Belgian army recruits civilians

21st April 2008, Comments 0 comments

Strenuous selection process and lack of motivation see less signing up for the Special Forces unit.

21 April 2008

BELGIUM - According to a report Friday in several dailies, the Belgian army is in urgent need of people for its Special Forces unit.

This is why the army is now turning to civilians for recruitment. The training for recruits of the Special Forces, the elite unit of the army, is very tough.

Of 60 operational posts with the Special Forces, 37 are vacant. Recruits for the elite unit must have four years work experience in the army and the selection is very strenuous.

The army usually recruits parachutists. However, too many candidates in recent times have been unable to make it through the strenuous selection week.

Further, motivation is often a problem as well: The job requires long periods of absence which is difficult for soldiers with a family.

To fill the vacancies, the army has decided to open recruitment to civilians.

The training is very strenuous both physically and mentally, says spokeswoman Ingrid Baeck. "We think there could be good potential recruits among the civilian population."

Candidates will be given a 20 week intensive training course.

The elite troops are usually sent on missions in dangerous or hostile territories.

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