Aron Roosberg.

"The Officers' Programme opens doors"

Interview with cadet at the Officers' Programme

Aron Roosberg is one of the cadets who has gone directly from military service to the Officers' programme (OP). Nevertheless, his path contains plenty of both detours and opportunities for in-depth studies where he has been able to make the most of his training time based on his interests and future plans.

Aron Roosberg did not know the Armed Forces very well before he applied for the Officers' Programme. He started from what he had learned from the voluntary organization "Försvarsutbildningarna", which he joined when he was 16 years old, and during his military service in the army.

"But even with the little I knew, I was interested in a profession in the Armed Forces," he explains.

A diversity of knowledge and perspectives

When he started the education at the SEDU at the Military Academy of Karlberg, which is localized at the Karlberg Castle, the picture broadened.

"Karlberg is a perfect picture of what the Armed Forces are: a great diversity and a melting pot of knowledge and perspectives. I can't think of another employer in Sweden that can offer a working life with such great geographical and practical diversity."

"In the army, you can do everything from parachuting and working in rivers to skiing far up north or sitting in combat vehicles in Skåne. In the navy, it's the same. You can be a clearance diver and detonate at depths of several meters, go even deeper in a submarine or find yourself in a corvette on the surface. In aviation, there is everything from fighter planes over Gotland to training to be a transport pilot in the United States or working as a cook at an air base company in Ronneby."

Cadets of all types of arms are trained together

"It's difficult to predict your career in the Armed Forces because the opportunities are so many. New, exciting things pop up all the time – and you don't know what it will be. Your next step forward may be obvious, and a consequence of the previous one. But it is not possible to say what will happen two steps ahead."

"I think it's good that Sweden's cadets are trained together in all types of weapons during the first three semesters. Thanks to that, I have learned an incredible amount about the other branches of the armed forces and today I aim to become an air base hunter."

How easy or difficult are the studies themselves?

"From my perspective – who comes more or less straight from high school and thinks it's fun to study – it hasn't been particularly difficult. But there is always support from the school if you need it, and of course from other cadets. We help each other."

Opportunities to improve oneself in language or on an instrument

According to Aron, the education on the Offficers program becomes what you make of it and opens a lot of doors.

"During the second semester, we were offered language courses in French and Russian through the Swedish Defence University."

"Speaking of the fact that it is possible to see one step forward, but not two, the course in French led to me opening my eyes to going on an exchange abroad. So now I have chosen to write my bachelor's thesis at the Saint-Cyr Military Academy in France.

"And I've learned to play the piano. There are a number of instruments at Karlberg, which we are allowed to use."

Interested in defence policy at a strategic level

"In addition to writing for a think tank on China-Russia, I have spent my free time going to defence and foreign policy conferences. In addition to Stockholm, I have gone to Berlin, Strasbourg, Munich, Paris and Brussels. Since I do it privately, I put on a civilian suit. As a cadet from Karlberg, I am always welcome, and I feel that my interest is answered."

How do these trips fit into your future plans?

"I will become a tactical officer, and focus on the tactical, but I believe that there are great benefits in having insight into the operational and strategic level in order to gain understanding and overview. If you already as a young cadet show an interest in gaining an understanding of defence and foreign policy, then there is every opportunity to anchor yourself even more in those issues in the future, I think. So I shape my future based on my strengths and interests. And my teachers have really encouraged me."

Major student influence at OP

"Our initiatives are encouraged and supported by the school. One friend started a fencing club, and another pulled together a group that went riding on a horse farm. And we cadets arrange our own lectures in large forums, where we invite interesting people. After the invasion of Ukraine, for example, we have had lectures on Russian strategy and history, and at the Swedish Defence University, interesting lectures are constantly arranged on related topics."

Building future professional networks

"At the same time as we study, party and live together, we are building a huge and nice network for our future professional life. You will meet people who come from all over Sweden – and who are going to work in the air force, army or navy throughout Sweden. So after you study at the Officers' Program, you will know someone in every single regiment and squadron. A nationwide cohesion is formed here."

"It's your future colleagues you live with when you study for exams, practice in the field or party with! Or by the way, not colleagues, it's friends you make at Karlberg."

The Officers' Programme is a leadership training

"It's fantastic to learn such enormously important skills as training and leading. At the same time, there is so much you can do besides academics. And you meet all of Sweden at Karlberg and make new friends from every single village."

"Through my side activities, I have also been able to go in my own direction. My friends in Lund and Uppsala are studying programs where you take one step at a time along a straight path. And that's just fine. But the Officers' Program really allows you to find your own path, if you want to."

Gets tools to develop

"I feel that the Officers' Programme has given me the tools and allowed me to develop enormously, offered setbacks and situations where I challenged myself and challenges where I succeeded."

"It takes humility to accept the lessons you learn, and sometimes I've performed much worse than I hoped, but it's how you handle it that's the thing. I am happy to pass that insight on to future cadets. That as a leader, you have to be humble towards the task, towards colleagues, towards subordinates – and also towards yourself. It will take effect immediately."

What would you like to say to those who are considering the Officer Program?

"That many enormous advantages of the Officers' Programme do not become apparent until a bit into the studies. So give it a try. You can read up on quite a lot, but invest and experience for yourself!"

Intro week at Air Flotilla, F17, immediately after graduation

"The first thing that happens after graduation is that I have an intro week with my new colleagues at F17 in Ronneby and that I move in with my future partner. After that, I will probably spend the autumn and early winter of 2025 on staffing assignments in Halmstad, where I will be platoon commander for specialist officer cadets."

And if you look further ahead? What are you dreaming about?

"The opportunities that arise are a mixture of luck and timing. But if you work hard, you can become anything in the Armed Forces. That is my sincere feeling. And it makes everything realistic. So I dream of everything from positions as Supreme Commander and Defense Attaché to working in an international NATO context and becoming an air base hunter...

Quick questions to Aron Roosberg

Age: Born 2001

Grew up in: Lomma in Skåne

Upper secondary school programmes: The Historical Centre Programme at Katedralskolan in Lund

Podcast tip: "The War History Podcast" and the "USA Podcast" for fun. For my fellow students/cadets: "Inside the Admissions Office" by InGenius Prep and "#NATOjobs" produced by their Podcast team.

Movie and series tips: Oppenheimer and House of Cards

Favorite destinations: Alsace region in eastern France

Role model: Deniz Arda and Dag Hammarskjöld

Motto: I'm one with the force and the force is with me.

In his spare time: Spending time with girlfriend and family, playing computer games with his brother.

Favorite music: Everything!

Last book you read for pleasure: "Black Hearts" by Jim Frederick

Book tips: "Atomic Habits" by James Clear and "1984" by George Orwell

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