Crèche instead of cannon? Family instead of field kitchen, currently germany, dw

The new defense minister Ursula von der Leyen wants to make the Bundeswehr more family-friendly. The debate in the Bundestag over the report of the military commissioner shows that it probably hit a nerve with it.

That doesn’t really exist anymore: A speech by an FDP politician in the Bundestag. But Hellmut Königshaus is still allowed to do so, the FDP politician has been the military commissioner for the parliament since 2010, his term of office continues until March 2015. Only his party was unfortunately lost in the Bundestag election, the FDP is no longer represented in the Bundestag. It is now all the more open that Königshaus, who accepts the troubles and needs of the soldiers and is supposed to pass them on to parliament, can now speak. Much is falling on the Bundeswehr, through the Closure of locations, through missions abroad such as that in Afghanistan, through possible future missions: "This significantly clouded the mood in the group", so king house. But there are also positive things to report. The equipment of the approximately 3300 soldiers in Afghanistan, which had long been poorly criticized, had improved considerably.

The new Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen (CDU) likes to hear that on the government bank. And also kings from Königshaus like this: Equipment and logistics are important, "but the duty of care for our soldiers is at least of equal importance and the Work-life balance. That is a key question for the future of the Bundeswehr".

"Bundeswehr is a global company"

Ursula von der Leyen sees it exactly the same way. The new minister steps up to the lectern in a costume that is reminiscent of a naval uniform. As always, she smiles confidently at the MPs. For a start she found her topic, after all she was once minister of the family, then minister of labor. "The Bundeswehr", says of the Leyen, "must become the most attractive employer in the Federal Republic".

She said that before on other occasions, but now she goes into detail. The Bundeswehr imagines it as a large, global company: "With 250,000 employees at 400 locations in Germany and abroad, with its own aviation company, its own shipping company, large hospitals, logistics, educational institutions plus excellent administration." And, according to the minister, the elimination of military service obliges the Bundeswehr, especially in Germany, to compete with other large companies for the best employees. "Being a soldier is not a profession like everyone others, but the same questions arise as for all other professions."


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Christina Cherry
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