Emotional ceremony at the celebration of the establishment of the Gotland Regiment

In front of an audience about 1000-strong that included His Majesty the King, the Prime Minister, the Minister of Defence and the Commander in Chief, the Gotland Regiment took back the flag that was handed over at the decommissioning ceremony almost 13 years ago.

Photo: Bezav Mahmod/Swedish Armed Forces
Photo: Bezav Mahmod/Swedish Armed Forces
Photo: Bezav Mahmod/Swedish Armed Forces

Daniel Martell, who handed over the flag on 28 May 2005, was also the standard-bearer who accepted it again.
— Today is very emotional. It was with great sorrow that I handed over the flag last time and I feel incredible pride to be the one who takes it back and carries it across the grass again by the Oscarsstenen monument.

Head of the regiment, Colonel Mattias Ardin, was also noticeably moved during his speech at the ceremony.
— It is fantastic to see that so many people have made their way here today to celebrate this day with us. A day that we have been longing for and which is now at last a reality. Gotland once again has a regiment on the island.

The Gotland Regiment was established on 1 January this year and the regiment’s duties consist of harmonising and coordinating all military activity on Gotland and to continue to develop the defence both of and on the island. Another important duty is to work together with the County Administrative Board on Gotland to find methods and structures for a stronger total defence.
— We have a clear mission but the road doesn’t end here. We are at the start of a multi-year process where we will be gradually growing and developing for several years ahead, says head of the regiment Mattias Ardin.

One of the most popular participants in the ceremony today was the ram, Harald V, who made his first appearance as the regiment’s mascot. Harald is an important part of the traditions at P 18 and Harald is also the symbol on the armed forces emblem.

Harald I started his military service with the Gotland Regiment in 1979 and had been promoted to second lieutenant by the time of his retirement. Amongst other things, Harald I-IV have acted as royal guards 16 times and the Gotland Regiment is the only regiment in Sweden with a live mascot.