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Shared accommodation piloting to expand in the Defence Forces in early 2022

Defence Forces
Publication date 8.11.2021 14.00
Press release
kuva jossa kaksi varusmiestä istuu tuvassa tuolilla (mies ja nainen)

The piloting of shared accommodation will continue in the Defence Forces until the end of 2022. As of early 2022, the piloting will include all brigade-level units providing training to persons liable for military service excluding the FAF air commands. The objective is to get information on the effectiveness of shared accommodation in brigade-level units of varying strength across Finland.

During the piloting, shared accommodation facilities will be utilised by those conscripts who have given their consent to this.

– It is important to continue the shared accommodation piloting because we want to collect additional information on this from all services, and to identify precisely the challenges and effects of shared barracks rooms on service motivation. The grounds for and arrangements concerning the piloting remain the same also in 2022, Head of Social Affairs Hannu Maijanen from the Defence Command says. 

Initiated on the initiative of conscripts, the piloting will now expand to the North Karelia Border Guard District of the Finnish Border Guard as well. According to Head of Social Affairs Maijanen, conscripts and salaried service personnel alike have positively deemed the shared accommodation piloting to be a success so far. The Defence Forces will continue to develop conscript training further and to promote equality between conscripts. 

– The piloting of shared accommodation has met its set objectives. In particular, the shared accommodation arrangements have improved section cohesion, service fluency, information transmission, and stepped up the use of space. Conscripts view that the accommodation arrangements have also promoted equality and non-discrimination, Head of Social Affairs Maijanen explains. 

Shared accommodation has been found to be effective also in other Nordic countries.  

The Defence Forces will gather the information needed on shared accommodation until the autumn of 2022, and then evaluate a proposal for further measures to the Ministry of Defence.

Participation on a voluntary basis  

Participation in the shared accommodation piloting continues to be on a voluntary basis, and presupposes the consent of all those who share a given barracks room. The conscripts may at any time withdraw their consent.

The recruit letter to be sent prior to service start by the brigade-level units contains information on shared accommodation and asks whether prospective conscripts are willing to participate in the piloting.

Social facilities, such as designated shower and toilet facilities, remain separate for men and women. The shared accommodation piloting will only concern accommodation available at the garrison and have no impact on field accommodation arrangements while in an exercise.

Piloting ongoing from 2020  

In 2020, shared accommodation began to be piloted in the Army, in the Army Academy on the Reserve Officer Course 256, a well as in the Kainuu Brigade and in the Karelia Brigade. In early 2021, the piloting was extended to the Coastal Brigade of the Navy, and to the Air Force Academy of the FAF.

On 18 February 2020, the Ministry of Defence issued a decree (80/2020) on the fixed-term piloting of shared accommodation. This piloting now continues until the end of 2022 in accordance with a new MOD decree (827/2021) issued on 14 September 2021.

Both in exercises and onboard the Navy vessel fleet the shared accommodation policy has been implemented since the start of voluntary military service for women. The shared accommodation piloting will provide no change in the approach.