Monday, May 06, 2019, 07:37 (GMT+7)
The Division 312 applies the experiences in the Dien Bien Phu Campaign to its work of political, ideological education for soldiers nowadays

The Infantry Division 312 - the Victory Division (it was one of the first main divisions of our Army) under the Army Corps 1 was founded on December 27th 1950. In the Dien Bien Phu Campaign, the Division was assigned to attack the Him Lam hill - the first battle of decisive significance by the General Command. Victory in that battle would deal a death blow to the French entire defensive system, damage the enemy’s morale, undermine their combat strength, and pave the way for our troops to move from Tuan Giao to Dien Bien, attack the fortresses in the Northern and Southern subregions, and finally destroy the enemy’s group of fortresses in Dien Bien Phu. That was an honour for the Division but posed a lot of challenges to its troops. Fully aware of the importance of its mission, after undertaking the mission, the Division elaborately made all necessary preparations in terms of personnel, materiel, and combat project to ensure the victory. Overcoming all difficulties and hardships, the Division managed to destroy the enemy’s fortress on the Him Lam hill, annihilating 300 enemies, capturing 200 enemies and their weapons and equipment. After that, it cooperated with other units in continuing to attack and control the enemy’s fortresses on the hills of Doc Lap, E, D1, and D2, etc., entering the heart of Muong Thanh, capturing French General De Castries alive, forcing the enemy’s Command in Dien Bien Phu to surrender, victoriously ending the Campaign.

Sr. Col. Pham Quang Hai addressing the conference to review the 5-year implementation of the Project on renewing units’ political education in the new period

In the Campaign, the Division took part in 20 major battles, destroyed 17 enemy companies, captured over 4,000 enemies alive, and contributed to the landslide Victory of Dien Bien Phu. In our durable resistance war, the Division trained a contingent of cadres and soldiers who were experienced in combat, united as one, serious in self-criticism and criticism, neither conceited in victory nor discouraged by failure. In combat, its staff members were always calm, creative, flexible, bravely fought, and glorious won the victory. Many battles with the participation of Division, such as Him Lam, Doc Lap, Muong Thanh, and its heroes and martyrs, such as Tran Cu, Tran Can, Phan Dinh Giot went down in the country’s history of heroic resistance wars. With its feats of arms, on May 13th 1954, in the parade to celebrate the Victory of Dien Bien Phu on the Muong Thanh rice paddy field, the Division was given the Flag of “Determination to Fight, Determination to Win” forever by President Ho Chi Minh. The Division’s achievements were attributed to various factors; however, the most important thing was that it had well carried out the work of political, ideological education for its staff and built up their political will and determination. The Division effectively conducted the work of political, ideological education for troops and built up their political zeal and combat resolve before and during the Dien Bien Phu Campaign. In the process, the work of political, ideological education was carried out comprehensively with a focus on rendering troops fully aware of the enemy’s plots of building their group of fortresses in Dien Bien Phu and the importance of the Campaign as a key strategic battle. At the same time, it educated its troops to clearly understand the fierceness of the Campaign and deal with the signs of fearfulness of hardship and sacrifice, while opportunely detecting the arising ideological issues, correctly analyzing and assessing its troops’ ideological situation, proactively, actively conducting the ideological work from higher level to lower level, from the inside to the outside, from party and command organizations to mass organizations with proper methods in accordance with the particularities of the battlefield and each unit. It should be noted that when our General Command changed the combat motto from “quick fight, rapid victory” to “steady fight, steady advancement”, and there appeared pessimism and ideological deviations among troops, the Division’s party committees and commands actively, persistently directed the work of education to effectively encouraged its troops. By doing so, it built up its troops’ determination to fight and determination to win, making them observe the commands, quickly, secretly perform their task under the plan. That was seen as a success of the Division in its work of political, ideological education to build up its troops’ political zeal as the determinant to its combat strength in the Dien Bien Phu Campaign. That lesson now remains valuable to the Division’s work of troop management.

At present, in addition to its central tasks of training, combat readiness, and discipline management, the Division is selected to build a comprehensively strong unit by the Ministry of National Defence. Learning from the lessons on political, ideological education in the Dien Bien Phu Campaign 1954, over the past years, the Division’s Party Committee and Command have always set store by this work to build up troops’ political zeal and determination to fulfil all assigned tasks. Yearly, the Division’s Party Committee and Command direct offices and units to issue the resolutions on the objectives, tasks, requirements, contents, and methods of political and ideological education relevant to their central political tasks. Grounded on the resolutions, at each level, commanders and commissars develop the action plans at each stage for each task; all-level political offices frequently inspect this work to ensure that it will be carried out uniformly. In this regard, focuses are placed on building up troops’ political zeal, ethics, and absolute loyalty to the Party, Homeland, and people; stepping up propagation and education to raise their pride in the Division’s tradition, revolutionary vigilance, and determination to master materiel and successfully fulfil all assigned missions.

Annually, the Division effectively executes the Project on renewing units’ political education in the new period and the political education plan with sufficient contents. In the process, it focuses on the fundamental education program, directives and resolutions of the Party and State, special topics for officers, units’ traditional education, while actively renewing the contents, forms and methods of education. Besides the contents of education under the higher echelons’ regulations, offices and units within the Division include more contents of political, ideological education in accordance with each group of troops. Emphasis is placed on grasping and effectively implementing the 12th Politburo’s Directive 05-CT/TW, the Central Military Commission Standing Committee’s Directive 87-CT/QUTW on studying and following Ho Chi Minh’s ideology and moral example, the Resolution of the 12th Party Central Committee’s 4th Plenum on the Party building and rectification, and the Campaign entitled “promote tradition, devote talent, deserve to be Uncle Ho’s Soldiers”. The Division directs its units to combine education of units’ tradition and experiences in combat with legal education, and regular education with topics-based education. A part from forms of education and propagation under the Regulations set by the General Department of Politics, the Division has established the groups of cadres for delivering supplementary topics, such as gender, love, marriage, family, traffic culture, negative sides of social networks. Doing so has contributed to orientating the ideology and action of cadres and soldiers, particularly new recruits, minimizing discipline violations, consolidating a sense of unity, raising a sense of responsibility for their units, opportunely encouraging them to be active in training and combat readiness, overcome difficulties, and successfully fulfil all assigned tasks. It is worth noting that the Division’s units always well conduct the work of managing troops’ ideology, particularly in training and combat readiness, closely combine transmission of experiences with political meetings, and well carry out the work of propagation and support on the training ground with many models, such as boxes of books and newspapers on the training ground, military games and artistic shows at break. By doing so, units have succeeded in creating a pleasant atmosphere and contributed to raising their training quality and building up their troops’ political zeal in the process.

Moreover, the Division strictly maintains the order for political briefing, newspaper reading, TV news watching, Political and Spiritual Day at grass-roots level, monthly Legal Day, and cultural, artistic, sports activities as well as cultural institutions and democratic regulations within units. Due regard is paid to training a contingent of speakers, political lecturers, and young communicators via yearly contests. To direct their troops towards practical activities and process of task performance, offices and units within the Division regularly maintain the models, such as every week an article, every day a legal question, groups of counsellors for soldiers’ psychological affairs and legal knowledge, while organizing contests and forums, such as “the youth’s observance of State’s law and military discipline” and “the Division’s youth and traffic culture”, thereby attracting soldiers’ attention. The Division’s Party Committee and Command direct offices and units to build the diverse, healthy military cultural environment, pay due attention to improving the material and mental life of cadres and soldiers and their families, and cement the unity block within units. The Division’s contingent of cadres always set good examples, closely manage and settle troops’ ideological situation, opportunely detect and handle the signs of violation of State’s law, military discipline, and units’ regulations, thereby contributing to maintaining the Party’s ideological ground within their units.

Flexibly applying the lessons on political, ideological education in the Dien Bien Phu Campaign to building up the Division’s troops’ political zeal has brought about the practical effectiveness. The Division’s cadres and soldiers always remain steadfast in their political stance and show no degradation in political ideology, ethics, and lifestyle while its synergy and combat readiness capacity are increasingly improved. The Division has gained the title of “good training unit” for many consecutive years. In 2018, the Division was given the Flag of Top Unit in the Determination to Win emulation movement by the Army Corps 1. That proves the Division’s success in the work of political and ideological education which acts as a motivation for cadres and soldiers of the “Victory Division” to overcome all difficulties and challenges, undertake and successfully fulfil all assigned missions.

Sr. Col. Pham Quang Hai

Political Commissar of the Division 312

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