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Tuesday, June 16, 2020, 06:43 (GMT+7)
Building a powerful reserve force capable of meeting its task requirements

Building a powerful reserve force is a strategy by our Party and a duty of the entire political system and people, aimed at consolidating the national defence potential and meeting the requirements set by the Homeland defence in all situations. Over the past years, the National Assembly of Vietnam and its Standing Committee, the Government, and the Ministry of National Defence (MND) have issued many legal normative documents on the reserve force as the basis for organisations, sectors, localities, and military units’ implementation. The MND has given advice to the Party and the State, proposed and adopted synchronous and practical measures, thus achieving significant results. Executing the Prime Minister’s Decision on assigning targets of building and mobilising the reserve force to ministries, sectors, provinces, and municipalities, the General Staff has counselled the Minister of National Defence to issue the Decision on assigning specific targets, plans, scales, categories, quantity and reception of reserve force to units within the entire Military. As a result, the regulations on preparing, registering, and managing reservists and the national economy’s technical means have been maintained in a routine and orderly manner. Up to now, all localities have sufficiently defined categories of reserve units. The General Staff has directed military units and localities to place emphasis on training reserve units, raising the training quality, and improving the training management capacity of cadres from squad to battalion levels. They have frequently organised command and office exercises on mobilisation, included mobilisation and reception of reserve units in training courses and exercises, and ensured sufficient policies and entitlements for reservists and their families. Many localities have presented reservists with charity houses, savings accounts, loans for production, vocational courses, and gifts on national and Tet holidays, thereby encouraging reservists to successfully fulfil their task, making contributions to enhancing the Military’s synergy, maintaining political stability and social order and safety, creating a favourable condition for socio-economic development.

Reservists en route to the Division 302, the Military Region 7 for a training course (photo:

However, there have been several weaknesses in building the reserve force. Some localities, particularly in the remote, isolated, mountainous areas and the areas mainly inhabited by ethnic minorities have had shortcomings in propagating and disseminating legal documents. A number of local party committees, authorities, sectors, and organisations’ responsibility for building the reserve force has yet to be great enough. Some localities have not attached importance to registering and managing reservists and technical means yet. Meanwhile, the system of legal normative documents on the reserve force has yet to be sufficient or relevant to the development of reality.

In the upcoming years, the situation in the region and the world is predicted to be complex. Violations of national sovereignty and disputes over territory, marine natural resources, seas, and islands will continue to be intense in many regions. Domestically, the hostile forces promote their “peaceful evolution” strategy, “self-evolution,” “self-transformation,” and tricks of “depoliticising” our Military via increasingly malicious measures. Our people’s national construction and protection has many advantages and faces a lot of challenges, which necessitates us consolidating national defence and security and building the all-people national defence. To that end, organisations, sectors, localities and military units should adopt several measures as follows.

First, grasp the Party’s guidelines and the State’s law and policy on building the reserve force. This is a key measure for building the reserve force especially when we are making preparations for implementing the promulgated Law on the Reserve Force. Thus, organisations, sectors, localities and military units, particularly party committee members, leaders, cadres, and party members should thoroughly grasp the 12th National Party Congress’ Resolution, the Resolution of the Party Central Committee’s 8th Plenum (9th and 11th tenure) on the Strategy for the Homeland Protection in the new situation, and especially the Law on the Reserve Force. In this regard, it is important to be acutely aware that building a powerful reserve force is a routine task which should be directly led by party committees, managed by authorities, and counselled by military offices. Measures for leadership and management should be relevant to groups of reservists, areas, and local conditions. Organisations, sectors, localities, and military units, particularly the Department of Personnel under the General Staff as an office in charge of giving advice to the MND on building the reserve force should actively renew their methods of leadership and direction, complete decrees and circulars for executing the Law on the Reserve Force, organise refresher courses and develop a propagation programme as the basis for the strict, effective implementation of this Law. The work of propagation and education should be aimed at rendering sectors, organisations, the armed forces, and all people fully aware the position, role, and strategic importance of building the reserve force in the new situation. Emphasis should be placed on raising the reserve force’s political quality, ensuring that this force will always be absolutely loyal to the Party, the State, and the people, maintain readiness to fight and sacrifice for the national independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity, and take part in natural disaster and epidemic prevention and control, thereby making great contributions to political stability, social order and safety, and the people’s peaceful life right at grass-roots level.

Second, the building of the reserve force should be attached to the fulfilment of defence-security goal and task. Under the Government’s uniformed direction, organisations, sectors, and localities should synchronously build the reserve force, the all-people national defence, the postures of all-people national defence and people’s security, and the defensive zones, while consolidating national defence, ensuring security, and facilitating local socio-economic development. To do so, it is essential to promote the combined strength of the whole Party, Military, people and political system. A focus should be placed on improving the quality of reservist and commune-level military cadres, particularly in remote, isolated areas, the areas mainly inhabited by ethnic minorities, and foreign-invested enterprises.

Local military offices should proactively advise local party committees and authorities on registering and managing reservists and reserves of technical means. They should cooperate with main units in re-examining, examining, and arranging reservists in units under the regulations. To deal with the imbalance of reservists and military professional staff members, it is necessary to continue advising localities to make plans on reservist zones and military call-up areas, prepare reservist resources right at the phase of military call-up, train reservist officers, particularly in the areas which lack reservist resources, proactively review, appoint and discharge commanding reservist offices from the reserve force, and build a contingent of cadres in the frame B. Competent offices of the MND should continue giving advice on adjusting the scales and categories of reserve units in line with the streamlining of the Military to make it “compact and strong.” In the process, organisations and sectors from central to grass-roots levels should enhance the work of inspection, investigation and supervision, well conduct reviews, and draw lessons on leadership and direction over the building of the reserve force. Besides, due regard should be paid to promoting the role of cadres in charge of reserve units, strengthening cooperation between the all-level military offices and local sectors and unions in building the reserve force, and avoiding leaving this work entirely to the military offices. Competent offices should undertake researches and flexibly, selectively apply Vietnamese feudal dynasties and other countries’ experiences in building their “reserve army” to the construction of our reserve force in the era of Ho Chi Minh to make it strong and capable of meeting the task requirements.

Third, renew the content, programmes, and methods of training reservist officers and soldiers. To raise the quality of training reservist officers, organisations, sectors, and localities should stringently adhere to the general and specific criteria for each group of reservists, with priority given to political zeal, qualifications, age, quantity, structure, and quality. Military academies and schools in charge of training reservist officers should actively renew their training method and form, update scientific advances in their curriculum, and stay close to practical demands to ensure that reservist officers will have good capacity for their command and management and professional competence according to their duty and task.

In the training of reservists, due attention should be paid to standardising the curriculum under the motto of “basics, practicality, and thorough grasp,” providing comprehensive but intensive and focalised training courses, closely combining military training with political education and discipline management, and building up cadres and soldiers’ political stuff. More importantly, military units and localities should attach great value to training cadres of the frame B, organising professional conversion training courses for reservists, holding command, office, and live-firing tactical exercises, mobilising the reserve force in defensive zone exercises, and inspecting mobilisation and combat readiness in order to improve the commanding, technical, and tactical capacity and combat coordination. Provincial and municipal people’s committees should mobilise all possible resources to build training facilities under the regulations, which is a task of utmost importance and urgency.

In addition to the above-mentioned measures, organisations, sectors, and military units should well perform the party and political work for the building of the reserve force, sufficiently staff the command system, and consolidate the cadres-based and reserve units. Moreover, due attention should be paid to ensuring sufficient policies and entitlements for reservists and their families as well as controllers and operators of reserve technical means when they are mobilised. Doing so will greatly contribute to building a powerful, high-quality reserve force to meet the requirements set by the national construction and protection in the new situation.

Lt. Gen. NGUYEN VAN NGHIA, Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Vietnam People’s Army

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