A week or two ago I read that in Morocco they had re-introduced Obligatory Military Service again. The reason behind it is, as King Mohammed stated, to strengthen citizenship and to make Morocan's more nationalistic.
It reminded me at my service in the army, I was the last batch of Dutch young people who served the army obligatory.
I have some great and less great memories of it. In Holland it was obligated to serve the army for (at least) 12 months after finishing school. There were circumstances that you didn't have to fill duty, but most guy's had to serve. This is part one of some memories from that time....
When you didn't had to serve
- Due to medical conditions
- When you had two older brothers that already served (brother-service)
- When you had strong religious motivations not to want to join the army (although that often didn't stand in court)
- Going to a higher education
When I was 18 (and was finished with middle school) I received a letter from the ministry of Defense that I had to show up for a military inspection.
With this inspection they runned some tests to see if you are mentally and physically Ok to serve the army. I had to go to Deventer, to a military barracks not very far from the place I live. At the inspection you had to fill in some forms about your health, your past and the things that keeps you busy. You could also give a preference of the paert of the military you wanted to serve (Marine's, Army or air force).
One part I failed big time was the colorblindness test. You had to look at a card and tell the examiner which numbers you saw. I can recall that I had 2 good out of 10, so I failed big time. I thought my military day's were terminated prematurely, so how surprised I was when in the final talk the doctor said I was approved to serve. I would be send to the army...
After several weeks I received a letter at home with information about my first attendance. I had to travel to "Ossendrecht" in the south of Holland to attend the Army. First of all we again had to fill out a lot of forms and went to the clothing department to receive our Personal Gear, it was a duffle bag with all kinds of clothing and stuff for 'the soldier'. A pocketknife, tableware for in the field, three full costumes etc. Of course we were surprised about the amount of stuff but on the other hand I think we probably needed it.
After that we were told that we had to go to other barracks in a other town...... By 'viertonner' , a viertonner is a truck like the one on the picture below... We had to sit in the back...I promise you, it wasn't a comfortable trip...
After a two hour drive we finally reached our destination, we were all shook up (Hey, a Elvis song) by the non-comfortable trip. I can imagine that in a war you don't bother about it because the purpose is different. But for a trip in peacetime from a to b it isn't a great way of transportation.
When we were 'unloaded'of the truck a sergeant came to us and said that we had to wait a little. So we did.... About a hour and a half he'd came back and said that something was wrong, because no-one at this barrack expected us...
It, again, took a long while untill we got the final message that indeed we were at the wrong adress... We had to go back to Ossendrecht.... Again in the back of the truck... At that moment I was already fed up with the army ...lol...
When we arrived back in Ossendrecht it was already night and dark, it was cold and all we wanted to do was going to a nice and warm place. But at that moment it still wasn't sure were we would stay and with which army unit. So we were told we could have a drink in the bar and people would come to get us later on...
The army alway had the reputation of a place where alcoholics were born, and after that night I truely believed that. The reason for that is that one beer was about 70 cents (in Dutch Guilder), that is about 30 eurocents now. So you can imagine people would buy loads of beers... In the canteen it was all about beer and junkfood, not the first thing I would expect...
You already could see signs of hierarchy ;) , the 'lowest' soldiers were drinking at the other side of the canteen then the corporals :)
All about the unit were we finally got in part two :)
Thanks for reading,
Have a great day
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