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Pictures | Tue Sep 17, 2013 | 12:10pm EDT

Inside the Swiss military

<p>Recruits from the veterinary troops of the Swiss Army play traditional cow-bells during an official visiting day at a Swiss army base in Sand bei Schoehnbuehl, outside Bern September 7, 2013. Switzerland will vote on the military conscription system in a referendum on September 22 that proposes to scrap conscription and replace it with an all-volunteer army. Under Swiss law, all able-bodied men are required to take part in compulsory military service between the ages of 18 and 34. Picture taken September 7, 2013. REUTERS/Ruben Sprich</p>

Recruits from the veterinary troops of the Swiss Army play traditional cow-bells during an official visiting day at a Swiss army base in Sand bei Schoehnbuehl, outside Bern September 7, 2013. Switzerland will vote on the military conscription system...more

Recruits from the veterinary troops of the Swiss Army play traditional cow-bells during an official visiting day at a Swiss army base in Sand bei Schoehnbuehl, outside Bern September 7, 2013. Switzerland will vote on the military conscription system in a referendum on September 22 that proposes to scrap conscription and replace it with an all-volunteer army. Under Swiss law, all able-bodied men are required to take part in compulsory military service between the ages of 18 and 34. Picture taken September 7, 2013. REUTERS/Ruben Sprich

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<p>Family members and friends of recruits from the veterinary troops attend an official visiting day at a Swiss army base in Sand bei Schoehnbuehl, outside Bern September 7, 2013. REUTERS/Ruben Sprich</p>

Family members and friends of recruits from the veterinary troops attend an official visiting day at a Swiss army base in Sand bei Schoehnbuehl, outside Bern September 7, 2013. REUTERS/Ruben Sprich

Family members and friends of recruits from the veterinary troops attend an official visiting day at a Swiss army base in Sand bei Schoehnbuehl, outside Bern September 7, 2013. REUTERS/Ruben Sprich

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<p>A Swiss man undergoes physical tests for military conscription at a recruiting centre in Sumiswald, outside Bern August 27, 2013. REUTERS/Ruben Sprich</p>

A Swiss man undergoes physical tests for military conscription at a recruiting centre in Sumiswald, outside Bern August 27, 2013. REUTERS/Ruben Sprich

A Swiss man undergoes physical tests for military conscription at a recruiting centre in Sumiswald, outside Bern August 27, 2013. REUTERS/Ruben Sprich

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<p>A Swiss man arrives for tests for his military conscription at a recruiting centre in Sumiswald, outside Bern August 27, 2013. REUTERS/Ruben Sprich</p>

A Swiss man arrives for tests for his military conscription at a recruiting centre in Sumiswald, outside Bern August 27, 2013. REUTERS/Ruben Sprich

A Swiss man arrives for tests for his military conscription at a recruiting centre in Sumiswald, outside Bern August 27, 2013. REUTERS/Ruben Sprich

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<p>A Swiss man undergoes physical tests for military conscription at a recruiting centre in Sumiswald, outside Bern August 27, 2013. REUTERS/Ruben Sprich</p>

A Swiss man undergoes physical tests for military conscription at a recruiting centre in Sumiswald, outside Bern August 27, 2013. REUTERS/Ruben Sprich

A Swiss man undergoes physical tests for military conscription at a recruiting centre in Sumiswald, outside Bern August 27, 2013. REUTERS/Ruben Sprich

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<p>Soldiers of the honor guard of the Swiss federal army await the arrival of Poland's President Bronislaw Komorowski at the parliament square in Bern October 4, 2012. REUTERS/Thomas Hodel</p>

Soldiers of the honor guard of the Swiss federal army await the arrival of Poland's President Bronislaw Komorowski at the parliament square in Bern October 4, 2012. REUTERS/Thomas Hodel

Soldiers of the honor guard of the Swiss federal army await the arrival of Poland's President Bronislaw Komorowski at the parliament square in Bern October 4, 2012. REUTERS/Thomas Hodel

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<p>An aircraft of the Swiss Air Force releases flares during a flight demonstration of the Swiss Air Force over Axalp in the Bernese Oberland, October 13, 2010.  REUTERS/Michael Buholzer</p>

An aircraft of the Swiss Air Force releases flares during a flight demonstration of the Swiss Air Force over Axalp in the Bernese Oberland, October 13, 2010. REUTERS/Michael Buholzer

An aircraft of the Swiss Air Force releases flares during a flight demonstration of the Swiss Air Force over Axalp in the Bernese Oberland, October 13, 2010. REUTERS/Michael Buholzer

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<p>Military personnel watch a Swiss Air Force Eurocopter EC635 helicopter during a demonstration in Alpnach May 28, 2010.  REUTERS/Romina Amato</p>

Military personnel watch a Swiss Air Force Eurocopter EC635 helicopter during a demonstration in Alpnach May 28, 2010. REUTERS/Romina Amato

Military personnel watch a Swiss Air Force Eurocopter EC635 helicopter during a demonstration in Alpnach May 28, 2010. REUTERS/Romina Amato

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<p>A soldier of the Swiss Army helps Swiss Minister of Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications Doris Leuthard to remove her helmet as she sits in a Swiss army tank in the village of Girenbad July 4, 2013. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann</p>

A soldier of the Swiss Army helps Swiss Minister of Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications Doris Leuthard to remove her helmet as she sits in a Swiss army tank in the village of Girenbad July 4, 2013. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

A soldier of the Swiss Army helps Swiss Minister of Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications Doris Leuthard to remove her helmet as she sits in a Swiss army tank in the village of Girenbad July 4, 2013. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

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<p>A Swiss air force helicopter transports a mobile water pump during an exercise in front of the nuclear power plant near the northern Swiss town Leibstadt May 28, 2013. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann</p>

A Swiss air force helicopter transports a mobile water pump during an exercise in front of the nuclear power plant near the northern Swiss town Leibstadt May 28, 2013. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

A Swiss air force helicopter transports a mobile water pump during an exercise in front of the nuclear power plant near the northern Swiss town Leibstadt May 28, 2013. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

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<p>Swiss Army parachutists land during a demonstration at a Swiss Air Force commando handover ceremony at the Swiss Army Airbase in Duebendorf near Zurich, December 11, 2012. REUTERS/Michael Buholzer</p>

Swiss Army parachutists land during a demonstration at a Swiss Air Force commando handover ceremony at the Swiss Army Airbase in Duebendorf near Zurich, December 11, 2012. REUTERS/Michael Buholzer

Swiss Army parachutists land during a demonstration at a Swiss Air Force commando handover ceremony at the Swiss Army Airbase in Duebendorf near Zurich, December 11, 2012. REUTERS/Michael Buholzer

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<p>Members of the Swiss Special Forces Command (KSK), the Armed Forces Reconnaissance Detachment AAD10 shows their skills during an exercise in southern Switzerland on the Monte Ceneri March 8, 2012.  REUTERS/Ruben Sprich</p>

Members of the Swiss Special Forces Command (KSK), the Armed Forces Reconnaissance Detachment AAD10 shows their skills during an exercise in southern Switzerland on the Monte Ceneri March 8, 2012. REUTERS/Ruben Sprich

Members of the Swiss Special Forces Command (KSK), the Armed Forces Reconnaissance Detachment AAD10 shows their skills during an exercise in southern Switzerland on the Monte Ceneri March 8, 2012. REUTERS/Ruben Sprich

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<p>A Swiss Army soldier controls the valley in Klosters near Davos January 22, 2013. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse</p>

A Swiss Army soldier controls the valley in Klosters near Davos January 22, 2013. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

A Swiss Army soldier controls the valley in Klosters near Davos January 22, 2013. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

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<p>A Swiss Army soldier holds his dog before a media presentation in Thusis near Davos January 22, 2013.  REUTERS/Denis Balibouse</p>

A Swiss Army soldier holds his dog before a media presentation in Thusis near Davos January 22, 2013. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

A Swiss Army soldier holds his dog before a media presentation in Thusis near Davos January 22, 2013. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

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<p>A Swiss army boat passes at high speed in front of the Auditorium Stravinski and the Montreux Palace during a presentation ahead of the Francophone Summit in Montreux October 19, 2010.   REUTERS/Denis Balibouse</p>

A Swiss army boat passes at high speed in front of the Auditorium Stravinski and the Montreux Palace during a presentation ahead of the Francophone Summit in Montreux October 19, 2010. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

A Swiss army boat passes at high speed in front of the Auditorium Stravinski and the Montreux Palace during a presentation ahead of the Francophone Summit in Montreux October 19, 2010. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

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<p>A man checks and cleans his personal army weapon at his house in Zurich February 4, 2011.    REUTERS/Christian Hartmann</p>

A man checks and cleans his personal army weapon at his house in Zurich February 4, 2011. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

A man checks and cleans his personal army weapon at his house in Zurich February 4, 2011. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

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