Which military has the world's best shooters
Private Aleks Hasikic during a training break at the Seetaler Alpe military training area.
Aleks Hasikic did his basic military service with Jägerbataillon 18 in St. Michael in Upper Styria until the end of October 2014 - and that in a special function: he was trained as a sniper.
Why did you join the Jäger Battalion 18 in St. Michael?
I'm from Vienna and had to work in Vienna too. But I immediately stated there that I would like to join the hunters, i.e. in a barracks where there is real action. I just wanted my basic military service to be interesting. And then I was assigned to the 18 Jäger Battalion.
And how did you end up becoming a sniper?
The sniper instructor, a staff sergeant, informed us of this possibility. We were then able to volunteer and had to pass a sporting test. Among other things, we had to complete a seven-kilometer march and a 2,400-meter run, both on time. We also had to do pushups and sit-ups. I made it into the top five and was admitted to training.
Snipers usually work in pairs.
What did you like especially?
It was generally good for me. I certainly liked the combat services best, that is, when we were outside. As a sniper you are not as bound as other soldiers. You can move more freely, have to think more and act independently. You also have to think about what your commander wants and what is important to him.
What wasn't great?
When our camouflage suit we call Ghillie got wet. It then soaks up and becomes quite heavy. This is then less fun.
Hasikic (left) and a comrade at an observation stop.
What did a typical daily routine look like?
Our days actually started the evening before. So we made the packing order, prepared our equipment for the next day, and cleaned our weapon.
Then, in the morning, we usually started walking to our practice area. Once there, we camouflaged ourselves thoroughly and put on the ghillie. Then we mostly had to clear up our surroundings, that is to say, where are the positions of the other soldiers, what paths are there, what obstacles and so on. Then we created our own positions. After lunch we went on with combat duty.
Hard to see: the squad in position.
What happens after the basic military service?
I need a short break now and then I'll go back to my job as a building and installation technician. I will remember a lot from my time in the armed forces. Also things that I've learned. For example, I can now orientate myself very well outdoors, especially with a map and compass. And when I go camping with friends, I can show them some tricks.
Private Aleks Hasikic in the video
Which job in the Austrian Armed Forces would you like to find out more about?
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