After two enjoyable months with the Life Guards, a unit specialized in training soldiers for overseas operations and with a history dating back to 1521, the man was transferred to another unit which didn’t suit him.
Unmotivated and depressed over his new assignment, the man took up his case with his commanders and other officials within the military, but was unable to get the decision reversed.
“That’s when I began to look for ways to get out of military service,” he told Värnpliktsnytt, a newspaper for conscripts serving in the Swedish military.
“There was always a thought in the back of my head that if you get injured, you get to go home.”
During a break from a training exercise in April, the man laid down on his back, removed his shoe and sock, flipped off the safety switch on his weapon, and shot.
“I thought if I shoot myself in the foot, they must understand and they can’t keep me there,” he said.
The man was taken to Karolinska hospital where doctors found that the shot had missed an artery in the man’s foot by less than half a centimetre.
The conscript doesn’t regret his decision, and while his former unit commander isn’t happy about the situation, he says the conscript won’t face any further action beyond being relieved of his duties with the unit.
“Hopefully he will realize in a few years that he was immature when he choose to do something so stupid,” the company leader told Värnpliktsnytt.