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Friday, December 19, 2014, 10:46 (GMT+7)
Promoting heroic tradition, building VPA revolutionary, regular, seasoned and gradually modern.

70 years ago, under the Ho Chi Minh’s decree, on 22nd December 1944, Vietnam Armed Propaganda Unit For National Liberation –  the forerunner of the Vietnam People’s Army, was founded in a forest in the northern province of Cao Bang. Under the leadership, education and training of the Party and president Ho Chi Minh, throughout its development, struggle and maturing, the Vietnam People’s Army (VPA) has always been steadfast with the aims of national independence and socialism. Together with the people, it has attained resounding victories, deserving a “sharp” forceful tool and a loyal political force of the Party, State and people, serving as the core force for the entire people in the cause of national liberation and defence.

General Phung Quang Thanh encourages new enlistees (File photo) 

Right after its inception, though staffed with only 34 men and equipped with primitive weapons, the unit soon won Phai Khat and Na Ngan battles, making up the “determine to fight and determine to win” tradition of the military. Nearly a year later, the military force made a significant contribution to the success of the August Revolution in 1945, gaining national independence, creating the premise for the  birth of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam – the first people’s democratic state in South East Asia.

During the resistance war against the French colonialist, the VPA experienced a rapid development in manpower, weapon, equipment and especially combat experience. Thereby, in the people’s war posture, the VPA  conducted many operations of increasingly large scale, especially in the period of 1953 – 1954 and won the decisive and land-sliding victory of Dien Bien Phu.

In the national salvation war against the American aggressors, a number of arms, services with rather modern weapons and equipment were founded. In particular, at the end of the war, the VPA  set up main corps of the ground forces. In this war, Vietnamese military art of people’s war developed to a new height, especially the art of fighting at operational and strategic levels and the joint command and coordination among battle grounds. In the North, the VPA shouldered with the people in the cause of building socialism, defeated the sabotage war by the US Air Force and the US Navy, firmly defended the Northern “big rear” and supported the Southern big front. In the South, the South Vietnam Liberation Army promoted its key role in military struggle, closely combined military struggle with political struggle and the struggle in the diplomatic realm; combined the operations of main corps with those of local forces in all three  strategic regions: urban, rural and mountainous, creating a synergy and defeating the “Staley - Taylor”, “Limited War”, “Vietnamization” strategies of the US and completely winning the war with the historic victory of Ho Chi Minh campaign.

When the country unified and embarked the process of national construction and defence, the VPA proved to be a truly core force for the entire people to firmly defend national independence, sovereignty, unification, and socialist regime; and to abandon all plots and schemes of “peaceful evolution” of hostile forces. Along with its key task of combat and combat readiness, the VPA has been proactive in the tasks of war aftermath overcoming, disaster relief, search and rescue, mass mobilization, consolidating grassroots political system, developing economy, building new style rural areas, etc. Thereby, the VPA has built a firm people’s heart and mind posture, consolidated people’s belief in the Party and State. As a force for production, the VPA, with its defence - economic corps, has been proactive in production made considerable contribution to the cause of industrialization and modernization of the country, improving people’s living standards and strengthening defence and security potentials in strategic, border and island areas. The VPA not only has fulfilled its missions to the nation but also helped Lao and Cambodia in their revolutionary cause.

Over the past 70 years, generations of cadres, officers and soldiers have built up the fine tradition of “being loyal to the Party, pious to the people, and ready to fight and sacrifice their lives for national independence and freedom and for socialism; fulfilling any mission, overcoming any hardship, and defeating any enemy” as praised by president Ho Chi Minh, lightening “Uncle Ho’s soldiers” image and deserving to be a heroic troop of a heroic nation.

The history of national liberation, construction and defence has proved that: the VPA is a revolutionary military, of people, by people and for people. Coping the complexities of current situation, more than ever, we have to uphold and promote the revolutionary nature of the VPA; strengthen education in the field of Marxism – Leninism, Ho Chi Minh Thought, the VPA’s fighting target and the national tradition; enhance revolutionary merit, political stance and combating capability for cadres and troops. This is the prerequisite for the VPA to be always loyal to the Party, the State and the people, ready to receive and fulfil any missions.

Our VPA’s revolutionary nature is represented in the way that it is steadfast with the aim of national independence and socialism; thoroughly grasps the Party’s guidelines and viewpoints and the two revolutionary strategic missions; strictly abides by the Party’s resolutions, State’s policies; fulfills all assigned tasks and performs well its functions as an army ready for fight, for work and for produce. The Army’s nature is also represented in the way that it has a close tie with the people like blood and bone, born from the people and fight for the people.

Along with upholding and promoting the revolutionary cause, the task of building a regular army is also urgent and essential. Its aims are to create a consensus among perception, will and action, ensuring perfect organization, strict discipline and scientific combat coordination for the army.

When the situation poses new requirements, the successful creation of a seasoned army ensures  it to perform well its role of not only a force ready for fight, but also a force for work and for produce. The first and foremost matter is building the army politically seasoned. This is the most important thing setting ground for the enhancement of the VPA’s synergy and combat strength.

To ensure the army seasoned in combat capability, it is necessary to renovate and enhance the quality of training and education. Units at all levels need to accelerate comprehensive renovation in the light of the Resolution No. 765 of the Central Military Commission on “Enhancing the quality of training in the 2013 – 2020 period and the following years”; focusing on the training guidelines of :“basic, essential, steady”; attaching importance to synchronous and in-depth trainings which are realistic and suitable to the structure of the army, the development of weapons and equipment, the Vietnamese military art, as well as combat requirements in high-tech warfare.

At the XI National Congress, our Party decided on the plan to build the military gradually modern. This is a right decision, appropriate with the country’s situation. Thanks to the special attention of the Party and State, the military has adhered to its planned direction, roadmap, plan and gained significant results with breakthroughs seen in several fields. Now, we have to continue to build the VPA gradually modern and at the same time, making use of and promoting the utmost economic, scientific - technological potentials and achievements in the process of – the country’s industrialization and modernization for the army’s renovation and modernization. First and foremost priorities should be given to the Navy, the Air Defence – Air Force, Electronic Warfare, and Telecommunications.

The 70th anniversary of the VPA’s foundation (22-12-1944 – 22-12-2014) and the 25th anniversary of the People’s Defence Day (22-12-1989 – 22-12-2014)  are important events of the army  and the country. This is the occasion for all cadres and troops to look back the past, be proud of the glorious tradition of a heroic army. We are confident that with national pride and glorious tradition of the VPA, the entire cadres and troops will continue their effort to build the army revolutionary, regular, seasoned, gradually modern and make it a truly key force for firmly defending the Homeland in the new situation.

General Phung Quang Thanh

Member of the Politburo, Vice - Secretary of the Central Military Commission

Minister of National Defence

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