In Switzerland, military service is mandatory for men – and to encourage more people to be considered eligible for service, they are relaxing their restrictions on admitting those who are overweight.

The number of people in the army has been dwindling since the 1990s, following the introduction of an alternative citizen service for those who didn’t feel comfortable serving a military body. To combat the skills shortage, the government are choosing to relax their physical requirements for people who have other defence skills. Committee member Marcel Dobler uses an IT specialist as an example, stating that “he does not need a weapon for cyber defence, and physical fitness is irrelevant.”

HSPS and History applicants should consider how the idea of national service pervades in some countries and not others, and why this varies across different countries. History students should explore the ways in which military regulations reflect the needs of the country and the efficacy of the military response.

More Resources