In Norway, 'Challenging' Times Lead to Odd Ask on Underwear

Conscripts asked to turn in socks, undies when leaving military so they can be reused
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 12, 2022 12:20 PM CST
In Norway, 'Challenging' Times Lead to Odd Ask on Underwear
Stock photo.   (Getty Images)

Conscripts in Norway have been ordered to return their underwear, bras, and socks after the end of their military service so that the next group of recruits can use them. The Norwegian military said Monday that it's struggling with dwindling supplies, in part due to the pandemic, per the AP. The Norwegian Defense Logistics Organization said because of "a challenging stockpile situation, this move is necessary, as it provides the Armed Forces with greater garment volumes available for new soldiers starting their initial service."

The group's press spokesman, Hans Meisingset, said that with "proper checks and cleaning, the reuse of garments is considered an adequate and sound practice." Military service is mandatory for both men and women in Norway and lasts between 12 and 19 months. Until recently, the roughly 8,000 young men and women who every year do their military service returned their outer clothing but were allowed to leave their barracks with the underwear and socks they were issued. Meisingset said the pandemic wasn't the only reason why the stock of garments is low for some items, as inventory also depends on finance, contracts, and other issues.

NATO-member Norway's national defense magazine, Forsvarets Forum, reported that it wasn't the first time that the Armed Forces had struggled with such shortcomings, with a union spokesman saying it "has been a recurring problem" for years. "A year ago, we looked at exactly the same shortcomings in close-fitting clothing that we see now, and earlier this autumn, the largest and smallest sizes of footwear were missing," the spokesman was quoted as saying, adding that he believed it was due to errors in the system around ordering and delivery.

(More Norway stories.)

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