Deployment of soldiers in Afghanistan honoured

Final roll call and grand tattoo Deployment of soldiers in Afghanistan honoured

Around 93,000 soldiers of the Federal Armed Forces were deployed in Afghanistan. They were honoured on Wednesday with a final roll call in Berlin. This was followed in the evening by the grand tattoo in front of the German Bundestag; Federal Chancellor Merkel also participated, showing solidarity with the Federal Armed Forces.

Grand tattoo at the Platz der Republik in front of the Reichstag building to honour the deployment in Afghanistan.

Grand tattoo in front of the German Bundestag: gratitude and recognition for deployment in Afghanistan.

Photo: Bundesregierung/Schacht

The deployment in Afghanistan demanded a lot of the Federal Armed Forces and made its mark on them. They proved themselves in battle. However, members of the Federal Armed Forces were injured in body and spirit, and 59 people lost their lives in Afghanistan. The official final roll call for the Afghanistan deployment took place on Wednesday in Berlin. In the evening, the most formal military ceremony of the Federal Armed Forces, the grand tattoo, took place in front of the German Bundestag. Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel paid her respects to the soldiers of the Federal Armed Forces with her participation.

The deployment of the Federal Armed Forces in Afghanistan was finally concluded when the military evacuation operation was ended on 27 August 2021. It lasted almost 20 years, and 93,000 soldiers served in Afghanistan, in some cases multiple times.

“Today is your day, a day of acknowledgement. You are in the limelight today,” said Federal Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer in her speech during the final roll call. The day was intended to offer a view of the soldiers who sustained the deployment. A historic chapter has ended with the Afghanistan deployment. “No deployment of the Federal Armed Forces has lasted so long, and none was as dangerous as this,” said Kramp-Karrenbauer.

The Federal Armed Forces can be relied upon

Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier also recalled that the Federal Armed Forces had carried out the mission assigned to them by the German Bundestag. “And one thing is beyond any doubt:
the Federal Armed Forces have fulfilled their mission. The Federal Armed Forces can be relied upon,” said Steinmeier, and that the main objective of the deployment, to prevent Afghanistan from being a refuge for international terrorists, had been achieved.

The final roll call took place in the presence of Federal President Steinmeier, Bundestag President Wolfgang Schäuble, Bundesrat President Reiner Haseloff, President of the Federal Constitutional Court Stephan Harbarth, Federal Chancellor Merkel and Federal Defence Minister Kramp-Karrenbauer, as well as other invited guests, on the parade grounds of the Federal Defence Ministry.

The acknowledgement of 20 years of deployment in Afghanistan was begun by a wreath-laying ceremony by representatives of the operational units at the Federal Armed Forces memorial.

Reception by Bundestag President Schäuble

Bundestag President Schäuble subsequently invited the representatives of all the constitutional bodies and members of the German Bundestag, around 300 soldiers as well as casualties, surviving dependants and high-ranking guests to a reception at the German Bundestag. Federal Chancellor Merkel took the opportunity for informal conversations with soldiers who had been deployed in Afghanistan.

Grand tattoo in front of the Reichstag building

The evening was concluded in the presence of Federal Chancellor Merkel with the grand tattoo at the Platz der Republik in front of the Reichstag building, once again showing solidarity with the soldiers of the Federal Armed Forces.

The grand tattoo is presented on special occasions. It is the most famous military ceremony of the Federal Armed Forces and has a tradition reaching far back into German military history. The grand tattoo follows a strict sequence of musical elements and military ceremony.