Puslapio vaizdai

of his way.


3,500,000, the proportion is about ten per happy if he would step more quickly out cent. of the whole, without taking into

It is necessary that the miliaccount those under twenty.

tiaman be not inferior to the soldier of Even those not recruited are not com- the standing army. The solution has been pletely ignored. They are enrolled in the sought in the union of the following services complémentaires, or by professions or trades are formed into special com- First, to seek through the school and panies that in time of war furnish aids through rivalry in our national sports to for the execution of certain tasks, like dig- prepare the boy for a military education ging trenches, serving as couriers, drivers of such a nature that when he shall arrive of wagons, and stable-boys, as well as at the school for recruits he shall possess clerks in offices, etc.

the rudiments of military instruction and

the foundations of its discipline; secondly, INSTRUCTION IN THE ARMY

to compensate for the shortness of the time Of all the problems raised in the organi- spent in barracks by an intensity in the zation of the Swiss militia, that of instruc- methods of instruction. To this end, to tion is the most delicate. It would not be seek the greatest simplicity possible in the wise to give to a militia like that of the

program, and to demand that it be given Swiss Republic, which at a moment might on a specially prepared card of instruchave to contend with the best troops in tion; thirdly, in the years that follow the Europe, the benefit of half-instruction - school of recruits, to divide the periods of instruction of the national guard given on exercise and manæuvers in such a fashion a Sunday morning before going to church. that the company shall not only maintain On the field of battle an adversary would the knowledge already acquired, but that have no particular solicitude for the mili- it shall be extended and perfected; and tiaman because his technical education fourthly, to encourage and at the same was incomplete; he would be only too time impose upon the militiaman the prac

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A bridge erected by the corps



tice of certain technical exercises through- tary preparation. This instruction is out the whole period of his military obli- given to youths between seventeen and gations.

nineteen, and is in charge of certain offi

cers and instructors in gymnastics. PREPARATORY INSTRUCTION

There is special need for familiarity The point of departure is the obligatory with the rifle, its preparation for firing instruction in gymnastics in all primary and the firing itself. The army furnishes and secondary schools. The uniformity of the equipment, the arms, and the ammunithe principles of this instruction-what tion. In the school for recruits the young one might call its doctrine - is obtained men who have taken part in these earlier through a "Manual of Gymnastics for exercises are carefully superintended; they Preparatory Military Instruction" and are encouraged in their efforts, and in conthrough its application in central courses sequence a notable part of the body of designed for teachers of schools and in- non-commissioned officers come from their structors in gymnastics. Naturally, the ranks. In the absence of instruction in military board is not alone at the head of this branch of military preparation, at this instruction, but also the higher com- home the future recruits may take up cermittee of the Federation of Gymnastic tain courses in gymnastics or sharp-shootSocieties. Thus is obtained a uniform ing under qualified direction and in conmethod that is used in the schools, in the formity with certain military prescripcivil gymnastic societies (the members of tions. which are all military), and in the army. Together with the instruction in gym

THE SCHOOL FOR RECRUITS nastics, certain secondary schools have a WHEN at twenty years


the young corps of cadets, to whom certain rudi- recruit is called to the colors, small is the ments of military knowledge are taught, number that the gymnasium has not partly among the rest, practice with the rifle. prepared for duty, and a relatively large This instruction is not obligatory, and is number is familiar with the rifle and tarby no means general, only thirteen of the get-practice.

get-practice. More recent prescriptions twenty-two cantons of the republic teach- have still further stimulated the young ing it.

men to acquire this elementary knowledge More general, but yet optional, is the of the soldier. · An examination in gyminstruction given in the division of mili- nastics has been introduced at the time of


enrollment, and for a long time the re- for distance without a spring-board, and cruits have been subjected to an examina- the lifting of dumb-bells seventeen kilotion in primary instruction. This exami- grammes in weight. These results are also nation bears on the subjects of reading, recorded on the certificate of service, and composition-writing, arithmetic, an are a useful guide for the military instrucquaintance with civil government, the tors on the arrival of the recruits in bargeography of Switzerland, national his- racks. tory, and the political constitution, of Above all, they are useful as a stimulant which a young citizen ought not to be to encourage the cantons of the republic to ignorant. For each of these branches the perfect the instruction in gymnastics, each

. recruit receives a record, which is officially one of them desiring that its young men inscribed on his certificate of service; that hold a good rank in the general statistics. is to say, on the note-book on which is This course has been in use only a few recorded an account of his service during years, but already good results have been the whole time of his military duties. If shown. good, these notes facilitate him in his civil The duration of service varies accordcareer, for by them his employer is able ing to the branch of the army. It is for to ascertain his degree of instruction. sixty-seven days in the infantry and for the

In effect, thanks in part to this institu- engineers; ninety-two days in the cavalry; tion, there are in Switzerland no illiterates seventy-seven days in the artillery and in except those imbeciles from whom all in- garrisons of fortresses, and sixty-two days telligence is absent.

in the sanitary corps, the quartermaster's Inasmuch as this examination deals with department, and the department of transthe domain of intellectual knowledge, an portation. examination in gymnastics is required in The aim of the schools for recruits is order to obtain physical development. It essentially the making of soldiers. There permits a triple trial: a trial of speed over is made an effort to draw out the individua course eighty meters in length, a jump ality of a man, isolated in the ranks, by

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instructing him in the necessity of discipline, submission to order, propriety, and punctuality. In the infantry the effort is made to teach the young recruit to be a marksman, to be ready to be quick to extricate himself from any difficulty in which combat, the march, or a fixed post may place him; a clever digger of works of defense; and finally a soldier always ready to obey without hesitation the orders of his superiors and to second with heartiness the efforts of his comrades.

In other branches of the army, as the cavalry, the artillery, etc., the instruction is carried out on the same principle, keeping in mind the peculiarities of the branch of the service in question, as the duties of a horseman, the serving of cannon, care of horses and arms, and at the same time always insisting on the education and disciplinary action of the military service.

The school for recruits has a second aim, that of forming non-commissioned officers and subalterns as well as captains, and at the same time developing the commanders in their rôles as instructors of

soldiers and units of bodies of troops. It is for the latter the first course in practical instruction before receiving the command that they may have to exercise at the head of the units of united forces.

For this purpose, there is naturally a need of guides and instructors who can counsel and direct them in their capacity

instructors and educators. These guides and instructors have already taught them in the theoretical schools through which they have had to pass to acquire their rank. These now meet them again for their first practical application of their theories with troops - the companies of recruits.

Their instructors, properly so called, constitute, with the commanders of divisions and corps of the army, the only permanent officers in the republic. This body is not a large one. In all, it does not number two hundred officers. But they receive a highly developed theoretical education, and above all are placed in a position for acquiring a very complete experience in their profession and a training in


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