For any military, the most likely combat is in an urban setting. Military operation in urban terrain (MOUT) is physically demanding and potentially lethal environment and you can never train enough to be ready for everything that may happen. An army can’t hide in the woods and mountains forever, nor can an army expect to always fight in that setting. The battlefield shifts, and the last war is not the next. Any tactically competent individual knows that you must be prepared for what may be next, not what was.

Switzerland has not been in any war since 1847, but that does not mean that the Swiss are setting on their hands and hoping for the best. The Swiss military actively and proficiently trains in MOUT and a host of other skills and tasks to prepare for what may be tomorrow. Asso Sion, as part of the overarching Swiss military infrastructure also takes part as an independent non-commissioned officer association. Asso Sion, in this video demonstrates what the Swiss militiamen can, as they do voluntarily improve their skills in addition to their official army duties. The non-commissioned officers association from the region of Sion, regularly conducts these exercises which are supported by the Swiss military.

Through the video, the importance of training is demonstrated through great execution, but just as well some bad decisions. For any unit, there will be obstacles on the battlefield, especially in an urban setting. It is through training that mistakes are made and soldiers learn how to modify their techniques for maximum effectiveness. In urban combat, this is where the rubber meets the road for the individual soldier; it is one of the few places that a soldier has control of who lives and who dies.

MOUT generally occurs from 0 to 50 meters from the individual soldier to the enemy. There is a limited amount of time to continue to make the right decisions again and again as that soldier pushes through a grueling fight for a village, town or city block.

This video was acquired from Quinten while I was in Switzerland as a participant observer.


Jack Murphy ran this gambit last year, and provided me with the rundown. I was fired-up and ready to go. I’ve made an effort to not repeat Jack in this article; you can learn about his experience and to get further information on Asso Sion by reading his article.

It is important to note that In Switzerland, the militia is not made up of the kind of people who recently occupied the Oregon Wildlife Reserve. The Swiss militia organizational structure is government mandated, and is an association of the Swiss military system. The detailed arrangements and the concepts behind the Swiss militia is best described as an active reserve force of citizen soldiers. The Swiss militia is based on the democratic concepts of Switzerland, the nation’s unique neutral status, political apparatus, defense concerns, and a series of dynamic internal complications of which books are written.