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Published on 08 Apr 2014 | over 2 years ago

Video ID: 20140408 034

W/S Soldiers are waking up
M/S Soldier walks to locker
M/S Male and female soldier get dressed
M/S male and female solder get dressed
M/S Hjelle does hair
M/S Soldiers makes bed
SOT, Elina Schnell Hjelle, conscript soldier (in English): "It's not a problem to change clothes when I'm with boys in the morning. I just change underwear under the covers. So it's not a problem
C/U Hoegevold brushing teeth
M/S Solder cleaning floor
SOT, Mathias Hoegevold, conscript soldier (in English): "Even though there is a girl in the room it doesn't mean there are any romances. We are just soldiers."
M/S Hoegevold cleaning floor
SOT, Elina Schnell Hjelle, conscript soldier (in English): "Boys talk about boys' things and sex and that, but I don't feel uncomfortable with that. We have lived together for three months, and it's no problem."
M/S Hoegevold presents room for inspection
W/S Officer enters room
M/S Soldiers standing at attention
M/S Officer inspecting bed
C/U Name tag
M/S Hjelle getting dressed
M/S Hjelle arriving at formation
W/S Troop in formation
C/U Hjelle
C/U Norwegian flag

SCRIPT

To the blaring sound of the Game of Thrones soundtrack, the conscript soldiers at the Garrison of South Varanger in the arctic north of Norway were awoken to another day of snow training at 0600 on Tuesday. The garrison has been part of a case study on army gender relations conducted by the Information Centre for Gender Research in Norway, and as a result the base is one of only a handful in the country where male and female soldiers sleep in the same bedrooms.

The report has concluded that co-ed barracks facilitate "degenderisation", and 19-year-old Elina Schnell Hjelle from the south-western town of Kristiansund agreed that sharing with boys was not a problem. The small issues of putting on clean underwear was easily achieved by changing under the duvet.

Officers at the base confirmed the report's claims that team moral in mixed-sex groups were up as a result of the sleeping arrangements. Private Mathias Hoegevold, 19, from the eastern town of Elverum, said that romantic relationships had not developed as a result of coed living, as they were all "just soldiers".

The report also found that sexual harassment was down in mixed-gender barracks. Private Hjelle said there would always be some 'boys' talk' at the room, but nothing that she felt uncomfortable with.

The Garrison of South Varanger has around 500 conscript soldiers, of which 15 are volunteer women. The base is located near the town of Kirkenes in Finnmark county, and its main duty is to guard the outer Schengen border Norway shares with Russia.

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