoon was spent doing weapon excercises in full combat gear - not only a heavy load to carry, but also a sweaty one. The excercises were supposed to teach us how to load and unload our rifles, and to practice different stances (how to shoot while standing up, how to shoot while sitting on your knees, how to shoot while lying down, etc). The whole thing was done outdoors, and was interrupted halfway through by a massive thunderstorm. When lightning struck a very nearby tree we decided to move in - another reason for this was that the sound of the rain and the thunder made most orders inaudible. Still wearing full gear, we ran back to put our rain jackets and pants on, but shortly after our return the people in command decided to move the whole thing indoors. Now soaked in rain as well as sweat, we continued the excercising until dinner (at 1630 - early dinners in the army).

After dinner we were off duty for the remainder of the evening, but not without more orders - there were pages in textbooks that had to be read and all our personal equipment had to be nametagged, all before 0700 hours the following morning. I was finished on time, fortunately, and am now spending some quality time in bed. More PE tomorrow, along with medical training, which will hopefully be a bit less tiring.

27th of June, 2002 - 12:35
Monday was followed by two very busy days and so far the third seems to be turning out only marginally better. Tuesday was spent doing various drills and a 5 kilometer jog around the base which nearly killed me - need to practice that stuff more. On wednesday we packed our backpacks and went out into the field for the first time, where we learned to cook food using our personal "one-man kitchens", setting up our 20-man tents, digging urine pits, and other assorted field activities. Not too bad but very tiring.

Today has been spent training medical care (first aid) according to the ABCDE-system (Airways, Breathing, Circulation, Disability, Examination) and we've also visited our top-of-the-line shooting range. There'll be a test later regarding the safety rules of the Ak5 rifle, too keep us from hurting each other.

28th of June, 2002 - 20:15
Once again I have come home after our first half-week in the field. We're going back out next week, for the whole week this time. Yesterday passed smoothly, I passed the Ak5 exam with a perfect score, so on thursday next week I'll be practicing with live ammo at the shooting range for the first time, along with all the other people who passed the test. Those who didn't will get a second chance on tuesday, we've been told.

Back to this morning. After packing our stuff together we marched back "home" and spent the time before lunch (0830-1130 hrs - the march started at 0730) washing and repairing our equipment, as well as ourselves. After lunch we had written exams on first aid and more safety procedures. I spent the remainder of the afternoon - after we went off-duty, thank God for fridays - sewing a few badges which were about to come off onto my uniform. One of the corporals helpfully "assisted" me in removing the old badges. Everything finished, I drove home at 17:00.

(Noted: Remind myself to kill whoever put the (field) lavatory in the middle of a swamp!)

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