Svenska Lottakåren (Swedish Women's Voluntary Defence Organization) is Sweden's largest defence organisation open only to women. The organisation is non-political and all based on voluntary contribution. You can become a member from the age of 15.
Since the foundation in 1924, the tasks undertaken by Svenska Lottakåren have increased and they have also become more varied. Staff officers in non-combat posts are more and more being replaced by trained members of Svenska Lottakåren. This means that today Svenska Lottakåren is responsible for a great number of tasks in the national defence including the Army with the Home Guard, the Navy and the Air Force. A very important and basic principle for Svenska Lottakåren is the voluntary engagement, which means that the women themselves choose their tasks.
Svenska Lottakåren also co-operates with civil authorities and other voluntary defence organisations. The organisation is nation wide with at least one local corps (lottakår) in every municipality. The supreme management with HQ in Stockholm (riksförbundet) is led by a supervisory board, whose chairman is the president of the organisation.
One category of lottas sign a contract with the military authorities. These women are appointed to work in the military defence, for which they are trained and in which they are obliged to carry out as long as there is an unrest or a state of war. Refresher training is compulsory and the members can also continue their training by attending more advanced courses. They are thereby eligible for promotion to more qualified tasks.
Other lottas sign a contract with their own organisation through the local corps and have their task for the Home Guard, which in case of unrest or a state of war will be carried out on a temporary basis.
Svenska Lottakåren owns a property, Älvkarleö, which is a small manor in beautiful surroundings, situated in the centre of Sweden near the Baltic sea. Here not only courses for functionaries are arranged but also non-specialised courses for all members who go there to learn more about their organisations and to meet lottas from other corps.
To finance the military training and to subsidise the administration on all levels, the government gives an annual contribution to the organisation.
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