Switzerland is a country of peace, security and freedom: from the freedom of movement of all citizens, their freedom of the expression to the economic freedom. Preserving this security in the long term is the task of the security policy. The armed forces are part of this security policy instrument. The Federal Constitution and the Military Law assigns the armed forces with three tasks:
- support of the civilian authorities
- peace support within the international framework.
Apart from specialist sectors and staff, the armed forces also comprises of the Air Force and the Land Forces, which are all assigned to the Chief of the Armed Forces. The Land Forces are what is called the ground force and form the largest section of the Swiss Armed Forces consisting of approximately two-thirds of all active military personnel.
The Land Forces consists of
- the brigades – most military personnel do their refresher courses here. Furthermore, equal training standards are achieved here and basic readiness of the armed forces ensured;
- the training units that provide basic training for every person liable to military service, i.e. recruit and cadre schools. They are also in charge of the professional staff;
- the territorial regions, which are responsible for the cooperation with the civilian authorities in the cantons and for the spatial coordination.
The Commander Land Forces, Lieutenant General Dominique Andrey, has under his command
- his deputy;
- the Land Forces Staff with a Command Support Battalion;
- the four training units infantry, armour/artillery, engineer/rescue and logistics;
- the four territorial regions.
The Deputy Commander Land Forces, Major General Fritz Lier, has under his command
- the land force brigades;
- the performance evaluation section;
- the Land Forces Training Centre with its combat training centres;
- the Armed Forces Mountain Service Competence Centre;
- the Centre of Competence for Military Bands;
- the Armed Forces Sports Centre of Competence;
- as well as the nature of gunnery and Off-Duty Activities sector.
The Land Forces establish basic readiness of their staff and units, ensure command and control capability and guarantee readiness, plan and conduct assigned operations and ensure the replenishment of the conscripts leaders.
In general the Land Force is the force provider. With the activation of an operation the Chief of the Armed Forces determines the appropriate military management structure. The command of the operation is normally carried out by the executive staff of the army, which is called the Joint Force Command.
A great deal of the military skills and the relevant training is tied to the Land Force: ranging from the infantry, armour and artillery, the engineer and rescue troops, the military band, the armed forces mountain service, sports to the logistics and the ambulance.
Emblem – four colours and a sword
The three basic colours against a black background represent the Land Forces. Green symbolises the land or ground, blue stands for the training of all ranks and red for the objective: The mission.
The sword in the centre stands for the symbol of strength and unity.