These guys are standing in the dark, at seven o’clock in the morning. They are all recruits. Soon they will have to farewell with their parents, relatives, friends, girlfriends and civilian life. Some of them will serve one year, others a year and a half.
We are going to show you now what the Belorussian army begins with.
7:30. Misha is 20, he is from Minsk. As well as other guys he is in the military office building. They are not allowed to leave for a smoke. Though, Misha doesn’t smoke. His father once told him he would cut his lips off if he smokes.
8:00. The recruits are half asleep. Now they should be examined. Everyone seems to be healthy. They are advised to serve honestly and told they could occupy good positions after the army.
the guys fill out questionnaires. Who is going to serve in this “team”? Masons, carpenters, commodities experts. All are unmarried.
Here they can read the Act of the Military Service.
8:30.Their “taxi” is here for them.
9:50. It is time of medical examination. They should strip to their underwear. Oculist is the first to examine them.
This is a neurologist.
10:35. Three hundred rectuits are waiting. Army laws are already in action. They can walk only in groups – either to smoke or to a buffet. They are taught to live collective life from the first days.
Misha says that all men in his family served in the army. He is in good physical shape, likes tourism and ropejumping, professionaly plays strikeball. He wanted to join SWAT but his injured knee didn’t let him do this. He treats the army as a new adventure in his life.
Tattoos are not an obstacle to the service.
They are already tired to wait and start screaming: “Take me to the army at last!”
They are about to go to the station.
18:25. The cold is almost unbearable.
18:50. They are already standing at the barracks.
From this moment they do not have to pay for food.
Now they will get to know what companies they will go to.
— Who wants to go on reconnaissance? — they are asked.
— I do! — about fifteen of them scream out.
— Who is ready to lie on the snow for five hours?
A couple of the guys sit down.
— Who can do fifteen chin-ups?
Five more sit down.
— Who can easily run for ten kilometers?
Only two are still standing. They gonna have a further talk.
Misha still doesn’t know what company he will go to. The guys are promised they won’t be made do any hard physical exercises on the first days. They will only walk in the fresh air in the morning to get used to new boots.
They will have to get accustomed to the daily routine, have to wash their socks, shave in the morning.
The food is promised to be good.
There are special hours in a week when they can use cellphones, cameras and Walkmen. Laptops are forbidden.
They go to the bathhouse and then get new uniforms.
They say that uniform changes people.
23:00. Misha hasn’t got his uniform yet, he will get it tomorrow. The guys are being shown their beds. It’s time for them to sleep. At 6 a.m. they will have to get up.
Here is a list of commands and signals.
What is waiting for them tomorrow?