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Concentrating leadership and direction on building a contingent of Military cadres on a par with Homeland protection mission in the new situation

On 19th May, 2018, the Party Central Committee (12th tenure) promulgated the Resolution No. 26-NQ/TW on building a contingent of all-level cadres, especially strategic level ones with sufficient virtue, capability, and prestige on a par with their assigned tasks. The resolution had a vital role to play in setting strategic directions for the building of a contingent of cadres in the period of extensive industrialization, modernization, and international integration. Thoroughly grasping and seriously implementing the Resolution by the Party Central Committee, the Military Party Organization has always concentrated its leadership and direction on building a strong contingent of cadres on a par with its mission of Homeland protection in the new situation, regarding it as a matter of great urgency and the onus on party committees and key cadres at all levels within the entire Army.

General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong chairs the conference on the planning of key leaders of the Ministry of National Defence in the 2021-2026 tenure

Personnel and personnel work have always been considered not merely a matter of special significance to the work of Party building and political system building, but a determinant to national revolutionary cause. President Ho Chi Minh ever taught us “Cadre work is at the root of all issues, and “any success or failure depends on it”. Imbued with that teaching, over the course of our national revolutionary cause, the Party, State, Central Military Commission, and Ministry of National Defence have paid due attention to personnel work in general, and cadre work in the Army in particular via sensible policies and solutions to build a quantitative and qualitative contingent of cadres with adequate virtue and capability. Therefore, against all the odds, we gained enormous and historical victories, contributing greatly to the triumph of previous cause of national liberation and current cause of Homeland construction and protection.

Firmly perceiving the Party’s guidelines, particularly Resolution of the 3rd Plenum of the Party Central Committee (8th tenure) on personnel strategy in the period of accelerating national industrialization and modernization, and conclusions and directions on personnel work by the Party Central Committee, over the past years, the Central Military Commission has focused its leadership and direction on concretizing the Party’s resolutions into its resolutions, directions and regulations on personnel building in line with its particularities and the Army’s organization whilst directing the formulation of plans for improving the quality of the contingent of cadres, matching the Army’s mission requirements in the new situation. Grounded in those documents, all-level party committees and key commandants have strictly implemented guidelines and regulations on personnel work in line with their unit’s particularities. Thanks to that, there have been promoted awareness and responsibility amongst party committees, commissars, commandants, and political agencies; the principle of the Party’s unified leadership over personnel work has been stringently maintained; issues pertaining to personnel and personnel work have been carefully discussed and properly handled; the work of personnel planning has been done in a thoughtful and procedural manner; the work of personnel training has been “standardized and modernized” with emphasis placed on combining training in military schools with on-site training in military units and domestic training with overseas training; the work of personnel management, assessment, rotation, and appointment has been conducted in a uniform, procedural, and regular fashion; the work of personnel policy has been carried out in a democratic, transparent, uniform, and procedural fashion in conformity with the Party and State’s guidelines and policies and the Army’s particularities; offices and staff in charge of personnel work have been regularly streamlined, gradually matching mission requirements.

With unified and firm leadership and direction by the Central Military Commission, Ministry of National Defence, and all-level party committees and commandants, the awareness and performance of personnel work has undergone a complete transformation within the Army. The quantitative and qualitative contingent of Army-wide cadres has increasingly satisfied immediate and long-term mission requirements. To date, 94.8% of the total personnel underwent college and university education of which 10.3% underwent postgraduate education; 94.55% received basic training; the percentage of cadres with good and excellent task performance stood at 96.7% of which over 64.2% rated as excellent. Cadres at all levels, especially at campaign and strategic levels exhibit steadfast political willpower, good moral virtues, and strong leading and commanding capability; possess original thinking, strategic vision, scientific and enterprising working style, and display a high sense of responsibility and resourcefulness, and promote synergy amongst offices and units, and endear themselves to cadres and soldiers. Yet, personnel work and the building of the contingent of military cadres still expose some limitations that need to be redressed in order to render this contingent on a par with the task of Homeland protection in the new situation.

In the coming years, apart from major advantages, our country will face numerous difficulties and challenges in bolstering socio-economic development and consolidating national defence and security, and strengthening Homeland construction and protection. Hostile and reactionary forces will step up sabotage activities on all fronts via strategies of “peaceful evolution” and “self-evolution” and “self-transformation” and “military depoliticalization”. Despite the fact that our nation has attained social, cultural, and economic achievements, and people’s living standards have gradually improved, a portion of military cadres and soldiers still has been confronted with some difficulties in their daily lives. The Central Military Commission and the Ministry of National Defense have been implementing measures to reform the organizational structure of the military to make it “elite, compact, strong, flexible and mobile” and ready to expand its forces when required. Those developments have had direct effects on personnel work and the building of the contingent of military personnel, and necessitated party committees and key cadres at all levels consciously taking proper and synchronous measures to effectively carry out this work, of which following contents should be taken into consideration.

First, enhancing leadership and direction on executing the work of political and ideological education to raise greater awareness and a higher sense of responsibility amongst a contingent of cadres and party members, which is a matter of great importance to creating a profound transformation in awareness and feelings of responsibility amongst party committees and organizations, key cadres, political agencies, personnel agencies at diverse levels and a pool of cadres and party members. The content of education work mainly involves the Party’s guidelines and principles on personnel work, particularly those on building a contingent of cadres in accord with Resolution No. 26-NQ/TW by the Party Central Committee (12th tenure); resolutions, directives, and regulations on personnel work and the building of the contingent of military cadres by the Central Military Commission, thereby ensuring complete consistency in awareness of leading and directing personnel work and personnel management in tune with the Army, offices and units’ particularities amongst party committees, key cadres, competent agencies, and the contingent of cadres at all levels. During the implementation process, it is necessary to strictly follow the Party’s unified leadership over personnel work and management in accord with democratic centralism; issues pertaining to personnel and personnel work must be democratically discussed and handled under majority rule. The procedure for personnel work must be applied in a uniform, synchronous and strict manner in compliance with personnel principles by party committees at various levels; the responsibility for personnel work and management must be upheld among party committees and organizations; commissars, commandants, and competent agencies at all levels. Reforms in personnel work must stem from the realities and mission requirements for military construction; combine the building of a contingent of cadres with Party building and rectification and the study and following of Uncle Ho’s thought, morality, and lifestyle. Besides, it is essential to keep personnel work under strict inspection and supervision in an effort to preclude and seriously handle signs of corruption and malpractices in this work.

Second, well executing personnel planning and rotation; combining the adjustment of personnel structure with the enhancement of personnel quality. Personnel planning must stem from the realities and political tasks and personnel situation; inherit from the previous tenures; base superior personnel planning upon inferior one; and ensure high continuity and flexibility. Party committees and key cadres at various levels need to thoroughly grasp and seriously abide by regulations on personnel management and appointment; pay due attention to female and ethnic minority cadres; and combine personnel planning with personnel assessment. The work of personnel rotation must be in conformity with higher echelons’ resolutions and directions, making sure that rotated cadres hold various positions as a challenge for their later career prospects. Personnel situation should be firmly managed; the extension of working life must be carefully considered; cadres with advanced age, insufficient capability, disciplinary records and low credibility must be resolutely discharged. In addition, it is crucial to proactively and synchronously do personnel planning to balance the strength amongst offices and units at grassroots level, especially those in charge of training and combat readiness mission.

Third, upholding the role and responsibility of party committees and organizations and key cadres in personnel appraisal.

Personnel appraisal is a matter of great significance to personnel management and use. At present, there are some limitations on this work. The realities have shown that judicious personnel appointment proceeds from proper personnel appraisal and vice versa. Therefore, party committees need to pay regard to properly carrying out the work of personnel appraisal in close association with approved personnel planning and training. During the implementation process, it is vital to thoroughly grasp Resolution No. 26-NQ/TW by the Party Central Committee (12th tenure); Decision No. 286-QĐ/TW, dated 08-02-2010 by the Politburo on promulgating Regulations on assessment of cadres and public servants; Regulation No. 89-QĐ/TW, dated 04-8-2017 by the Politburo on framework of title criteria for and the orientations for a framework of assessment criteria for cadres holding leadership and management positions at all levels as a basis for accurately evaluating every cadre’s virtues, capability, and mission performance. At the same time, mission performance and cultivation of political virtues , morality, and military lifestyle are regarded as a yardstick for personnel assessment; periodical personnel evaluation should be closely associated with criticism and self-criticism under Resolution of the 4th Plenum of the Party Central Committee (12th tenure) on Party building and rectification, Directive No. 05-CT/TW by the Politburo on accelerating the study and following of Uncle Ho’s thought, morality, and lifestyle. The work of personnel appraisal should be conducted in regular, transparent, procedural and objective manner and a combination of assessment by party committees and key cadres, self-assessment by individuals, and feedback from mass organizations.

Fourth, continuously reforming the work of training to improve overall quality of the contingent of cadres with emphasis devoted to enhancing political virtues and professionalism, meeting the Army’s mission requirements.

In the immediate term, it is necessary to concentrate on enhancing the quality of a contingent of prospective cadres in various types of training with a focus on a pool of potential cadres at campaign and strategic levels. It is crucial to train and cultivate cadres with corresponding posts, educational and political theory level with priority given to professional and intensive training for commanding and managing cadres. In parallel with training in military establishments, it is necessary to send a sufficient quantity of cadres on training courses run by non-military schools whilst great importance is attached to encouraging cadres to improve their practical capability, foreign language and IT ability, etc. Moreover, it is essential to closely combine academic training with in-service training and independent study and pay great value to heightening young cadres’ capability through battle-hardened cadres’ experience-sharing activities. Foreign training for military cadres must be in conformity with Resolution No. 618-NQ/ĐUQSTW, dated 28-10-2012 by the Military Party Committee (now the Central Military Commission) on overseas training for military cadres towards 2020 and beyond. For the sake of enhanced personnel training quality, military academies and schools need to reform training curricula and syllabuses in a focalized manner, especially those for regiment-and-division-level cadres. Additionally, it is crucial to standardize a contingent of teaching staff in tune with standards set by the State and the Ministry of National Defence whilst continuously supplying technical training equipment and facilities in line with requirements for education and training reforms and arising issues of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Fifth, continuing to perfect and well implement personnel policies; building strong personnel offices, successfully accomplishing their assigned tasks. Accordingly, it is necessary to properly execute the Party and State’s existing policies towards the Army; continuously perfect preferential policies and special salary and allowance regime for labourers in special conditions and housing allowance for rotated cadres in border, island, remote, and isolated areas; and manage and grasp cadres’ health records whilst proactively collaborating with ministries, sectors, and local governments in distributing land funds and developing housing projects to not only encourage cadres to express their single-minded devotion to their duty, but also retain them in the Army.

To properly carry out personnel work and the building of the contingent of cadres, it is essential to focus on building strong personnel offices and a “loyal, dependable, exemplary, transparent, and ingenious” contingent of cadres in charge of personnel work. The whole Army needs to streamline personnel offices quantitatively in line with units’ particularities, thereby creating a complete transformation in administrative reforms for personnel work while attaching great weight to cultivating political willpower, morality, working lifestyle and professionalism for cadres in charge of personnel work.

Thoroughly grasping and strictly implementing Resolution No. 26-NQ/TW by the Party Central Committee (12th tenure) is the onus on every cadre, party member, especially party committees and key cadres. Grounded in those afore-mentioned solutions, party committees continue to actualize the Resolution in line with their offices and units’ particularities; resolutely redress limitations on personnel work, contributing to building a strong contingent of cadres on all fronts, meeting the requirements for building the Army and protecting the Homeland of socialist Vietnam in the new situation.

General Ngo Xuan Lich, Member of the Politburo, Deputy Secretary of the Central Military Commission, Minister of National Defence       

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