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Monday, October 16, 2017, 07:06 (GMT+7)
Continued acceleration of building military cultural environment, a driving force for the successful fulfilment of all set tasks

25 years of the effective implementation of the campaign “Building wholesome and diverse military cultural environment in military units” (hereafter the campaign for short) have seen cultivated virtues of revolutionary military personnel, enhanced dignity of “Uncle Ho’s soldiers”, and reinforced building of military politics. New requirements demand that the campaign be executed regularly and be included as a coherent whole of soldiers’ cultural and spiritual life, thereby creating a key driver for the successful fulfilment of every assigned mission.   

Under the motto “guiding the people with the light of culture”, in the course of revolutionary leadership, the Party’s culture-related guidelines and policies have been concretized through directives and resolutions, notably Resolution of the 5th Plenum of the Party Central Committee (8th tenure) on “building and developing the Vietnamese  advanced culture imbued with national identity” and Resolution of the 9th Plenum of the Party Central Committee (11th tenure) on “building and developing the Vietnamese culture and people in accordance with national sustainable development requirements”, thereby contributing to the Vietnamese people’s nurtured patriotic spirit, national pride, morality, lifestyle, and virtues in the new revolutionary stage.   

          Snr.Lt.Gen. Nguyen Trong Nghia visiting Artistic Unit of the
Military Region 7 (photo: baoquankhu7.vn)

On perceiving Directive No.143/CT, dated 12th, May 1992 by General Department of Politics, the building of military cultural environment (hereafter referred to as MCE) has regularly been taken seriously as a matter of importance to making the Army politically strong, upholding the virtues of “Uncle Ho’s soldiers”, and creating synergy for satisfactory completion of all the set tasks. Notably, party executive committees, commandants, and political offices at all levels have concentrated their leadership and directions on building MCE on a regular basis according to defined objectives and requirements, thereby contributing to soldiers’ improved cultural and spiritual life as evidenced by the fact that the BMCE is in close association with the campaign “all people unite to build cultural lifestyle”, rendering cultural values deep-rooted in soldiers’ various daily activities, brightening up the image of “Uncle Ho’s soldiers” in people’s hearts and minds, consolidating civil-military relations. In addition, the building of MCE has closely followed the requirements of building strong and pure party organizations and comprehensively strong units, enhanced political awareness, outlook on life, world viewpoints, and moral dignity among cadres and soldiers, thereby creating educational and healthy cultural environment towards the target of the army’s new human development, facilitating the movement of cultivated and heightened political virtues, morality, and military lifestyle. During the implementation process, the campaign has unearthed diverse model units with outstanding cultural surroundings, namely “ Aligning high combat readiness with stringent rules and regulations”; “good teaching, good learning”; “border guard posts are cultural bright spots in boundary areas”; “good maintenance, enduring use, safety, thrift”; “good dorm, good barracks, good training field, good civil- military relation” and so forth. Besides, numerous writing contests have been thrown open to countless military and non-military contestants in an effort to select the best journalistic and literary works, meeting soldiers’ cultural and spiritual needs. While due attention has been paid to adequately supplying books, newspapers, audio-visual products, etc, the practice of “green, clean, fine” barracks model has been spread, keeping barracks precincts in a neat and tidy fashion. It is clearly affirmed that the building of MCE has led to cadres and soldiers’ enhanced cultural awareness and sense as evidenced by the fact that comradeship-infused relations have been handled harmoniously in line with military rules and regulations and Vietnamese fine customs, forging a close bond between individuals and collectives, between soldiers and people as well as between units and localities.

Given wide-ranging forms and contents, units have stepped up mass mobilization work, exchange and twinning activities, become a cultural bright spot and a tower of strength for people in their stationed areas. The beauty of military subculture is radiantly enhanced through meaningful movements, namely “Repaying gratitude”; “hunger eradication, poverty elimination”; “The entire army makes joint efforts to build new-type rural areas”; building gratitude houses, charity houses and comradeship houses; assisting people in boosting labour productivity, improving living standards, and providing natural disaster relief. Comprehending the motto “aligning building with fighting”; “taking “building” for “fighting”, units have placed great emphasis on promoting the resilience for all cadres and soldiers and proactively combating various forms of evil culture as well as manifestations of “self-evolution” and “self-transformation” from within while actively foiling the artifice and stratagem by hostile forces to depoliticize the army, thereby contributing to the Party’s maintained ideology in the military.

Yet, to be candid, the execution of the campaign has still exposed limitations in reality. Several party executive committees and commandants have yet to perceive the necessity of MCE building, still experience formalism and jump on the campaign’s bandwagon with scant attention paid to the efficacy of the campaign as evidenced by inflexibly and slowly renovated forms and contents. Some cadres in charge of the campaign still show a lack of dynamics and creativity, and have yet to be in touch with the campaign’s reality.

In the coming years, our country is participating more extensively in international economic integration, facilitating intensified cultural exchanges and convergence which have been impacting directly on cultural and spiritual life of the entire society. Meanwhile, the negative side of the market mechanism has had considerable effect on cultural, moral, and lifestyle values; the commercialization of cultural, journalistic, and artistic activities has created poor tastes, lowered the function of ideological and aesthetic education, etc. Hostile forces have stepped up the “peaceful evolution” strategy in the realms of ideology and culture by means of various malicious and intricate conspiracies. Hence, it is crucial to concentrate on making the Army politically, culturally, and ideologically strong as a sound basis for improved synergy and combat power, accomplishing every assigned task. This also serves as a key requirement for building wholesome and diverse MCE closely associated with the national movement “All people unite to build cultural lifestyle”. To that end, proper regard should be paid to taking effective measures as follows:

First, pressing ahead with propagation work and education to raise cadres and soldiers’ awareness of the importance and role of building wholesome and diverse MCE as a core task of the Party’s human development strategy, meeting the requirements for building and defending the Homeland in the new situation. In practice, the building of MCE is an inseparable component of the class struggle with new forms and conditions in response to the cultural invasion and fierce sabotage campaigns by hostile forces in the realms of ideology and culture. Thus, cadres and soldiers should be primarily educated not only on maintaining healthy cultural lifestyles, revolutionary morality, and “Uncle Ho’s soldiers’ virtues”, but on promoting revolutionary servicemen’s political resolve and class position. Thanks to the campaign, all cadres and soldiers have been sufficiently self-aware to observe standards of cultural conduct; relations between higher echelons and lower ones, between units and the local party executive committees, governments and people in their stationed areas have been consolidated; a sense of individual and collective responsibility has been further stimulated; the mottos “Align building with fighting” and “Match words with actions” have been strictly maintained; all the manifestations of ideological and perceptual deviation have been properly handled.

Each cadre and party member, first and foremost key cadres, must lead by example in working and cultivating according to standards of cultural lifestyle, and genuinely set an example to their juniors, ensuring that each unit is a cultural one. Besides, it is necessary to fight negative and reactionary viewpoints, and the manifestations of ideological, moral, and lifestyle deterioration as well as dissenting allegations by hostile forces. What is more, in parallel with promoting grassroots democracy, self-criticism and criticism, it is essential to strictly abide by the regulations of the State and the Army on the work of management, inspection, evaluation, edition, printing, distribution, circulation and usage of audiovisual equipment and internet-connected electronic devices as a solid basis for preventing penetrated and smuggled evil cultural genres from units while actively fighting the manifestations of uncultured behaviour, creating favourable conditions for soldiers’ cultivation and striving for the true, good, and beautiful values, thereby contributing to the building of wholesome and diverse MCE.

Second, strengthening the leadership and direction of party executive committees, commandants, and political offices at diverse levels for the building of MCE. Over the past years, the reality of MCE building has shown that the leadership and direction of party executive committees and commandants as well as the directive role of all- level political offices serve as a key factor for satisfying all the targets and requirements set by the campaign. To this end, annually, party executive committees at all levels need to clearly define targets, policies, leadership programs and course of action that match their unit’s particularities. Those serve as a basis for all-level political offices to put into action through highly feasible norms and solutions as evidenced by aligning the building of MCE with the acceleration of the study and following of Uncle Ho’s thought, morality, and lifestyle, and Resolution of the 4th Plenum of the Party Central Committee (Tenure XII) on Party building and rectification and the campaign “Promoting tradition, devoting talent, deserving to be Uncle Ho’s soldiers”, with the movement “All people unite to build cultural lifestyle” in a bid to create synergy for successful completion of designated objectives. In the course of implementation process, units have placed great emphasis on attaching both new codes of Vietnamese cultural conduct and “cultural unit” to stimulation of “determined to win” emulation movement, superb individuals, and examples of “good people did good deeds”; on combining the cultivation of political determination with building of cultural and spiritual life, and maintenance of military order and discipline, thereby rendering political and ideological elements further deep-seated in soldiers’ everyday activity. At the same time, it is critical to step up inspection and supervision work to unearth units whose good performance and best practice should be further stimulated and spread, opportunely rectify units with poor performance and efficiency, and strongly criticize deviant and irresponsible perception in building MCE.

Third, forms of cultural activities should be actively renovated and diversified, and the role of mass organizations and cultural institutions should be promoted in building wholesome and diverse cultural environment. Grounded in designed schedules, offices and units need to put them into action through healthy and diverse cultural activities in accordance with the development of the societal cultural life, the army’s particularities, and soldiers’ taste. At the same time, forms and contents of cultural activities must be constantly innovated to get cadres and soldiers fervently engaged in building their unit’s cultural environment and life. During implementation process, it is necessary to highlight the role of mass organizations of which youth unions serve as the core in establishing implementation models in line with the campaign’s reality, thereby promoting wholesome cultural environment, repelling social vices, and minimizing incidents of disciplinary offence. Besides, it is essential to press ahead with the effectiveness of cultural institutions under the motto “higher and lower echelons bear corporate responsibilities” in line with Circular No. 104/2014/TT-BQP of Ministry of National Defence on guaranteeing standards of cultural and spiritual life for soldiers”. The operation of cultural institutions, particularly art troupes, cultural propaganda teams, museums, traditional houses, libraries, etc must be properly maintained. Better coordination amongst military and non-military agencies of journalism, art and literature should be facilitated to create sterling works, meeting cultural and spiritual life for soldiers and people in isolated, remote, border, and island areas. A pool of cadres and military workers in charge of cultural affairs should be properly selected and trained, ensuring that this pool serves as the core in cultural and artistic movements, contributing to improved cultural and spiritual life for soldiers.

Fourth, the overall assessment of 25 years of executing the campaign “building wholesome and diverse MCE” should be carefully carried out. Units need to firmly grasp and strictly implement Guidelines No. 727/HD-TH, dated 05-5-2017 and No. 1116/HD-CT, dated 23-6-2017 by the General Department of Politics on the overall assessment of 25 years of executing the campaign “building wholesome and diverse MCE”. The assessment process undergoes three phases. Relevant units in each phase are required to make thorough preparation with a focus on contents for the sake of quality. The overall assessment should be objective, offers the strengths and weaknesses, and solutions as a basis for continued acceleration of the quality and effectiveness of the campaign in the coming time. Offices and units, first and foremost party executive committees and commandants at various levels must regard the building of MCE as a routine long-term task and thus uphold a sense of responsibility in leading and directing the assessment work. It should be absolutely avoided that the overall assessment is carried out in a formalistic and perfunctory fashion. On the contrary, it serves as a solid foundation for taking offices and units’ cultural environment to a new height via increasingly diverse criteria. At the same time, by means of the overall assessment, comments and recommendations with theoretical and practical values should be submitted to the Central Military Commission, Ministry of National Defence and the General Department of Politics in a bid to render the campaign deep in cadres and soldiers’ awareness and actions towards the building of MCE in the new stage.

Fifth, regularly cooperating with the locality’s party executive committees, governments, and socio-political unions in fostering the building of MCE in close alignment with the national movement “All people unite to build cultural lifestyle”. The Army is a component of society. In fact, the building of MCE is an unbreakable component of the local movement “All people unite to build cultural lifestyle”. The problem is this relationship must be closely and constantly maintained in accordance with the military’s particularities and the local characteristics and situations in order to enlighten each cadre and soldier about the Party’s culture. Accordingly, in the course of implementation process, units need to proactively cooperate with the local party executive committees, governments and political unions in their stationed areas, especially the Steering Board of the movement “all people unite to build cultural lifestyle” in laying down conventions, plans, and operational regulations as a basis for imparting the Party’s guidelines, and the State’s policies and law in the realm of culture in the locality, thereby contributing to the building of cultural environment as well as the precluding and repelling of evil customs and social vices in stationed areas. Simultaneously, it is necessary to bring into play self-reliant spirit, proactiveness, and creativity of each unit, cadre and soldier to make dramatic and tangible improvements to cultural and spiritual life. Each serviceman strives to be a cultured soldier; each military family is a cultured one; each military dorm becomes a cultured one. Military units are genuinely cultural bright spots in their stationed areas, actively cooperating with all people in effectively executing the national movement “All people unite to build cultural lifestyle”.

The work of building MCE in alignment with the national movement “All people unit to build cultural lifestyle” is a routine and long-term mission associated closely with the cause of building the Army and defending the Fatherland. Under that spirit, army-wide units need to uphold a sense of responsibility, actively and proactively cooperate with the local party executive committees, governments in comprehending and seriously implementing the Party’s resolutions on culture and building wholesome and diverse cultural environment, thereby creating momentum for the successful fulfilment of all tasks assigned by the Party, the State and people, meeting the requirements for constructing and defending the Fatherland in the new situation.

Senior Lieutenant Gen. Nguyen Trong Nghia, Member of  the Party Central Committee, Member of the Central Military Commission, Deputy Head of the VPA’s General Department of Politics

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