333 Swiss declared 'too dangerous' for military service

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333 Swiss declared 'too dangerous' for military service
Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

Switzerland's Department for Defence, Civil Protection and Sport (VBS) revealed on Monday that 333 people were prevented from enlisting in the military in 2015 because they had been judged as 'dangerous'.


The Swiss army uses security checks to ensure that weapons are not given to anyone who may pose a risk to themselves or others. These tests were brought in after a soldier in Zürich-Höngg in late 2007 used an army assault rifle to shoot a 16-year-old girl at a bus stop.

However, the figure is much lower than in 2014. Over the course of that year, more than 1,200 recruits failed the security checks, according to the Swiss army.

In a statement, the VBS said that last year saw 38,179 applicants for military service put through their paces by Switzerland's recruitment centres. Of these, 28,766 were accepted for either military or civil service, meaning the acceptance rate was 75.4 percent - up from 73.5 percent in 2014.

Of these, 24,305 (or 63.7 percent) were accepted for military service, while 4,461 (11.7 percent) will serve in civil defence. The rest, almost a quarter, were rejected.

In addition to failing the security checks, further reasons applicants may be ruled out of military service include physical or phsychological problems. The VBS said that the most common cases were back or joint paint, drug abuse, depression and anxiety.

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There were also notable differences between Switzerland's different cantons, with the rural areas demonstrating higher success rates.

Appenzell Innerrhoden - the smallest in terms of population - had the highest proportion of candidates accepted, at 76.4 percent, whereas French-speaking cantons Neuchâtel and Jura had the lowest, at 50.1 percent and 47.3 percent respectively.

Switzerland's compulsory military service does not apply to women, but of the 191 women who voluntarily applied, 136 were accepted into the army.

Individuals declared unfit for the army are required to pay a military tax amounting to three percent of their income each year until the age of 30.


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