Wartime Pledges: This is What Motivates Recruits | NDR.de – News

Status: 05/20/2022 11:07 AM

90 of the 200 new soldiers applied in April alone. Their motivation, according to Captain Falk Kohler: Defending democratic values ​​in Germany.

by Jonas Salto

The sight on the main beach in Bussum (Dietmarchen region) on Thursday made us forget the tense global political situation: at 29 degrees, sunny skies and almost no wind, many tourists were on the beach. But there were also 200 soldiers who were supposed to swear an oath on the constitution of the Federal Republic of Germany. As if it had been staged, just in time for the oath ceremony, dark clouds appeared and rained. Conscripts were sworn in amid a war in Europe. Among them was 27-year-old Jan Kroes from Lubeck.

“Prick in the fingers”


Recruit Jan Krause thought long and hard about whether he wanted to join the army. Now he is officially sworn in.

He applied to the German army in August of last year. For several years he has been thinking about whether he should really take this step. Jan Kroes knows what it means to be an employer of the Bundeswehr. Because his father served with the Panzergrenadiers in the 1980s and always talked about his job at the time. Cross cannot say exactly what prompted him to become a soldier. It was more of a feeling: “When I see soldiers or the German army on the news, it wakes me up. And at the end of the day, I must say it was numbness in my fingers: I would like to experience it.” Cross has committed to himself for 13 years.

What to do for the common good

The war in Ukraine does not appear to deter military service. On the contrary. Falck Koller is a captain at Haider Barracks and spoke to many of the recruits who applied in April, during the war: “They also said: ‘I do this because I want to do something for the common good.'” They want to defend the values ​​of the Federal Republic of Germany because you can see The war is not far away, and there are many people who say: “I want my children to have a safe childhood like the one I had in Germany. “

National defense or coalition instead of foreign missions

Captain Falk Kohler poses in front of the camera for an interview at Main Bussum Beach © NDR Photo: Jonas Salto

Captain Falk Koehler notes that the war in Ukraine is bringing new recruits to the German army.

Falk Koller and his team took up the Ukraine war first-hand during training. It is also expected that future non-commissioned officers of the Luftwaffe would brief themselves on the global political situation. “While overseas missions were still the focus five years ago, we are now talking clearly about national defense and coalition defense,” Koehler said.

Obligation can be voided

If during the first six months soldiers and military personnel realize that the German army is not for them after all, they can still cancel their commitment. This was only the case in Jan Kross’ environment — and then only for family reasons, he says. The war in Ukraine did not change his decision to become a soldier. However, he says. “Of course you feel sick. I’m still human. And the stories that happen there, which you also hear on the sidelines, of course hold. But in the end I’m a soldier and when it comes if you want to do anything, I’ll do it.”

Military law and punctual shooting

Soldiers sworn in today take three to seven years to complete their training, depending on the rank required. Before they receive special training for their chosen career, new soldiers and women first learn military law, the customs in the German army, and then how to shoot from a rifle or pistol.

After training: sergeant

At the end of his training, Jan Kroes was deployed with the rank of sergeant in the Air Force’s Protection of Things Regiment in Schürtens (Lower Saxony). According to Captain Falk Kohler, the position of sergeant is comparable to middle management in the company. As an Air Force sergeant, Kruse would have soldiers under his command, and if in doubt, he would have to explain to them the reason for the job to be done. Depending on how the situation in Ukraine develops, one of the tasks can be the fulfillment of NATO obligations on the eastern side.

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Schleswig-Holstein magazine | 05/19/2022 | It’s 19:30

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