I just finished serving six months in the Finnish military. The wikipedia article on Finnish conscription does it justice. It should be noted that I did it voluntarily and later than most conscripts, since there's an agreement between my two countries stating that, in essence, it's not compulsory for dual citizens from the US.

I'm a 23-year old dual citizen who's lived most of his life in North America with my Finnish mother and American father. I had been to Finland roughly every other summer, but my Finnish was still pretty weak going into it. It's my dream to live in Finland one day, and I figured that intti, as it's called, would be a good way to get my foot in the door. Ancillary goals were to learn Finnish, get into better shape, meet Finns, and have the intti experience that many Finnish men have.

I served in the Frontier Jaegers at Onttola, finishing on June 19th. I should note that my experience has been quite different from what someone in the normal Finnish Defence Forces would have had (the Frontier Jaegers are part of the Border Guard, which is under the Ministry of the Interior, unlike the FDF), so if you're someone considering doing intti, I can recommend you another redditor to ask. I just got back from celebrating Midsummer (Juhannus) at a summer cabin, which is why I'm a few days late.

Here's me in my uniform last weekend.

There are some rules that I will abide by that forbid discussing specifics of how/what we trained, sharing names of other people, and revealing sensitive information. But feel free to ask about anything, and I'll answer to the best of my ability within that. AMAA!

Edit: Apologies for the slow responses. This got a lot more popular than I expected.

Edit II: All righty, folks, it's just about 1 AM here in the land of 'almost as many lakes as mosquitoes'. Keep on asking, and I'll answer in the morning.

Edit 3: And I'm back. Good morning!

Edit four: Just so we're clear, neither I nor anyone else that's gone through the 6 to 12 month period of service could be called a "professional" soldier in the sense that one might be used to with, say, someone who served in the US military. We were training for the reserve. As such, instead of any kind of salary or pay, we got 5 euros per day as "spending money," (very generous in my opinion) along with room and board at the barracks.

Comments: 1134 • Responses: 50  • Date: 

Drahtmaultier637 karma

did you.... finnish it?

Savolainen5810 karma

Yeah, but it felt like I was russian it the whole time.

CharlieDeltaNovember142 karma

Hypothetical here. Would your service prevent you from joining the US military if you wishes? I know it would affect your ability to get specific postings and clearances, but I'm unsure about just enlisting or commissioning.

Savolainen5153 karma

Yeah, I wondered the same thing. I think that I would probably have to avoid enlisting altogether because I know a good deal of sensitive information, and I wonder if any of how I would work in an American unit would be influenced by my Finnish training. Furthermore, I think there would be issues if I got called to fulfill my oath in Finland during the threat of war. How would I get out of any kind of American military service in that case?

And yeah, I've looked at government work in the States, and my dual citizenship prevents me from going too high with security clearance and the like, unfortunately I'm wrong.

Edit for clarity: I would personally not enlist so as to avoid any conflicts between my two duties.

joebob801129 karma

Does the Finnish military only really consist of going on a 6 month long fishing trip and talking about how you wish you were really a Swede?

Savolainen583 karma

Probably in Ivalo or Vekaranjärvi, but where I was, we were too busy going on forced marches and avoiding bears. Most of the people were wishing they were Russians so they could more easily get cheap cigarettes, snus, and gas. (Admittedly, when we had weekend leave, most of the people lived close enough to the border that they went and bought that stuff anyways.)

Skogrot46 karma

Did you try snus yourself? And if you did, how would you rank it on a scale from "loved it" to "best ever"?

Savolainen526 karma

Nah, I couldn't be bothered to.

Soniccyanide26 karma

Ivalo's jaeger company is one of the most toughest places in FDF.

Tjue Alik 1/08 Jääkäriprikaati

Savolainen537 karma

Jee, hölmöilin, heh. Tietysti työ ootte kovempi ku myö siellä Onttolassa.

B4thinking102 karma

Hi, a native Finnish guy here. What was the reception for you in the army? Did you have a good time with everybodyelse or did they take you as a stranger?

Savolainen5163 karma

I came to intti with the idea that Finnish men are generally quiet, sober, and ankara, and my experience broke that idea. Everyone was curious about why in the world would a jenkki come to intti willingly, and wanted to know how what I was experiencing compared to my experience in the States. Everyone was super friendly, and the only thing that ever prevented me from becoming friends with people was my language skills. That said, I did make friends, and at the end, the company voted me as the rehtisissi. So, it went surprisingly well.

Quazar8775 karma

I've heard that Finnish is one of the most difficult languages to learn. How did you find it?

Savolainen5107 karma

I've grown up with it (I fit the definition of an heritage speaker, someone who has just an incomplete/non-native acquisition of the language), so I don't think it's necessarily too difficult. The thing is just that it's very different. For me, I have issues with which case to use where, and adapting the morphology to the word I'm trying to use. By this point, after 6 months in Finland, I speak well enough to get my point across, but it may or may not have a few errors in case usage or word form.

That said, I wouldn't say it's any more difficult for English speakers than any other language that shares few similarities to English. I mean, the Romance languages and the other Germanic languages are nice for anglophones because they share a good deal of vocabulary, word order, and grammatical features. And all told, that accounts for most of the languages of Western Europe and the Americas. I think a lot of speakers compare Finnish to these languages when thinking bout languages. TL;DR - "Finnish is one of the most difficult languages to learn" is seen by linguists as BS.

Bardfinn51 karma

I'm a "linguist", with an interest in a lot of different languages. Finnish is difficult for Germanic and Romance speakers to learn to a basic level, but those who get beyond the basic level (first year / children's mastery) usually find it no more difficult to master it to a conversational level if they're immersed in the language. The historically perceived challenge is due to the difference between book Finnish and spoken Finnish, and the idiosyncrasies of spoken Finnish.

Someone can pick up books in English and read them and conversationally master not just the mainstream core of the language, but also practically any dialect. Spoken Finnish can't be learned from the corpus of books.

English is, imnsho, the most difficult language to fully master, as it is highly irregular. It's simple to get to children's mastery, only a little harder to get to conversational — but beyond that, the learner is facing a large number of steep learning curves.

Icelandic is often cited as the most difficult language to learn. I don't think it is, having studied both it and Dine' (Navajo). Dine' wins, hands down — it requires a radically different way of thinking about the world.

I'm rambling, sorry. Thanks for doing your service and this AMA!

Savolainen517 karma

I studied ling in uni, and in the end, I think it's totally silly to talk about "This language is more difficult to learn than that one." It's such a subjective statement, and success in acquiring a new language depends so much on the individual. I usually just avoid that kind of stuff in general.

gad-gada66 karma

Why do you have a dream to live in Finland?

Savolainen5138 karma

I've lived all my life visiting Finland during the best parts of the year (the month or two of summer), I've read/heard/learned a lot about the government, the society, and especially the social security system, and I've always thought things work a lot better in Finland than in either Canada or the US. I've always been proud of my Finnish heritage and very interested in the language and the country in general. And my love for the country and its people has only grown in my experience here.

gad-gada41 karma

Great, good luck!

How is your Finnish now compared to what it was before the service?

Savolainen5118 karma

Insanely better. At the beginning, I understood NOTHING about the casual banter in the bunkroom (because in Finnish, formal and informal language are much more different than in English) I understood barely half of the orders and commands (which are not particularly complicated language or syntax) and relied on copying what others did and asking all the time what was said.

Here's a nice little anecdote: At the end of basic, we had a field test on everything we'd learned, and I got to one stage where an officer cadet ordered me to march forward. After a few paces he said "Taivas alkaa viheltää," and I had to stop and ask "What does that last word mean?" He responded in English "whistle," at which point my training kicked in and I dove into cover, yelling "Suojaan!" I think I lost points because I had to ask what such a simple word means, haha.

But now, I understand 99% of everything. My biggest issue now is vocabulary, but with immersion, it's expanding all the time. So it worked out really well.

DrBcD49 karma

So i know you cant go into specifics but how was boot camp like? And how does it differ from the typical image of FMJ american movie bootcamp? Also what are the main weapons used by the Finnish army?

Savolainen592 karma

By and large, it's a lot more chill than what you see in movies (and probably what one experiences in the American military) since 99% of the people that come to serve are compelled to do so. I like to imagine that the more hardcore troops that use conscripts, like the Special Frontier Jaegers, have something closer to crazy drill instructors the likes of which you can see in movies, but I still doubt they're as bad because the Finnish Defence Forces forbids, to use an American term, "cruel and unusual punishment" (such as "You didn't address me as 'Sir'?! Drop and give me 50!" or "Oh, Private Gona, you say you can't last? Just for that, you get to run an extra 10k on top of what you're doing now! Enjoy!").

Boot camp was really just dropping us into the normal routine with strong discipline. It's shock enough. Wake up, morning run, move in order to the shower, go eat, start the day's service. We spent a lot of time in marching drills (which I use as a catch-all term to mean marching, ceremonial and practical weapons handling, and other formation and order practicing) and the auditorium (the FDF has this system of education that goes, essentially, "learn the theory - this is the auditorium part -, see how it's done in practice, practice it yourself," which is how we learned to use RPGs, track mines, claymores, etc.). We had some intelligence/aptitude tests (used, in part, to determine if you were suited for going onto a junior officer track), and in general a lot of studying and tight discipline. After we got out of basic, we started specialising in our units, which meant about the same amount of studying, but we also ended up having less ridiculously tight discipline, since everyone knew what they were doing. And now that we were out of basic, it was easier and made more sense to start really bonding with the guys in our units.

You can see the main weapons here, but we use the RK 95 TP as our AR, and got training on the KES 88 and APILAS (which are the only two current weapons on that list that are small enough for us to transport dozens of kilometers on foot). The Frontier Jaegers are a light and quiet type of troop, which means we don't use any of the vehicles on that list except for some trucks for transport and the occasional chopper for supply drops.

JimmyChurry39 karma

Did they make you sit on one of those ant hills in the forest?

Savolainen553 karma

They're great for sitting on in the winter when they're dormant, but otherwise, no. They weren't THAT cruel!

Brad_Wesley34 karma

Did you bang any Finnish chicks?

Savolainen559 karma

Haha, I didn't have any time while serving, but now that I'm free and summer's around, anything can happen!

CyborgWalrus32 karma

How did you feel at TJ 0, exited? Sad?

Savolainen534 karma

Both. It still doesn't feel real that I'm not going back to base next Monday. It feels like I'm just on a nice little leave. I already miss the really interesting things that we were doing, and especially the camaraderie (ryhmähenki is definitely a better word for it).

ShemomedjamOOPS29 karma

Why is the time spent in the military so short? Did you ever consider staying in longer? Do you think the US should adopt a similar program, why or why not?

Savolainen562 karma

They've been slowly decreasing the maximum time (back in the day, it was 12+ months even for the grunts) as the perceived need lessens. Currently, 6 months is the minimum you can serve, and the amount of time you serve is related directly to the place and company you choose to serve in, as well as whether you choose to go onto any kind of leadership track. Some service places have 9 or even 12 months of service for the grunts, and in the Frontier Jaeger company, the junior officers and officer cadets serve 12 months (347 days, to be exact).

I didn't consider staying longer because that would have put me on a leadership track, and I didn't, at the point that I had to choose, consider my Finnish to be good enough to do it. Now I almost regret it, because I've had such a good time, but it's a different experience in the two officer courses, which are finishing in a couple of months for our company, so I wouldn't have had the same thing.

In my opinion, the US doesn't need conscription. Conscription is good for a small country like Finland, which can't afford to maintain a large standing army, but can, by conscription, field a larger military force if necessary. The US has both a ridiculously large military budget and and a large population. So no need.

HumblerThanThou10 karma

How long was your training? Wiki page says basic is 8 weeks, was there more training before you got to your actual duty station?

6 months is crazy short, my training alone in the US Army was seven months and some jobs require a whole year. I think the minimum total contract is 3 years.

Savolainen58 karma

The other comments here are totally right. We had 8 weeks of basic, then roughly 8 and 7 of more training before being sent off to the reserve. That's actually an interesting difference, and I should probably write in the title that I'm not and wasn't a professional soldier, but just a guy training for the reserve.

ShemomedjamOOPS6 karma

That's really interesting. I was curious because training takes up so much time in the military, and training=time/money invested in a soldier so it takes time to make that investment worth something. So I was curious from that angle, how Finland does training or just has the soldiers do everyday regular work that doesn't need much training.

Savolainen59 karma

From what I've understood, they essentially give us a crash course of 165 days. During one of the last days, when our base commander had gathered us for general feedback, I'd asked why the Border Jaegers don't have longer terms of service. Everything had felt pretty rushed (hence my "russian" pun up top), so I feel like nine months would be better. The captain said that he'd like to see 12. I have no idea why it's so short, and I can't comment on what kind of decision-making goes into deciding to have it only six months.

witchrist24 karma

what are some of the small cultural differences between americans and finnish people that you noticed after living in finland for a while?

Savolainen58 karma

Humm... That's hard to say. I've been so used to both that I've rarely noticed differences. Maybe someone who has a better perspective could answer. I got nothing for ya here.

goldenpizza20 karma

What's your opinion on Finns who decide to do a year of civilian service instead?

Savolainen522 karma

I have no problem with that. It's not for everyone, and I'm sure those who do civil service are doing very important work.

BaffledPlato18 karma

As an American citizen serving in a foreign army, does that cause any problems in the US? Are you always pulled out for extra screening or something at airports?

Savolainen532 karma

Actually, I went back to the States on leave in late April, and I told them at Customs that I was serving, and there were no issues. The guy asked me "How is the Finnish army compared to ours?" and I told him "More chill, really fun," and he sent me on my way. Easy stuff. I imagine it'd be different if there were any tensions or friction between the two countries, but Finland's been moving toward the West slowly since the 70s, so I'm sure there's plenty of good feelings between the countries since we weren't getting too buddy-buddy with the Soviets.

Motzlord46 karma

What do you mean, Finland has been moving slowly towards the west? Finland has always considered itself a western country. Its coat of arms is the Finnish Lion wielding the straight sword of the West while trampling the curved saber of the east.

Savolainen523 karma

Indeed, Finlandisation. Finland has always realised that it occupied a very precarious position being so close to a large and important city to the Soviets/Russia. For this reason, and to avoid a repeat of the Winter War, Finland sought in the post-war period to make itself as non-threatening to the Soviets as possible while still maintaining its sovereignty. Hence not joining NATO and a number of Nordic organisation and having good (and at times, preferential) trading relations with the USSR. As the threat the USSR posed began to wane, the later terms of President Urho Kekkonen saw the country begin to move toward the West, as it had long wanted. I wrote a paper on Finlandisation and Finnish-Soviet relations in the postwar period back in university, which I could dig up and share with you, if you like.

Human_Sandwich18 karma

Is it true that the Finnish military always has a sauna wherever they go?

Savolainen524 karma


TMWNN18 karma

Given your service with the border guard, what, if anything, changed during and after the Ukraine/Russia crisis?

Savolainen527 karma

As far as I know, nothing really happened. We liked to joke that our service was going to be extended, but there's no way. While the FDF has talked about how it's a small concern, it had no impact on our service, and I don't think the Border Guard itself was affected in any way.

Derelickmaballs15 karma

Hello! I just left Finland. I was there visiting for a week with my mom. We went to helsinki, rovaniemi, and kuopio. I'm half Finnish and I wanted to see the "homeland". Where are you from? What's your favorite thing about Finland?

Savolainen58 karma

I'm from New England in the States and Pohjois-Savo (for which Kuopio is the capital) in Finland. I don't know if I have a favourite thing about Finland. There are so many things. The nature, the culture, the fact that everything works (more or less - I don't want to be too political here), the people, and so on. It's just a nice place to be, in my opinion.

itsxzy14 karma

First of congratulations on getting promoted, Corporal!

I, myself was a leader of a 'scout&sniper' XA-185 (1 year) on 1st Jaeger company (first war time company to use the new attacking techniques) in Säkylä.

My first question is: How do you feel about finnish army. Was it rough? How were the people?

Second and last question: What are your plans from now on? Will you go back to US or maybe start serving in Finnish army?

I wish you all the best with your future!

  • From a fellow Corporal :)

Savolainen59 karma

Were you based out of a Sisu XA-185? Because that would be sweeeet. They're really cool-looking. Then again, before our loppusota, we quickly went over the organisation of a jääkärikomppania, but I dunno if you guys move around in KULJPSAJON:t. Anyways, that's cool!

It was fun. Especially when we weren't suffering. But it was pretty rankka, as to be expected. We would have end marches of 30km on average at the end of our field exercises, which was really fun if you had rakkoja or something else wrong with your feet. But generally, I feel like it was just the right amount of difficulty/roughness. I wasn't in very good shape at the beginning of it, so the way they ramped up the difficulty worked out well for me. The people were generally awesome. Friendly, interested in hearing about the US and how the food/people/weather/environment was compared to there. I made many good friends!

I have almost no plans right now. I didn't manage to apply for university here, unfortunately, so my only plan is to apply next spring. I'm going back to the States in July, and I'll find some work there until I get some pääsykoe kutsunnat.

Good stuff, good stuff! Were you called a Korpraali? I'm an Ylirajajääkäri, which is fun to try to make my friends who kind of speak Finnish say.

Crying_hippy11 karma

Have you ever experimented with drugs?

Savolainen519 karma

Yes, but I didn't have a chance in Finland.

FungalJungal11 karma

What is the process & How does one apply for dual citizenship?

Savolainen524 karma

I don't know, I was born with it, since Finland has (or had, I'm not too sure if it's still around) jus sanguinis. My mother was a Finnish citizen, and I was born in the States. So, from birth, I was a dual citizen. I can't comment on how to get it otherwise.

FoxIslander10 karma

...was a sauna provided at boot camp?

Savolainen515 karma

Yeah, during evening free time, we were allowed to use the local municipal sauna, which was in a building just outside of the base.

Also, at our training grounds off in the wilderness, we had a sauna. That was pretty sweet.

tecIis10 karma

So how many hours of training did you spend in a sauna?

Savolainen511 karma


SirDigbyChknCaesar7 karma

I work for a US defense contractor and I got to spend some time with the FDF Armoured Brigade near Hameenlinna. It was interesting to see the conscripts out for ski and snowmobile training. Their winter uniforms are super badass. We used to try and greet the guards in Finnish to see if we could get them to respond in kind. We considered it a win if they didn't come back with "Have a nice day" thus proving our obvious Finnish language deficiency.

I assume you got to do some of that winter training? If so, how was it?

Savolainen57 karma

Well, we started in the beginning of January, so yeah, though we didn't have any crazy cold weather (that is, -30 Celsius). Basically, it was just 'wear more clothes, change underclothes and socks frequently, stay warm, but not too warm.' So we otherwise did our normal stuff. Clear an area for the tent, set it up, find firewood and set up the stove that warms the tent so we don't freeze at night. It's easier to do our scouting jobs because of the snow and it's uncomfortable to be a watchman when the wind is blowing in your face and it's really cold. We skiied a good deal, built fancy and compact snow forts for defensive positions at our camps, and generally tried to stay warm. The darkness sucks, though.

Equaldude7 karma

Finnish reserve's corporal here. The fact that you voluntarily went through intti's shenanigans is an attribute that I, among most other finns, will respect!

My guestion for you is: would you be actually willing to defend Finland in case the "K-state" started a conflict with Finland? I know this is an unlikely event but sometimes I question my own ability to perform under pressure and I'd love to hear an apinion from dual citizen's perspective.

Sorry for this rather morbid question. I wish you a wonderful summer in Finland and let's hope that the temperature will rise :/

Savolainen510 karma

Definitely. Maybe it's because I really love the country. Maybe it's because of the sotilasvala. Maybe because I trust that Finland would never find itself on the wrong side of an unjust war.

Kohta kesä tulee, varmasti.

Sgt-Yu6 karma


Savolainen57 karma

  • Yeah, we always address our superiors as "Herra rank", which is the same as "Sir rank"

  • For us, there were just Border Jaegers and Over-Border Jaegers (the second one is just a fancy version of the first), and there's a rule in the Finnish military (or at least on our base), that you don't have to use honourifics and such with people from the same "class" (saapumiserä) as you.

  • We usually had weekend leave. Friday at 1400 we were allowed to leave base, and had to be back by Sunday before midnight. So I managed to go home (Finland home, not US home) for a day and a half or so, since there was travel time. In the evenings, assuming we managed to do cleaning service before dinner, we usually had from roughly 1730 until 2115 for free time if there was no extra service.

  • I personally chose to become the assistant to the unit's radio operator, so I learned how to use the radio just as well as him. I think I was the only conscript on base who had had time to go to university, and it didn't affect my service at all. There were some people who had prior experience in medical things, and they chose and were usually accepted to be the assistant to the unit's medic.

  • There were only a small handful of women in our company. And I should note that we weren't professionals, but just training to join the reserve.

  • We didn't have the time to set up and shoot moving targets, unfortunately. Six months is a short time. And I'm an OK marksman. Some days I shoot REALLY well, some days not so well. I would have liked to have more time to practice my shooting form.

  • I did make a lot of friends, and I definitely will keep in touch with them.

  • I'm in a LOT better shape than when I started. So many muscles, and so much better running. My endurance is a lot higher, it's great.

  • So, I finished as an Over Border Jaeger (In US terms as Private First Class, in Finnish as Ylirajajääkäri), which was the higher of the two ranks you can get as a "grunt". The junior officers in the company start as Corporals (Alikersantti - Under Sergeant - in Finnish) and can get up to Sergeant (Kersantti), which is just the next step up. And the officer cadets (upseerikokelas) almost always get promoted at the end to Second Lieutenant (vänrikki), which is the highest they can go. We had a small company, so we probably have a smaller range of ranks that you can get (because there are a few ranks between Sergeant and Officer Cadet), but there ya have it. The promotions are essentially merit-based. How well have you done in the field examinations, in field exercises, etc., based on what the instructors have seen and what your direct superiors tell them.

jethroq5 karma

What did people in your unit most want to know about America? Also, did everyone ask you "what do Americans think of Finland?"

Savolainen511 karma

Mostly they asked about the food and environment. And I had some good conversations about the government, economy, politics, etc.

Nobody asked what do Americans think, but they asked what I think, and I had to say all the time that Finland is fairly familiar to me, and I like it.

Bruntti5 karma

I'm facing "intti" in a year myself. Was the Frontier Jaeger training hard/difficult? My grandfather and uncle both completed the same training and I've been wondering about that myself.

Savolainen57 karma

It was, not gonna lie. Mostly because I wasn't in all that great shape. I had only 2700m for the Cooper at the beginning of basic, which was on the lower end of what people had, and my strength was pretty poor, too. I don't, unfortunately, remember what I did on my lihaskuntotestit in basic, but at the end I had 40 pushups and 41 crunches in a minute each, which was below average and average for the company respectively. I'd recommend at least 2800m and some 40 and 40 for the tests if you're coming in so that you won't suffer for being out of shape, but as long as you have sisu, you'll be fine.

I should say that Onttola is an AWESOME place to serve. Small company, good food, excellent instructors, cool things to do. Watch out for Ltn. Mäkelä if you go, he's the tarkka-ampujien kouluttaja, and he's super ankara ja vihainen, but also the best shooting instructor in Finland.

ScottishStalker5 karma


Bliswas11 karma

FDF use TRG-42 (chambered for .338 lapua magnum) as a designated sniper rifle... It's light enough to be comfortable on long marches yet heavy enough not to break your shoulder (not on first 10 shots atleast, starts hurting at round 20). Comes with pretty nice options (integrated bipod is awesome) just dont get the muzzle brake which sucks, go for silencer. Otherwise it's a great weapon for long range shooting and accurate enough to beat more expensive weapon systems.

Source: II/08 sniper/sissi from LapJPR

Savolainen55 karma

Well shit, I'm glad someone who knows what they're talking about answered his question. My unit's tramppi was crazy about guns, and just loved talking about how great his TKIV was, hah.

Savolainen57 karma

I think that's the civilian model, which is probably just about the same as their TKIV 2000. I haven't fired it personally, but I have spent a lot of time with it (my unit's sniper gave it to me sometimes when he didn't want to carry it on marches, and I understand, because it sucks to carry 30k). That being said, I can't speak for any of its qualities other than that my unit's sniper loved it.

Black-Velvet4 karma

What were the things that you made rookie mistakes at? As an example I've been to Estonian army as a conscript, they told us if we get our barracks cleaned we get the weekend pass. They told us that 10 in the morning. After every clean cycle they failed us, as an example, after we did all clean they walked in with white glove and just slided it over top of the ceiling lamp that noone even thought to clean. Yeah , so we didn't leave till 5 that evening...

Savolainen54 karma

Haha, that sounds like the first cleaning services we did.

I think the biggest issue, besides the fact that I barely spoke Finnish, I had was trying to do everything perfectly instead of efficiently. That cost me a lot of time and made things hard many times.

itsnotmoomin4 karma

As a finnish citizen who's lived his whole life in Sweden, dreading finnish military service to the point of getting dual citizenships just to avoid it (and getting a hilarious letter saying "well, since you ran off to Sweden, we don't really want you anymore, but still, get in touch if you move to Finland in the next few years"), this kind of fascinates me.

In my case (and my brothers), I was offered to do service which would've been done partly in swedish and partly in finnish. As I understood it, I would've had all the formal training in finnish, but with officers and other conscripts that knew swedish as well, and material that was better suited for weaker finnish speakers. Were there any similar options offered to you?

Savolainen55 karma

No such offers were for me, since they had no materials of any kind in English. But I got by with my weak Finnish, and it worked out.

By the way, aren't you supposed to do Swedish service instead of Finnish?

alfienism2 karma

What are Finnish MRIs like?

Savolainen56 karma

Do you mean MREs? Or rations?

hajj_32 karma

is fishing part of your training?

Savolainen53 karma

Nope. We didn't even have time to do water-crossing training.

neuropathica-2 karma

What are some differences between American girls and Finnish girls? Which would you prefer to date/marry/take to the gun show?

Savolainen510 karma

Well, I think my view is still a bit skewed because I've been in a sausagefest more or less 24/7 for the last 6 months, but I feel like, in general, Finnish girls are hotter. Maybe it's just observation bias, though. That being said, there's a lot more diversity, as it were, with American girls, but I think it'd be cool to marry a nice Finnish girl.