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Monday, September 14, 2020, 14:18 (GMT+7)
Division 390’s experiences in managing and training reservists

The Division 390 (formerly known as the Division 320B) under the Army Corps 1 is tasked with managing and training reservists in the area of Thanh Hoa province and performing several other missions. Over the years, the Division has been built into an exemplary, comprehensively strong cadres-based unit; hence, more investments have been made in upgrading its barracks and training grounds, which has created a favourable condition for its mission performance. However, in addition to those advantages, the Division has encountered many difficulties. For instance, its human resources, weapons, equipment and materials fail to meet the requirements in some aspects, while its frame-B cadres’ capabilities in organisation, command and training have not been on a par with their tasks. Especially, under the impacts of the market economy, there is a shortage in reservists and especially reservist technicians. Fully aware of that situation, the Division’s Party Committee and commanders have focused their leadership and direction on implementing many measures seriously and synchronously to improve the quality of reservist management and training and raise the unit’s mobilisation and combat readiness capacity.

When there has been a lack of cadres, some of its cadres have shown irresponsibility for their task, and especially they have been worried about their own career development, the Division has directed its agencies and units to intensify the work of political and ideological education and thoroughly grasp the Party’s military and defence policies as well as higher echelons’ directives and resolutions on building the reserve force. In order to achieve high efficiency, the Division has stringently maintained the order for political study, promoted the role of party organisations at all levels in cadre and party member management and training, accelerated the execution of the 12th Party Central Committee’s Resolution No.4 on the Party building and rectification in association with the 12th Politburo’s Directive 05-CT/TW, dated May 15th, 2016 on studying and following Ho Chi Minh’s thought, morality and lifestyle. At the same time, due regard has been paid to well performing the work of cadre evaluation, planning, arrangement and use and facilitating cadres’ self-improvement and development. As for its reservists, the Division has closely cooperated with local authorities in conducting the work of propagation and education via a variety of forms, dispatched its cadres to every family to encourage reservists in each re-examination period and prior to each mobilisation season, and strengthened this work during on-the-spot training courses. Doing so has enabled the Division to raise its troops’ awareness and sense of responsibility and build up their political zeal and mental strength as the basis for enhancing the quality of its training and combat readiness.

There is a large number of the Division’s reservists living and working within seven districts and cities. Most of them are regularly working far from home, which leads to a dearth of supplementary resources. In order to mobilise sufficiently reservists and ensure the military professionalism rate, the Division has concentrated on directing its agencies and units to proactively cooperate with localities in building and managing human resources. Along with periodically re-examining the reservist resources twice a year, the Division has also sent its cadres to cooperate with localities in supervising changes in the reservist resources, especially in frame-B cadres and staffing reserve units in the direction of “closeness, compactness,” with priority given to ensuring the military professionalism rate and facilitating the work of mobilisation for training and tasks. Annually, grounded on the assigned reserve training targets, the Division organises a joint conference with local military offices on the mobilisation of reservists to reach an agreement on the training contents and time, the quantity and quality of reservists and the additional military professional training contents. During the preparation for troop handover, the two sides have regularly exchanged information about reservists in order to be proactive in all aspects without calling unqualified soldiers, especially unhealthy ones. As a result, the work of grasping human resources and staffing reserve units is getting better and better results. In 2020, the rate of reservists assigned to the Division’s units reached over 91%. The rates of appropriate and nearly appropriate military professionalism were over 65% and 25.5% respectively. 12% of the reservists are party members and all reserve units satisfied the criteria for founding their provisional party cells.

Furthermore, the Division’s Party Committee and commanders have focused on improving all-level cadres’ professional competence and making them capable of managing and training their troops. The training of cadres has been strictly maintained, for both frame-A and frame-B cadres. For regimental-level commanders and agencies, the Division has paid attention to increasing their capacities to command, give advice, and cooperate with partner units in the higher echelons’ combat formation, especially their ability to work with localities in mobilisation. For the cadres at battalion level, the Division has directed them to raise their commanding capacity, firmly master re-examination procedure, grasp reserve resources, practise the reception of reservists, fully understand the methods of technical and infantry tactics training, and ensure flexible application to commanding soldiers in combat.

Military supplies for reservists during a training course

For frame-B cadres, the Division has concentrated on their weaknesses, such as combat preparation, training plan preparation, training plan development, training schedule, and technical, tactical features of new materiel. Cadres at squad and battery level have been trained to provide outdoor board and lodging, preserve weapons and equipment, master infantry fighting techniques, and operate squad exercise. It is noteworthy that since 2018, 1 week before the training of reservists, the Division has ordered frame-A cadres to directly train those of frame-B to master the methods of managing reservist soldiers, the sequence of movements when receiving the order to mobilise reservists and organise training in line with their responsibilities, and practise new and weak contents with the aim of helping frame-B cadres enhance their qualifications and get ready to undertake and complete tasks. Up to now, 100% of frame-A cadres have met the requirements of providing training at their levels; 90% of battalion-level cadres, 85% of company-level cadres, and 80% of platoon-level cadres have been rated credit and distinction; all frame-B cadres have successfully organised training courses at their levels, 55% - 60% of which have been rated credit and distinction.

At battalion level, the Division has well organised the phases: alarming to check the mobilisation readiness, moving to the area for the reception, and receiving reservists and technical equipment and providing training in accordance with programs and plans. Due to the short training time and various groups of reservists, the Division has asked its agencies and units to draw up the training schedule in which the general training contents for all troops would be completely arranged within a day, with priority given to the key and weak contents. In particular, due regard has been paid to maintaining the balance between theory and practice and taking the latter as the main. Besides, the Division has closely combined military training with political education, discipline maintenance, and regularity building, while aligning tactical training with logistics, technology, and mobility training so that the technical and tactical level of reserve units would be nearly equivalent to that of standing units. In addition, the Division has directed its units to assign qualified cadres and soldiers to help those with weak qualifications and encourage soldiers to do overtime training to ensure equal quality within those units. Along with training and exercise, the Division has organised many drills for reserve units from squad to regiment levels with the use of air bullets and explosives, adopted the method of establishing situations according to battle phases, set shooting tests for heavy guns. Moreover, on a regular basis, the Division has held military contests and carried out regular and unexpected supervisions to assess the real results of training.

In the meantime, the Division has proactively ensured training grounds, barracks, logistics support, and policies for the reserve force during the training period and cooperated with local authorities in well implementing the army rear policy to make reservist soldiers keep their mind on their work. Thanks to such positive and synchronous solutions, since 2015, the Division has succeeded in receiving and training more than 8,000 reservists, reaching 97.6% of the plan. Over 58% of its exam results have been rated credit and distinction. It has successfully completed 3 drills of force mobilisation and live fire at reserve battalion level. All these results have been highly appreciated by the Ministry of National Defence and the Army Corps 1.

From its leadership and direction over the reserve force building and training in the past years, the Division has drawn a number of experiences as follows. First, well implement the work of political and ideological education to raise the awareness and sense of responsibility towards the building and training of reservists amongst frame-A cadres and reservist soldiers. Second, regularly, closely cooperate with local party committees, authorities, and military agencies in strictly managing the quantity and quality of reservists. Third, strengthen the leadership and direction over the training work, consider the training of cadres as the key, and attach importance to renewing training contents and methods relevant to each group of reservists. Fourth, provide logistics and technical support for the training work and ensure policies and entitlements for reservists during their training period.

Sr. Col. LE VAN DANG, Commander of the Division

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