Meaningfulness and Coherence? Experiences Among Young Soldiers in the Swedish Armed Forces
The twofold aim of the present study was to try to understand why young recruits to the Swedish Armed Forces chose a military career rather than a civilian one, and how their expectations were met when confronted with the realities of life as a soldier or marine. The study material consisted of 57 interviews with 37 young recruits; the interviews were carried out at units representing different branches of the Armed Forces. The interviews were semi-structured, transcribed, and categorized. It was found that the desire to remain employed as a soldier or marine in the Swedish Armed Forces is based on a set of individual and organizational factors: the selection process, the sense of meaningfulness and organizational coherence, the safety offered, and the salutogenic nature of military working life. The recruits are part of a system that offers good work conditions in return for taxing and stressful work assignments.
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