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When Denmark calls, I answer...

Narcis shares his personal story about The Danish Home Guard.

Photograph: Hjemmeværnet

Text: Narcis George Matache

I recently signed a contract to defend and protect the Danish lands against all invaders. So if the day came and Denmark called, I would have to answer, no matter what, and to be honest, that gives me both pride and a sense of calmness in front of the storm. Instead of hiding inside my house, cowering in fear, waiting for the invader to break my door, I will be prepared. I will know how to protect my family and land, and I will have the tools.

You might think that I have volunteered to join the army. Yes and No. Yes, I have joined a branch of the army called the Danish Home Guard, but no, it is a part-time, do-it-when-you-can type of contract that allows you to do this next to your job. So you can have your office job in the day, and (sometimes) in the afternoon, you can go guns blazin’ while rollin’ in a military SUV. You can go from skinning a rabbit in the forest to driving speed boats and helicopters. Or you can become a leader of men and make unforgettable memories, together with people you will be able to call “friends”.

The Danish Home Guard is expanding as the budget for defence has increased. The gates are largely open, and they welcome new applicants. Do you need to be a Danish citizen or speak fluent Danish to join? No. If you have lived for at least five years in Denmark and can understand a simple conversation in Danish, you are good to go. Am I the only international in there? Absolutely not. As one of my friends put it (who was already a member when I joined), there was one international for every Dane present at one of the courses. Should I be able to run 50 meters in less than 7 seconds and know how to shoot a gun? Nope. No military experience is needed, and there are no minimum athletic parameters you should fulfil. Good health is all you need.

If you’re interested in joining the Danish Home Guard, here is a step-by-step process:

  • Go to this website and complete the form with your contact information. Then, ideally, in a maximum of 14 days, a local Home Guard unit will give you a call to confirm your interest and invite you for an “information evening”.

  • At the “information evening” you will participate together with other people interested. You will receive a presentation about everything related to the Danish Home Guard, and if you are still interested, you will have a short one-on-one interview with one of the officers (questions about your work, education, family, hobbies, views over the world, etc.) and then you will be guided to complete an official application to join.

  • After you apply, you will be vetted to ensure you don’t have a criminal record and/or have extremist views. Once approved, you will receive a contract in your e-BOKS.

  • Afterwards, you will be invited for a fitting session for your military clothes.

  • Also, if you don’t have any military training, you will be assigned to the “Education Regiment” until you complete 250 hours of training (a maximum of 3 years). After you complete your military training, you will be able to choose which regiment you would prefer - from drones and cybersecurity to dog handlers and police.

The Danish Home Guard is open to men and women, people of all ages (from 18 to 80), and ethnic and religious backgrounds.

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