Kaartin Jääkärirykmentti -- abbreviated KaartJR and officially glossed in English as the Guard Jaeger Regiment -- is an urban combat force entrusted with the task of defending the Finnish capital Helsinki in times of crisis.


The regiment was formed on July 1, 1996 when the independent Guard Battalion (KaartP) and Uusimaa Jaeger Battalion (UudJP) were joined together. However, these units trace their history much further back, and the regiment is dedicated to several forebears from different periods of Finnish history.

The most important of these is the 3rd Sharpshooter Battalion, a pre-independence unit of the autonomous Finnish Guard, the defense force of the Grand Duchy of Finland under Imperial Russia. Decommissioned during the so-called "years of oppression" under Czar Nicholas II, the battalion was retrained as the Royal Prussian 27th Jaeger Battalion (yes, in Prussia) and fought on the side of the Whites in the Finnish Civil War. The second important forebear is the 2nd Jaeger Battalion, which fought against the Soviet Union during the Finnish Winter War and the Finnish Continuation War.


In terms of organization, the regiment is still divided into its component battalions. The Guard Battalion consists of:
  • Sotilaspoliisikomppania (Military Police Company)
  • 2. Jääkärikomppania (2nd Jaeger Company aka the Honor Company)
  • Kuljetuskomppania (Transport Company)
The Uusimaa Jaeger Battalion consists of:
  • 1. Jääkärikomppania (1st Jaeger Company aka the Vanguard Company)
  • Panssarintorjuntakomppania (Anti-Tank Company)
  • Kranaatinheitinkomppania (Grenade Launcher Company)
The regiment also operates a number of auxiliary units ranging from the National Defense Academy (Maanpuolustuskorkeakoulu) to the Guards' Band (Kaartin Soittokunta). Following the decommissioning of the central Taivallahti military base, the operations of the regiment are almost entirely concentrated on the lovely island of Santahamina to the southeast of Helsinki. The total (peacetime) strength of the regiment is around 1500 soldiers; note that this is all infantry, as the Finnish Navy and Air Force have their own bases around Helsinki.

Random Trivia

The Guard Jaeger Regiment is the only specifically urban combat force in Finland. The regiment is the only Finnish infantry unit whose grunts are called kaartinjääkäri (Jaeger of the Guard) instead of the normal jääkäri (Jaeger) and who are permitted to wear the symbol of the Guard -- a laurel wreath topped with St. George's Cross and a horn -- on their sleeves. The honor guard for the presidential palace is selected from the regiment's Military Police Company.


Personal experience