Auxiliary Service (Swiss Army)

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Lindenbüel tank wall, Dietikon, built by a Basel HD building department as part of the Limmat position

The auxiliary service (HD) was an unarmed service type in the Swiss army from 1909, which had to do auxiliary work for the benefit of combat troops . Men assigned to the HD were unable to meet the requirements of military service with the gun. They were subject to compulsory service, but did not have to complete any military training. At the end of 1990 the HD was abolished without replacement.

HD in World War II

The federal ordinance of 1909 was extended to the newly founded Women's Aid Service (FHD) at the beginning of the Second World War in 1939 .

The strength of the auxiliary service in World War II was around 200,000 men, almost half that of the regular army. Between 1939 and 1945 there were also HD guard companies that carried out armed guard assignments for which territorial troops were previously responsible. People exempted from HD joined the local brigades set up in 1940 or the security services of companies.

The cabaret artist Alfred Rasser created a controversially discussed memorial for HD with his play HD-Soldat Läppli (first performance in 1945, film adaptation in 1959).

post war period

After the Second World War, the HD mainly comprised those evacuated who had been declared fit for service (1967–1986 35,000 people). On December 31, 1990, the HD was abolished. At this point in time, those subject to HD were given a military degree according to their HD functional level and were reassigned to regular units. Since January 1, 1991, the principle of differentiated suitability for military service was in effect , where unarmed service and graduated dispensing were also possible.

With the recruiting practice of Army XXI from 2004, these gradations were largely dispensed with. Even slight restrictions can lead to inability to work. Those willing to serve who are retired as unfit are increasingly challenging these decisions.

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