Why do soldiers say ‘Until Valhalla’ to each other?
What are Soldiers?
A soldier is one who fights as part of a military. A soldier can be a conscripted or volunteer enlisted person, a non-commissioned officer, or an officer. In other definition, soldiers are military personnel that participate in ground, sea, or air forces, commonly known as armies, navies, and air forces, respectively.
Why do soldiers say ‘Until Valhalla’ to each other?
I’m afraid this is something my countrymen accidentally let loose in Afghanistan. The Norwegian Telemark Battalion, professional military forces that assist NATO allies in a pinch, had “Til Valhall!” as their very unoffical slogan over there.
(The name Telemark, by the way, has nothing to do with telemarketing. It means “Frozen Ground” in Norwegian and is the name of a Norwegian province with some historical significance.)
Valhall, or Valhalla in English, is of course from Norse myths where fallen heroes were selected by the Valkyries to join Odin in his great hall, fighting every day and feasting every night, preparing for Ragnarok. Most Norwegians don’t literally believe in Valhall, but the myths are quite well known so the phrase would resonate with the soldiers there.
The Telemark Battalion was there to assist beleaguered allies, so this was a situation where the choice between risk of death or dishonor was kind of obvious.
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Linking to a video where a Norwegian officer fires up soldiers with this phrase. There have been many such videos but they tend to disappear. Norway has a reputation to uphold as the giver of the Nobel Peace Prize. We prefer to not talk about soldiers who glory in the dance with death, or using more money per citizen on our military than Russia does. We’re all cute and cuddly here. Until something like this happens.
What does valhalla mean in the military?
Valhalla is the Hall of Odin where the honorable chosen dead go when they die. There they fight, die and feast every day until Ragnarok comes.
What is the difference between Valhalla and Heaven?
Heaven is a paradise to the Christians, the end game goal. From what I have gathered, it is a peaceful place where you can gaze at the glory and majesty of the Christ god. Valhalla is only one of the paradise for the Norse men, albeit the most famous one, you arrive by dying valiantly in the heart of battle, and you must be chosen by Odin.
They could feast on the most delicious pork and mead, and their food will never run out, just as their ale shall never run dry. The valiant warriors then battle every night, but as they are done fighting, they will rest, feast and fight again.
This is to prepare them for the final battle of Ragnarok. Heaven is a cowards paradise, one who is to afraid to know that nothing lasts forever and that they will die, so they chose to believe that if they never fight, they will never die in their heaven with their god. As Odin says, Havamal 16, “A cowardly man thinks he will ever live, if warfare he avoids.”
Recap: “Heaven is Valhalla for the Christians, but without the fighting, feasting, and humping.” -Uhtred Ragnarsson
What type of soldier do other soldiers dislike?
One of the first things that strikes you when you join the military (especially if you are young and haven’t been away from home much) is the fact the armed services are a true melting pot.
It was actually more like a melting pot mixed with the UN. We had white guys from the midwest, black guys from the city, guys of Asian descent from the west coast, guys from New England whose accent was so strong we couldn’t understand them. You get the picture.
Note: The wide variety of individuals behind the President as he is speaking. You have white guys, black guys, Hispanic guys, white women, black women…this is not accidental.
Those soldiers didn’t just happen to be standing there. They were placed because of their ethnic backgrounds and/or gender. We used to call it, “the wall of diversity”.
We had one guy that was North Vietnamese whose family escaped to the US after the fall of Saigon. There was a Scottish soldier from the British Army training with us. We had a guy from the El Salvadoran Army.
**Scots wearing the tam o’ shanter. The would get really pissed if you poked fun at their headgear.
I didn’t witness much prejudice based on where someone was from or the color of their skin. Some people had enough personal issues that you just didn’t care for them much based solely on their disturbing behavior.
The following are the types of soldier that most troops didn’t like much:
The High Strung Ultra Gung Ho Guy – This soldier always has a stern look on his face like he’s ready to rip someone’s throat out. He’ll let anyone within earshot know that he intends to be at the top of the class.
He’ll try to do this at the cost of others, therefore he is almost universally hated. This guy doesn’t want to fit into the group. He is commonly referred to as an asshole.
The Blue Falcon – Probably the worst of the worst. Blue Falcon is code for buddy fucker. He’ll screw you over for any reason or no reason at all. He is the antithesis of a team player. Think Bowe Bergdahl. He often gets what’s coming to him in the end and may be the guest of honor at a blanket party.
**Bowe Bergdahl and his new buddy ready for a night out on the town in Kabul.
The Complainer – We get it, being in the armed forces can really suck at times. You get cold, wet, hungry…your feet hurt, everyone is yelling at you. This is supposed to be a test of your character. You suck it up and function at a high level despite the adversity.
The complainer doesn’t do this. He bitches about everything. “My boots are too tight. This food sucks! We have to do another ruck march? I know that bastard checking weapons is just going to hand it right back to me.” He is often told in a loud voice to STFU.
**Some guys would even complain about the type of MRE they got
The Braggart – He’ll tell you everything about himself that you never wanted to know. He was the quarterback of his college football team, he’s won numerous shooting awards and is president of his local Mensa chapter. Yeah, right, whatever.
Just get away from me. When it is go time they can’t make it over the first wall of the obstacle course. You look at your buddies and roll your eyes.
I saw one “star athlete” who could barely throw your standard M67 fragmentation grenade farther than the 15-meter casualty radius. For the love of God and all that is holy they only weigh 14 ounces (396 grams).
**The braggart scared the shit out of us on the grenade range.
Basically, the phrase is limited to the Norse and has multiple meanings based on how it is used. If in salute to a fallen comrade, especially one that died while fighting valiantly, it is an oath to fight as well as the fallen warrior.
If spoken before battle, it can be considered like a brotherhood type oath to where every warrior is affirming they will fight bravely and if they die it will be honorably and worthy of admittance so they will see each other again even if they die.
In celebrations, it is an oath to uphold your vows to be a warrior and to honor other warriors that had died in the past that you swear you will emulate.
At least, this is how it was explained to me in years passed.
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