Norwegian Army Conscripts Forced To Return Used Underwear Once Military Service Is Complete Due To Supply Shortages

The Norwegian army will ask military conscripts to return used underwear at the end of their service due to supply shortages. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Norway’s enlisted service members are struggling to get new underwear, leading authorities to request their return so they can be reused by the next batch of recruits, Euronews reports.

It’s not just underwear that will need to be returned. Bras and socks must also be returned so that they can be used by the next group of conscripts. The Army recently made the decision as their supplies have dwindled and because of the difficulties of replenishing the garments in the midst of COVID-19 related supply chain issues, The Guardian reveals.

The change will save money and increase supply for military servicemen and women. Army Logistics spokesman Hans Meisengset said: “The decision to reuse this part of the kit will help us have more volume in circulation and increase the delivery capacity of the equipment. We have too little in stock.”

Returning used intimates isn’t entirely unheard of. Prior to the introduction of the new mandatory return policy, conscripts could choose to return their underwear, socks, and bras when they completed their military service. However, now it’s mandatory and not up to each soldier’s personal discretion.

The army insists the items in circulation are fit for purpose. While it might make many people squirm to know that used underwear is being passed around, Meisingset insisted there was no problem. “The linen is washed, cleaned, and checked. What we distribute is in good condition,” he said.

This decision is for safety as well. A conscripts’ representative told the Norwegian trade publication Forsvarets Forum that supply issues could create safety issues for military personnel. “Severe shortages of equipment and clothing can potentially affect operational readiness and, in the worst case, the safety of the soldier,” Eirik Sjøhelle Eiksund said.

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