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Tuesday, August 27, 2019, 10:13 (GMT+7)
Promoting the tradition of the Heroic Vanguard Division to build a comprehensively strong unit

70 years ago, on 28 August 1949, the 308th Brigade (now the 308th Division), which was the first regular brigade of Viet Nam People's Army (VPA) - was established in Du townlet, Phu Luong district, Thai Nguyen province. The birth of the 308th Division was a landmark in the history, marking a great leap of our military.

In the war of resistance against the French colonialists, the Division was one of the mobile regular units and used to be tasked with fighting key battles of operations, namely Operation Thao River, Operation Lo River, Operation the 4th Highway (1949), Operation Border (1950), Operation Midland, Operation the 18th Highway, Operation Ha-Nam-Ninh, Operation Hoa Binh (1951), Operation  Northwest  (Autumn-Winter 1952), and Operation Upper Laos (Spring-Autumn 1953). During the Dien Bien Phu Campaign (1954), the Division's officers and soldiers heightened revolutionary heroism, surmounted all difficulties and challenges, and collaborated with its friendly units to destroy completely the Dien Bien Phu complex of entrenched fortifications, leading to a resounding victory that shook the world, forcing the French colonialists to sign the Geneva Accords on Ending the War and Restoring Peace in Viet Nam.

Sr Col Vu Viet Hung (standing) brief his combat plan in the 2019 exercise

The Division had a great honour to welcome Uncle Ho five times. Importantly, on 19 September 1954 at the Temple of Kings Hung (Phong Chau district, Phu Tho province), "Kings Hung were credited with building the country, we must preserve the country together," said Uncle Ho to officers and soldiers of the 308th Brigade before their return to take over Ha Noi capital. His recommendation has become a sacred order for the whole military in general and for the Division's officers and soldiers in particular. At the same time, it is also an appeal to the whole Vietnamese people in the cause of national defence and construction. Being deeply imbued with Uncle Ho's teaching, the Division made a successful takeover of the capital and together with the military and people throughout the country, strived to build the socialist regime in the north. In the war of resistance against America, the Division participated in three major campaigns and hundreds of battles and destroyed a  large number of enemy forces, contributing to the entire liberation of the south and national unification. Given its numerous achievements in the two holy wars of resistance of the country, the Division was given one Ho Chi Minh Order, 6 Labour Medals, and 96 War Medals by the State and was commended 17 times in front of the whole military. The Division, 12 of its units and 11 individuals were given the title of Hero of the People’s Armed Forces and many noble rewards. 

In the cause of national defence and construction, the Central Military Commission (CMC), the Ministry of National Defence, and the 1st Army Corps Command entrust the Division with leading the way in receiving modern weapons and equipment so as to build a mechanised infantry division with strong firepower and high mobility. Deeply grasping its assigned tasks, the Division Party Executive Committee and Commanders have been promoting education with a view to enabling officers and soldiers to uphold and bring into play the nature and traditions of the Heroic Vanguard Division, being absolutely faithful to the Homeland, Party, State, and people, heightening revolutionary spirit, striving to overcome difficulties to build a comprehensive solid unit, and being ready to undertake and successfully accomplish their missions in any situations.

First, the Division Party Executive Committee and Commanders attach regular importance to leading and directing good implementation of political, ideological education aimed at cultivating officers and soldiers' political steadfastness, vigilance, high determination, activeness, proactiveness, and creativeness in performing their missions. On the basis of thoroughly perceiving resolutions, directives, regulations, and instructions of the higher echelons as well as its political missions, the Division adopts comprehensively and synchronously measures to build a pure and solid party organisation and a strong unit all round. Attention is paid to raising officers and soldiers' awareness of Marxism-Leninism, Ho Chi Minh's thought, the Party's guidelines, the State's policies and law, and missions of the military and their unit, facilitating correct understanding of objects of struggle, objects of cooperation, and the enemies' schemes and tricks. It is necessary to comprehend and effectively implement Resolution of the 4th Plenum of the Party Central Committee (12th tenure) on Party building, the Politburo's Directive 05-CT/TW, the CMC's Standing Committee's Directive 87-CT/QUTW on stepping up and following Ho Chi Minh's thought, morality, style, and the campaign “Promoting traditiondevoting talent, deserving Uncle Ho's soldier title" in association with the 2019 “Determination to Win” Emulation Movement on the theme of "Solidarity, creativeness, discipline, setting good examples, determination to win," contributing to addressing weaknesses and creating positive transformation in awareness and action to complete assigned tasks. In addition, the Division always attaches importance to leading and instructing good mobilisation of the masses, assisting people in natural disaster prevention and relief, and search and rescue, and participating in the building of strong local political grassroots and safe areas. Additionally, it successfully carries out movements, namely "The VPA makes a concerted effort to build new countryside" and "The VPA joins hands to help poor people without leaving anyone behind" with the aim of assisting people in economic, cultural development, hunger eradication and poverty reduction, and providing social security, contributing to firmly preserving political security, social order and safety in garrison areas.

River-crossing training with BMP-1 vehicle

As a unit responsible for combat readiness and composed of different types of trainees (infantry, mechanised infantry, arms), the Division has promoted innovation with a focus on improving the quality of training and combat readiness. This has been achieved through the preparation and development of plans, selection of training contents and programmes, and conduct of training for each type of trainees in the direction of "where there is a weakness, there is a training. Where there is a shortage, there is a supplement." To build a unit with good training and high combat readiness, the Division advocates strictly carrying out its training programmes under the motto "basics, practicality, solidity," attaching importance to synchronous, intensive training closely linked to mission requirements, combat realities, types of adversaries, and available weaponry. Also, attention is paid to imparting combat experience, especially the Division's typical battles in liberation wars.

Taking the training of officers as the key, the training of infantry combat techniques as foundation, and training of tactics as the focus, the Division conducts all-round training in both politics, military, logistics, and techniques, or more specifically, the drill, swimming techniques, river crossing to ensure tactical skillfulness in each vehicle, company and battalion. At the same time, it is important to boost the quality of night training, scenario based training, physical training, camouflage, and diversionary tactics as well as mobility to evade and respond to enemy fire, ensuring long-term continuous maneuver in future high-tech warfare. In order to achieve true assessment of training, the Division ceaselessly innovates methods of examination, resolutely pushes back "achievement obsession" in training, and strives to have 100% pass rate, in which 78.5% of trainees are graded good and excellent. Currently, the Division is actively instructing organisations to develop tactical scenarios, hold exercises closely linked to operational plans, get good results in competitions and exercises, ensure absolute safety, take examinations of "Good companies" at divisional level and participate in those at army corps level as well as enter for examinations of organisations and units "implementing good order, drill, discipline, safety" for the 2nd period of 2019. It is necessary to seriously comply with regulations on duty officer, patrol, guard at installations and barracks, timely adjusting and supplementing the system of documents on combat readiness in line with mission demands, and securing sufficient quantity and quality of weaponry and equipment. Besides, operational plans are regularly conducted to enhance units' ability to respond to scenarios, execute manoeuvres, and successfully fulfill every assigned task.

Apart from stepping up training work, the Division always attaches importance to raising the quality of promoting good order and discipline, strictly abides by regulations, and adopts various measures to enhance the quality of discipline management in units. On thoroughly grasping and seriously realising the goals of the  1st Corps Year of "Democracy, laws, safety, effectiveness" and "Discipline, good order, safety," the Division coordinates and collaborates with the Corps' Department of Military Security Protection and the public security force of Chuong My district, Quoc Oai district (Ha Noi capital), Luong Son district (Hoa Binh province) to disseminate the State's laws, the VPA's discipline, and ensure traffic safety, making contribution to raising officers and soldiers' awareness and responsibility for observing laws and discipline. Additionally, organisations and officers at all levels enhance their inspection of units and soldiers, particularly small solitary units far from commanders' management and operating in days off. Attention is paid to firmly grasping situations and social relations of officers and soldiers. The Division Party Executive Committee and Commanders usually exercise their leadership over logistical and technical work. Bringing into play the self-mastery, self-reliance, and resilience, the Division instructs its organisations and units to surmount difficulties to speed up food production, improving soldiers' lives. Also, the Division maintains adequate combat readiness reserves as required, provides sufficient rations for soldiers, prioritises amelioration of cuisine, and closely manages food hygiene and safety procedures. The Division's organisations and units actively participates in "The VPA's Logistics Follows Uncle Ho's Teaching" Emulation Movement, "Building a Fine, Healthy, Copious Cultural Environment" Campaign, and many other movements. The Division instructs its subordinate organisations and units to regularly maintain their weaponry and vehicles in good condition for training, exercises and combat readiness. First of all, it is necessary to seriously maintain Technical Day and regulations on checking technical conditions of vehicles used for combat readiness, promoting the quality of weaponry maintenance and repair to avoid damage, loss, fire, and explosion. At the same time, the Division effectively carries out "Management and Exploitation of  Weapons and Technical Equipment in a Good, Durable, Safe, Economical Manner and Traffic Safety" Campaign and enhances safety inspection in mission execution and all activities, especially the warehouses, technical areas, electric grids, lightning  strike  counters, officers' usage of vehicles when travelling on roads.

Taking pride in their glorious feats over the cause of 70 years, officers and soldiers of the 308th Division are committed to striving for promoting  and making their unit increasingly strong, deserving the tradition of "Vanguard, bravery, solidarity, discipline, rapidity, determination to fight, determination to win."

Senior Colonel Vu Viet Hung, Division Commander

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Promoting the role of the Military in protecting the Party, State, people and socialist regime
For the past nearly 75 years of establishment, combat and growth, under the leadership, education and training of the Communist Party of Vietnam and President Ho Chi Minh, the VPA has become increasingly strong; achieved various feats of arms and outstanding achievements, making significant contribution to glorious victories of the whole nation in the cause of national liberation, construction and defense.
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