The peace-time organization of the Swedish Army is divided into a number of regiments for the different branches. The number of active regiments has been reduced since the end of the Cold War. The regiment forms training organizations that train the various battalions of the army and home guard.
The Swedish Armed Forces recently underwent a transformation from conscription-based recruitment to a professional defense organisation. This is part of a larger goal to abandon the mass army from the Cold War and develop an army better suited to modern maneuver warfare and at the same time retain a higher readiness. Since 2014, the Swedish army has had around 50,000 soldiers in either full-time or part-time duty, with eight mechanized infantry battalions instantly available at any time and the full force of 71 battalions ready to be deployed within one week. The regular army consists of 8 mechanized maneuver battalions, 19 support battalions of different kinds including artillery battalions, anti-aircraft battalions, combat engineer battalions, rangers, logistics battalions and 4 reserve heavy armored battalions and 40 territorial defense battalions. The battalion is the core unit but all units are completely modular and can be arranged in combat teams from company to brigade level with different units depending on the task. There are a total of 6 permanent staffs under the central command capable of handling large battlegroups, 4 regional staffs and 2 brigade staffs.
Until 1975 the Swedish monarch was the formal head of the army. In 1937, the staff agency Chief of the Army (Swedish: Chefen för armén, CA) was created to lead the army in peace time. Following a larger reorganization of the Swedish Armed Forces in 1994, CA ceased to exist as an independent agency. Instead, the post Chief of Army Staff (Swedish: Chefen för arméledningen) was created at the then newly instituted Swedish Armed Forces Headquarters (Swedish: Högkvarteret, HKV).
In 1998, the Swedish Armed Forces was again reorganized. Most of the duties of the Chief of Army Staff were transferred to the newly instituted post of "Inspector General of the Army" (Swedish: Generalinspektören för armén). The post is similar to that of the "Inspector General of the Swedish Navy" (Swedish: Generalinspektören för marinen) and the "Inspector General of the Swedish Air Force" (Swedish: Generalinspektören för flygvapnet), later renamed to "Inspector of the Army" (Swedish: Arméinspektören). In 2014, the Chief of Army (Swedish: Arméchefen, AC) position was reinstated.
Chiefs of the ArmyEdit
- Per Sylvan, 1937–1940
- Ivar Holmquist, 1940–1944
- Archibald Douglas, 1944–1948
- Carl August Ehrenswärd, 1948–1957
- Thord Bonde, 1957–1963
- Curt Göransson, 1963–1969
- Carl Eric Almgren, 1969–1976
- Nils Sköld, 1976–1984
- Erik G. Bengtsson, 1984–1990
- Åke Sagrén, 1990–1994
Chiefs of Army StaffEdit
Inspectors General of the ArmyEdit
Inspectors of the ArmyEdit
- Alf Sandqvist, 2003–2005
- Sverker Göranson, 2005–2007
- Berndt Grundevik, 2007–2012
- Anders Brännström, 2012–2013
Chiefs of ArmyEdit
Two regiments of infantry
One regiment and two battalions of cavalry:
- Life Regiment Hussars (K 3) stationed in Karlsborg (Air Assault battalion, long range reconnaissance battalion and ISTAR)
- Arméns Jägarbataljon (AJB, former K 4) (part of I 19) in Arvidsjaur (Ranger Battalion/ISTAR)
- Life Guards (LG) (one battalion) stationed in Stockholm (King's mounted lifeguards and military police)
- Note that the Swedish army's cavalry primarily trains light infantry, ranger units and military police.
One company of chemical, biological, radiation and nuclear defense trained personnel
Three regiments of armoured/mechanized troops:
- Skaraborg Regiment (P 4) Skövde
- South Scania Regiment (P 7) Revingehed
- Norrbotten Regiment (I 19) (While designated as infantry, the regiment is responsible for the training of most army branches in the Northern Sweden) Boden
One regiment of artillery:
One regiment of anti-aircraft troops:
One regiment of engineering troops:
One regiment of signals:
One regiment of logistical troops:
Rapid Reaction ForceEdit
The Swedish Army was to form a Rapid Reaction Organisation (Insatsorganisation in Swedish) in 2014 composed of 8 combat battalions, 19 non-combat battalions and 40 Home Guard battalions, which were supposed to be able to deploy within a few days. This plan, however, was considered by the Supreme Commander to be impossible due to the economic situation at the time.
In 2013, the Armed Forces issued a statement saying that the reorganisation would only suffice for a reasonable defense of Swedish territory for one week. The force was to include the following units:
|War Units||Training Unit||Area||Comments|
|2. Brigadstaben||Skaraborg Regiment (P 4)||Skövde||2 Brigade staff|
|3. Brigadstaben||Norrbotten Regiment (I 19)||Boden||3 Brigade staff|
|Livbataljonen||Life Guards (LG)||Kungsängen||Royal Life Guards battalion|
|12. Motoriserade bataljonen||Life Guards (LG)||Kungsängen||12 Motorized battalion|
|13. Säkerhetsbataljon||Life Guards (LG)||Kungsängen||13 Security battalion|
|18. Stridsgruppen||Skaraborg Regiment (P 4)||Gotland||18 Battle group (for the defense of Gotland)|
|21. Ingenjörsbataljonen||Göta Engineer Regiment (Ing 2)||Eksjö||21 Engineer battalion|
|22. Ingenjörsbataljonen||Göta Engineer Regiment (Ing 2)||Eksjö||22 Engineer battalion|
|31. Luftburna bataljonen||Life Regiment Hussars (K 3)||Karlsborg||31 Airborne battalion|
|32. Underrättelsebataljonen||Life Regiment Hussars (K 3)||Karlsborg||32 Reconnaissance battalion (inc. a company of Parachute Rangers)|
|41. Mekaniserade bataljonen||Skaraborg Regiment (P 4)||Skövde||41 Mechanised (1. modular) battalion|
|42. Mekaniserade bataljonen||Skaraborg Regiment (P 4)||Skövde||42 Mechanised (2. modular) battalion|
|61. Luftvärnsbataljonen||Air Defence Regiment (Lv 6)||Halmstad||61 Air defence battalion|
|62. Luftvärnsbataljonen||Air Defence Regiment (Lv 6)||Halmstad||62 Air defence battalion|
|71. Mekaniserade bataljonen||South Scania Regiment (P 7)||Revingehed||71 Mechanised (5. modular) battalion|
|72. Mekaniserade bataljonen||South Scania Regiment (P 7)||Revingehed||72 Mechanised (6. modular) battalion|
|91. Artilleribataljon||Artillery Regiment (A 9)||Boden||91 Artillery battalion|
|92. Artilleribataljon||Artillery Regiment (A 9)||Boden||92 Artillery battalion|
|191. Mekaniserade bataljonen||Norrbotten Regiment (I 19)||Boden||191 Mechanised (3. modular) battalion|
|192. Mekaniserade bataljonen||Norrbotten Regiment (I 19)||Boden||192 Mechanised (4. modular) battalion|
|193. Jägarbataljonen||Norrbotten Regiment (I 19)||Arvidsjaur||193 Ranger battalion|
|1. CBRN-kompaniet||National CBRN Defence Centre||Umeå||CBRN|
|1. Transportkompaniet||Train Regiment (TrängR)||Skövde||1 Logistics company|
|1. Stridsvagnskompaniet||Skaraborg Regiment (P 4)||Skövde||1 Tank company|
|2. Stridsvagnskompaniet||Skaraborg Regiment (P 4)||Skövde||2 Tank company|
|3. Stridsvagnskompaniet||Norrbotten Regiment (I 19)||Boden||3 Tank company|
|14. Militärpoliskompaniet||Life Guards (LG)||Kungsängen||14 Military police company|
|15. Militärpoliskompaniet||Life Guards (LG)||Kungsängen||15 Military police company|
In addition, the force will include a number of personnel from the Territorial Defense Force.
Territorial Defense ForcesEdit
Between the introduction of universal conscription in 1902 until the start of World War II, the army was usually maintained at a consistent strength of 100 000 men, with two-thirds of the force being conscripts for two years. From 1942 onwards, the Swedish government embarked upon a massive and ambitious militarization program in which conscription was strictly enforced and compulsory service was extended for three years. This combined with propaganda about conscription being a part of social duty and defending the Swedish principle of Folkhemmet, led to an army a size of about 700 000 active duty soldiers in late 1945. Since the late winter of 1945 the size of the army was slowly decreased as entire reserve battalions and brigades were gradually demobilized, and by late 1947 the size of the army was around 170 000 soldiers and was planned to stabilize at such a quantity of personnel.
However, due to the rise in tensions between the East and West over the political landscape of Europe, the threat from the Soviet Union in 1949 and 1950, coinciding with the start of the Cold War, led to a return to the militaristic policy by the Swedish government. From 1950 until around 1976 the size of the army was at an average of 250 000 soldiers with a peak of 400 000 active duty soldiers during the late 1950s and early 1960s. The mandatory period of service during this period was 22 months for non-educated conscripts and 14 months for college educated ones, with 30 years in the reserve and 30 days of reserve service obligation per 18 months. The compulsory service period included 2 months of basic training and 3 months of advanced occupational training. The rules were badly enforced, but dodging the draft was punishable with a year of imprisonment and the refusal of state social welfare benefits. Only in 1976–77 was there a change in policy where the compulsory service period of all conscripts was reduced and equalized at 14 months.
During the 1980s the size of the army was around 180 000 soldiers and was slowly increased as time progressed until around 1988. The end of the Cold War led to a massive restructuring of the Swedish Army. Every year after 1988, the Army discharged around 40 000 conscripts and recruited only 20 000, so that by 1995 the size was down to 80 000 soldiers. Around this time the compulsory service obligation was further reduced to 10 months, reserve service became more flexible, and changes made in enforcement so that forceful enforcement became withdrawn as policy. By 2004 the size of the Swedish Army was down to 60 000 soldiers, and in 2013, three years after the end of conscription, the size was at an all-time low of just 16 000 soldiers, though the army plans to reach a level of 50 000 professional soldiers by 2020, mostly through a large media campaigns.
From the 17th century until 2010, the Swedish Army recruitment was based upon Prussian-style conscription. All personnel were drafted as conscripts for a year of national service, after which the unit the soldier trained with was put in reserve. Upon completion of conscript service with sufficient service marks, conscripts are eligible to apply for commissioned officer training, NCO/Warrant Officer or from 2007 stay in the Army as a professional private, mainly to be employed in the Nordic Battle Group. The army has employed soldiers for UN service on short time contracts since the 1950s for service abroad.
From July 2010 until March 2017, the Swedish Army was an all-professional fighting force. March the 3rd, the Swedish government reinstated national service. In 2017, around 13,000 men and women are to sign up for the draft, and of them 4,000 will be selected for national service starting January 2018. The government stated that the number of conscripts may increase in response to foreign events.
- Military ranks of the Swedish Armed Forces
- Royal Swedish Academy of War Sciences
- Swedish Army Museum
- List of wars involving Sweden
- List of Swedish field marshals
- List of Swedish military areas
- List of Swedish military commanders
- List of Swedish monarchs
- List of Swedish regiments
- List of military aircraft of Sweden
- 91:an (comic strip)
- Allotment system
- Equipment of the Swedish Army
- Swedish Military Uniform
- Sondsson, Eva (26 January 2011). "Ofolkligt försvar". Sundsvalls Tidning (in Swedish). Retrieved 21 December 2016.
- Wallberg, Peter (10 January 2013). "Politiker till attack: Vill ha mer än en veckas skydd". Sydsvenskan (in Swedish). Retrieved 21 December 2016.
- "Försvarsmaktens delårsrapport 2011" (PDF) (in Swedish). Swedish Armed Forces. 2011-08-12. Retrieved 27 August 2011.
- "Rikshemvärnschefens brev till hemvärnspersonalen, dec 2009" (PDF) (Press release) (in Swedish). Home Guard. December 2009. Retrieved 23 March 2010.
- "Sweden brings back military conscription amid Baltic tensions". BBC News. 2 March 2017. Retrieved 13 March 2017.
- Swedish Army – official website (in English)
- Soldf.com – unofficial weapons, vehicles and equipment page of the Swedish Armed forces
- Nordic military vehicles site
- Scandinavian Armour by Roy Haaland
- Svante Wendel's Unofficial Royal Swedish Army Page