This is not really an exclusive as it wasn’t a secret but it appears the Court and the Danish press didn’t pick up the story and I just found out about it today.
Flag Day was created in 2009 to honor the Danish soldiers who were sent abroad. This year, on September 5th, Flag Day will celebrate its tenth anniversary. And last year, it was 70 years since the first Danish soldiers were sent abroad. In order to commemorate these anniversaries and to honor the brave women and men who are sent abroad to help and to fight, the founders of the communication company Salquist & Boisen and co-founded by the association Folk & Sikkerhed (“People & Security”) decided to privately found a year-long project. Ann-Christina Salquist- the initiator of the project- is herself a Danish veteran.
From the project’s press release: “Since 1948, the Danish government has sent Danish men and women to the world’s hot spots. In 2018, the 70th anniversary of Denmark’s international services – and in 2019 we are celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Flag Day for Denmark’s soldiers abroad.
Denmark’s soldiers who were sent abroad are much more than just a veteran with PTSD. It is the radiographer of Jutland, the field priest in Helmand, the police officer in Iraq, the pilot flying over Syria, the doctor in Mali, and the soldiers there in Cyprus, in the Balkans, Iraq, Afghanistan, Sudan, Mali or in one of the many other countries where Denmark since 1948 has sent more than 60,000 Danes out to assist nations in creating and preserving peace and security.”
The Udsendt Af Danmark project (“Send by Denmark”) started on September 6th 2018 and shares stories about these people each day until the next Flag Day on September 5th, 2019. Each story is posted on their youtube channel. Sadly, they only have Danish subtitles. In addition to the videos, Udsendt Af Danmark also offers lectures from some of the participants as well as teaching materials and board games for teachers and students. You can see everything they have to offer here.
Prince Joachim – who has a career in the military and is currently working as a special advisor for the Chief of Defense- shared three stories so far. The first story was shared on November 5th, 2018 so I assume Prince Joachim gave an interview to the project before that and the interview was cut out in several short stories to be shared during the year. It is not clear yet whether or not there will be more stories shared by Joachim but I will update the post when I get more information.
UPDATE March 22: Here are two behind-the-scenes photos of Prince Joachim being interview for the project. The interview took place in June 2018 at the Forsvaresakademiet.
Here are translations of Prince Joachim’s three stories:
5 November 2018 – Danmark slog i bordet (“Denmark hit the table”)
The Prince is today Colonel of the Reserve and has a past, among other things, as a division manager at the tank squadron at the Prince’s Life Regiment. He also visited the Danish soldiers during the Balkan wars. In this clip, he talks about what it means to be a Danish soldier and the involvement of Denmark in the Balkan Wars.
It’s just the Danish flat structure. The accessibility is from the lowest level to the top level. In full respect of a hierarchy and in full respect that there is a difference in what you carry on your shoulders. But there is always accessibility. Both ways. From the highest point you can go down to the lowest and get an honest answer. From the lowest point you can come up with a proposal for the colonel. And it is taken into account. That is the Danish soldier. And it is also the way the Danish soldier operates. We see that when it is pure Danish entities that they can handle tasks and solve them, not only satisfactorily but particularly satisfactorily. Because they are used to thinking out of the box. It is expected of them that they think independently. That they work as a group. And that they come up with suggestions for the assignments.
[ Archive images : “Prince Joachim, How does it feel to be back in the tower of a tank?”
“This is different this time because the tank has been modified. It has been upgraded in its shooting system. This is perfectly similar to those who drive around in Yugoslavia. It has a main weapon, which is a 105mm canon. There is the man here. Then it has a turret gun next door. Coaxial turret gun 7.62mm.And as the carriage’s own protection a dome, one can mount up at the assistant or the commander.” ]
Denmark was the first-mover in the Balkan war. It made the difference for what we see today. We didn’t just go down there with the Cyprus hat. We went there under the auspices of the UN. It was known, that was what the world community was involved in. And so we tried to keep the parties apart in a slightly more marked way than before. As it escalated anyway, and that the UN mandate was being watched. Instead of sitting with their hands on their heads and saying, “We can’t do more” Or the opposite and say, “Then we’ll go home again”, Denmark hit on the table and said: “It does not work for the UN. It does not work for us. It does not work for each other!” Then we changed the beret color and began to blur our tanks. And then something happened.
[ Archive images: Joachim visiting troops and making a speech: “It’s not an easy task. It’s in clear. But from there, one thing is for sure. There is respect for the work you do.” ]
The lesson we learned from that- both along the way and later on – has led us to be among the first to intervene when it became hot elsewhere in the world. Because the Danish soldier can. The Danish military solution model, as far as it concerns troop movements was sought after. So it may be that at some point, when it was the worst in Afghanistan, we tightened the bow to the extreme. And we had so many soldiers send there.But we also solved a task that might have required 4000 men to solve. And we also recognized that.
13 February 2019 – Min far i krig (My father in the war)
The clip was shared on the one year anniversary of Prince Henrik’s death. In the clip,Prince Joachim talks about Prince Henrik’s relationship with the military (he spent three years in the French army) and his views on wars. Prince Joachim also talks about his paternal grandfather.
It was natural for him [ Prince Henrik] to go in and be soldiers. He first became a soldier after he graduated, and he was a graduate of three different subjects. And one said it was unusual for a 25-26-year-old high-intellectual to be called to military duty. He was at a mental, but also social level, where he was a fish out of the water. It wasn’t fun for him. He also became a commander while he was in Algeria. And he saw the horror of war and experienced the soldier’s life. He has spoken a lot about it, but in the end, it doesn’t have any soldier comrades from there. So it has been pretty much a parenthesis in his life. In return, he says it is every man’s duty to serve his country. He said, “It is just that. It is one of the duty of humanity. We cannot agree on everything. And once in a while, we will disagree with weapons.” He was also the first to say that war is something really bad. He didn’t glorify it, but he said: “Once in a while, that’s the only tool.”
My grandfather was at war during World War II. He stood by the Rhine when the Germans crossed. And his stepfather again, was also at war in World War I. He stayed nine months from the war declarations in 1939 to the Germans surrounding the French Maginot line in 1940. So yeah, on my father’s side – I will not say there is tradition for it but they have all been through it. And they have all talked openly and honestly about it. But they all also said: “We must not glorify anything. For there is nothing glorifying in war.”
To him it was again one of humanity’s realities. There is war and so someone is being sent there. Now, of course, it was a completely different reality that he himself was involved in. It was a survival war. An existential war. In 1940.
Of course, that can not be said about the war in Algeria. But when your country calls on you and you are its servant, then you click your heels together and you go.
19 March 2019 – Prins og særlig sagkyndig (Prince and especially expert)
This clip was released two days before the ‘From Militar to Civil’ conference that will take place on 21 March and that Prince Joachim will attend. In the clip, Prince Joachim talks about the current modernization of the Danish defense but also of the important of involving civilians in the military.On January 1st, 2018, the Center for the Reserve Force was created and Prince Joachim, as Colonel of the Reserve, is working at the Center: “In the framework of the upcoming defense settlement, the CFR will facilitate the implementation of the renewed and increased use of the Home Guard’s volunteers and the defense personnel of the reserve. The employees in the small center at Kastellet are a mixture of permanent officers, civilians and the mixture of the two aforementioned, namely reserve officers. One such is Prince Joachim, who since 2015 has handled the task as the Chief of Defense’s Special Experts regarding the reserve force, a task he thus maintains in the new framework of CFR.”
[ Archive images of Prince Joachim: “The education we have here is a further education within the Armed Forces. It is something that is being incorporated, that you will use automatically. This is not to say that you go around hounds to the right and left with your co-workers, because that is not what it is all about in the defense. What we learn here is precisely to clarify, as soon as possible, the task you are facing. And decide what actions you have to take. And then bring them to life.” ]
I have my function in the Armed Forces, as a special expert for the Chief of Defense. For me, it makes a fantastic sense that the defense agreement we are in now has the purpose of making Denmark more robust. And, militarily speaking, also become bigger than we have been until 2018. It requires that the reserve not only be involved and used, but that the reserve is part of the work team in the engine room. We are taken along in a row, and we also get some of the tasks to be solved to bring the Danish defense up to the desired level. The co-worker who has a connection to the Armed Forces in the form of reserve/home security, He/she has some qualities because he/she is in a different way than those who have not. And if you even have an active connection to the reserve or home security, then you will naturally come with fresh impulses from the civilian to the military. And from the military into the civilian. The fact is that you can solve a task better in a group than if you set out for individual people to have to solve something. The person also has a different identity. It’s not Jekyll and Hyde, it’s another identity that one would like to use and which one is proud of. And as one actually gets something out of growing it. When you go to a soldier, as I usually say, you come home exhausted. Few hours of sleep, many days of work. But you get back strong and more robust. You see another reality when you are back in the establishment’s secure fold. And in this way they can bring about what you have been craving for.
[Archive images: “We have followed you around the terrain. Can you tell a little about what it is you are doing right now?”
“We are on the second part of what is called departmental training for officers in the reserve, which is the training to become head of a subdivision.”]
The modernization of the defense must also be in its approach to its task solutions – for the part that states that is non-doctrinal. But this is the desk defense. Therefor you can learn a lot from civilian task-solving models, because they do not have a prescribed result. They have a wish for a result. And so the way to go and the time you spend on it is decisive for whether it is a success. You try to analyze your way to within, and then you go all in. Before talking about corporate management, you have to say that this is not a state in the state. It’s not Colonel Hackel’s defense. [Note: Colonel Hackel is a character from the Danish TV Show Matador.] This is the modern defense.[
I said we should have a badge. We are not just some number out there. Now I did the job of creating a badge. I talked to those who know something about heraldry. About what one must, can, will. And similarly in the motto. Then I said that we should have a motto that sounds nice. I didn’t want anything in English. No, it must sound nice and it must be in Latin. But it must have an equally good meaning and unambiguous meaning when it is in Danish. And what the motto ended up being is ex civilis, ex militaris, extra ordinaria. It means out of the civilian, out of the military, beyond the usual. We needed everything that CFR stands for. That is, the three guards (Air Force, Army, Navy), plus the Home Guard. Then I said; now we take the old cross mark. With wings, anchor and laurel. The badge was based on the Home Guard one, which is by far the largest part of it all. And then with the cross here. Then we remove the crown from the anchor. Because we have a crown already, we should not have three crowns on. But we have the three lines of the armed forces logo. And to make it a little more sexy, we did it on the M-11 background. Instead of just having one color or another. I love to work with Latin and with heraldry. So it was a fun little job to be able to bring in just CFR and say I took on the task, and then we got it out of it. So we have our own small, very distinctive brand.