The Swiss National Guard will soon be reduced to its smallest size in decades, as the retirement of the country’s top officer leaves the top job vacant.
The decision to cut the number of top soldiers in the Swiss army from 10,000 to 3,000 was made following a review of the force’s budget.
It came after an annual review last year and was prompted by the deaths of two soldiers and the disappearance of a third, according to a report in the daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung.
The army has seen a sharp drop in members as the country prepares to host the 2024 Winter Olympics.
Last year, the army faced a deficit of nearly 3 billion Swiss francs ($3.8 billion) for the coming financial year.
The reduction in personnel is due to the retirement age of soldiers in line with that of Swiss women, with the average age falling to 37.
Swiss army chief Heinz-Peter Griese has been in office since 2007.