Welcome to another issue of Life in the Swedish Army, the weekly dump of entries from my diary, being written as I go through national service in the armed forces of Sweden. See my wu in this node if this is the first of the LitSA rants you've seen. It contains some background info which will be expanded later when I get to writing a proper LitSA metanode.

For those of you who wonder how all of the former "Life in the Swedish Army" nodes suddenly became daylog entries, that's due to the actions of a certain e2 god who decided my rantings weren't important enough to have nodes of their own. Sigh. Anyway, the wu's still link to each other through the next/previous links at the bottom, so you shouldn't have any trouble finding them. The first one is at June 21, 2002.

Another two weeks have passed. I got transferred, I went to take an EKG test, and I've played with telecom systems worth more than I'll make in a lifetime of hard work (well, almost). After being transferred to the geek platoon I've found that being more of a techie and less of Rambo isn't that bad after all. In fact, I'd be mildly upset if they decided to move me back again. Anyway, on to the diary entries:

September 3, 2002 - 13:41
Lo and behold, I'm out on a field exercise again, but not with my usual platoon - I've been transferred! The people from way up decided to split my previous platoon up, and one half (including myself) were to be spread out across other platoons who were in need of soldiers to fill vacant positions. In short, I went from being a fearsome warrior (insert appropriate Rambo-style visuals here) to being part of a group in charge of getting the army's telecommunications systems in touch with the nation's main grid. More fun than it sounds, fortunately. I'll be working in a group of three, consisting of myself and two others from my old platoon. We'll be commendeering one large all-terrain vehicle filled with expensive equipment. More about this later...

September 4, 2002 - 13:09
Lunch break. This day and yesterday has so far been spent on combat exercises, with me in charge of one group (8 soldiers). One of the funniest things we've done so far. The new platoon is proving to be quite a nice place to be.

(Noted): Remember the axiom: There's no such thing as justice.

September 4, 2002 - 17:13
Wheeew. Combat all day. That Counter-Strike feeling I mentioned several weeks ago is coming back. Wonderful to get so many adrenaline spikes in just one short afternoon! Though I'm practically sweating my clothes off in this heat. It's time to go take a bath.

September 5, 2002 - 09:36
And so, it is time for - you guessed it - more combat exercises. I've just filled three magazines with 30 rounds each. The tax payers must be crying (we'll be spending more than SEK 100 000 worthj of ammo today) but whoever owns the ammo factory is probably laughing all the way to the bank. We each receive 90 rounds for each exercise, and we do 3-6 exercises each day. Wonderful. At the risk of sounding like I think war is a good thing, the feeling you get when you go out into the forest, rifle in hand, is very .. special. It's nothing like what you feel when playing a computer game or somesuch. Still, I'm glad it's just an exercise...

September 5, 2002 - 14:55
The first battle of the day is concluded. Result: VICTORY!
Rounds fired by self: 77 x 5.56 mm
Friendly casualties: 0 (none)
Enemies slain: Lots
Time spent in active combat: 30-40 minutes
Sweating: Massively
Men on own team: 8
Enemies total: 16+

I didn't write anything else during the rest of the field week. Suffice to say we fought some more, kicked lots of enemy ass (and got shot ourselves a few times), and then went home. I forgot to bring my notebook home during the weekend and so were unable to node last week's entries until now. And so, it became next week.

September 11, 2002 - 13:11
Wow. September 11th. Nothing special has happened apart from the fact that every TV channel is filled with stuff related to you-know-what. Seriously, I'm getting tired of hearing about it, I already know all I need to about the WTC, Usama bin Laden, terrorism and everything that happened this time last year. Sigh. Anyway, after spending last week in the field we now have about 7 weeks of telecom systems training to look forward to, which is great. Today I've been in Näsbypark (Stockholm) to do what is known as an EKG exam, in order to find out how my body reacts under extreme pressure, to make sure that I am up to the tasks ahead of me - mast climbing, for example. I passed the test with a very good result (350 W, 9 minutes 39 seconds), top of my group. Now we're in the army's Volvo 240 on our way back.

And that's all for this week. Nothing too special, really. I've managed to get totally hooked on the anime series Saishu Heiki Kanojo (Ultimate Weapon Girlfriend). If you're into anime, check it out. See ya next week.

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