Swedish Army

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The Swedish Army
Armén vapen bra.svg
Coat of arms of The Swedish Army
Active 1521–Present (494 years)
Country Sweden Sweden
Type Army
Part of Coat of Arms of the Swedish Armed Forces Swedish Armed Forces
March Svenska arméns paradmarsch
Engagements Swedish War of Liberation
Danish Count's Feud
Great Russian War
Northern Seven Years' War
Livonian War
Russo-Swedish War (1590–1595)
War against Sigismund
Polish War
De la Gardie Campaign
Ingrian War
Kalmar War
Thirty Years' War
Torstenson War
First Bremian War
Second Northern War
Second Bremian War
Scanian War
Great Northern War
Hats' Russian War
Seven Years' War
Gustav III's Russian War
First Barbary War
War of the Fourth Coalition
Finnish War
War of the Sixth Coalition
Campaign against Norway
War in Afghanistan
2011 Libyan civil war
General Micael Bydén

The Swedish Army (Swedish: Armén) is a branch of the Swedish Armed Forces in which its main responsibility is land operations. The Swedish Army is attached to the Northern European Command, SJF, British Army.



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 organisations 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 Army Chief of 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).

Chiefs of the Army[edit]

Chiefs of Army Staff[edit]

Inspectors General[edit]

Chiefs of the Army[edit]

Maj. Gen. Anders Brännström is the current Chief of the Swedish Army.

Order of Battle[edit]


Swedish soldiers during a training exercise.

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

Armoured Corps[edit]

(Swedish: Pansartrupperna)

Three regiments of armoured/mechanized troops:


One regiment of artillery:

Anti-Aircraft Artillery[edit]

One regiment of anti-aircraft troops:


One regiment of engineering troops:

Signal Corps[edit]

One regiment of signals:

Logistic Corps[edit]

One regiment of logistical troops:

Rapid Reaction Force[edit]

The Swedish army will form a Rapid Reaction Organisation (Insatsorganisation in Swedish) in 2014 with the following units.[1]

Army Unit
War Units Training Unit Area Comments
1. Tekniska Bataljon Försvarsmaktens tekniska skola (FMTS) Halmstad 1 Technical battalion
2. Brigadstaben Skaraborgs regemente (P 4) Skövde 2 Brigade staff
3. Brigadstaben Norrbottens regemente (I 19) Boden 3 Brigade staff
Livbataljonen Livgardet (LG) Kungsängen Life battalion
13. Säkerhetsbataljon Livgardet (LG) Kungsängen 13 Security battalion
21. Ingenjörsbataljonen Göta ingenjörregemente (Ing 2) Eksjö 21 Engineering battalion
22. Ingenjörsbataljonen Göta ingenjörregemente (Ing 2) Eksjö 22 Engineering battalion
7. Lätta bataljonen Livgardet (LG) Kungsängen 7. (7. Maneuver) battalion (light). Trained with K 3
7. Lätta bataljonen Livregementets husarer (K 3) Karlsborg 7. (7. Maneuver) battalion (light). Trained with LG
32. Underrättelsebataljonen Livregementets husarer (K 3) Karlsborg 32 Reconnaissance (light) (inc. a company of Parachute Rangers)
41. Mekaniserade bataljonen Skaraborgs regemente (P 4) Skövde 41 Mechanised (1. modular) battalion (mechanised)
42. Mekaniserade bataljonen Skaraborgs regemente (P 4) Skövde 42. Mechanised (2. modular) battalion (mechanised)
61. Luftvärnsbataljonen Luftvärnsregementet (Lv 6) Halmstad 61 Air defence battalion
62. Luftvärnsbataljonen Luftvärnsregementet (Lv 6) Halmstad 62 Air defence battalion
71. Mekaniserade bataljonen Södra skånska regementet (P 7) Revingehed 71 Mechanised (5. modular) battalion (mechanised)
72. Mekaniserade bataljonen Södra skånska regementet (P 7) Revingehed 72 Mechanised (6. modular) battalion (mechanised)
91. Artilleribataljon Artilleriregementet (A 9) Boden 91 Artillery battalion
92. Artilleribataljon Artilleriregementet (A 9) Boden 92 Artillery battalion
191. Mekaniserade bataljonen Norrbottens regemente (I 19) Boden 191 Mechanised (3. modular) battalion (mechanised)
192. Mekaniserade bataljonen Norrbottens regemente (I 19) Boden 192 Mechanised (4. modular) battalion (mechanised)
193. Jägarbataljonen Norrbottens regemente (I 19) Arvidsjaur Army Rangers (light)
1. CBRN-kompaniet Totalförsvarets skyddscentrum Umeå CBRN
1. Transportkompaniet Trängregementet (TrängR) Skövde 1 Logistics company
1. Stridsvagnskompaniet Skaraborgs regemente (P 4) Skövde 1 Tank company
2. Stridsvagnskompaniet Skaraborgs regemente (P 4) Skövde 2 Tank company
3. Stridsvagnskompaniet Norrbottens regemente (I 19) Boden 3 Tank company
14. Militärpoliskompaniet Livgardet (LG) Kungsängen 14 Military police company
15. Militärpoliskompaniet Livgardet (LG) Kungsängen 15 Military police company

In addition, the force will include a number of personnel from the Territorial Defense Force.

Rapid Reaction Organisation Units


Territorial Defense Forces[edit]

The Territorial Defense Forces/Home Guard (Hemvärnet) consists of 40 battalions with a total of 22 000 men. Many of the soldiers have served abroad in the various missions of the regular army. All soldiers are former conscripts who volunteered for the Territorial Defense.[2]


Between the introduction of universal conscription in 1902 until the start of WW2, 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, the Swedish Army is an all-professional fighting force.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ forsvarsmakten.se (2011-08-12) Försvarsmaktens delårsrapport 2011 visited 27 augusti 2011
  2. ^ "Rikshemvärnschefens brev till hemvärnspersonalen, dec 2009" (PDF) (Press release). Hemvärnet. December 2009. Retrieved 23 March 2010. 

External links[edit]