Vietnam people's armed forces

The 60th Anniversary of the Founding of Vietnamese People’s Army andthe 15th Anniversary of All-People’s National Defense Day of Vietnam(22 December 1944 – 22 December 2004)

I. Overview: The process of founding, fighting, building, and growing of the Vietnamese People’s Army

December 22, 1944 has been taken to lớn be Vietnamese People’s Army Day. It was the founding day of the Armed Propaganda Unit of the Liberation Army, the first regular force of the Revolution, under the directive of the late President Ho bỏ ra Minh. Carrying on và heightening the military tradition of the nation, relying on the strength of the people and people’s war in Vietnam, & on the solidarity & assistance of friendly countries’ peoples and armies, the Vietnamese, undergoing the process of fighting & building up their strength at the same time, have grown from small to large units. The more it fights, the stronger it becomes, achieving ever-greater successes & growing stronger by leaps. The fighting power of the Vietnamese People’s Army manifested in resistance wars against foreign aggressors has taken its source from politico-ideological consciousness, from the unanimity of objective and ideal being fought for, from the unity between the Army and the people & between officers & soldiers, from bravery & wisdom in fighting, và from creative dynamism in the use of weapons & technical equipment suitable to the Vietnamese military arts & the battleground.Since the country embarked upon a period of peace và construction, the Vietnamese People’s Army has continued lớn display its fine traditions & nature và has always faithfully fulfilled its function as an army ready for combat as well as for work & production worthy of the late President Ho chi Minh’s praise: “Our Army, loyal lớn the Party, pious to lớn the people, & ready to lớn fight and sacrifice their lives for the Homeland’s independence and freedom, for socialism, will fulfill any task, cross over any difficulty, and defeat any enemy”.

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Nowadays, while the country continues to carry out the cause of revolution và intensify the process of industrialization & modernization, the Vietnamese People’s Army plays the key role in building & consolidating a strong all-people’s national defense and, together with other components of the armed forces, takes part in the consolidation of “great national unity” khổng lồ guard against all plots lớn sow division among religions và nationalities, firmly maintaining political stability, security, and social order, protecting the peaceful life & labor achievements of the people, & building the country pursuant to the goal of making “a rich people, a strong country, và a civilized, democratic, & equitable society”.

II. The Vietnamese People’s Army TodayA. Organization

Organizationally, the Vietnamese People’s Army, both standing & reserve forces, is composed of the main force và local forces.

The standing force consists of all servicemen on active duty and civil servants & employees working for the armed forces. In peacetime, the strength of the standing force is maintained at the minimum necessary, just enough to meet the requirements of combat-readiness through regular training and weapons, technical equipment, and materiél stock maintenance. The standing force plays an important role in the building of the reserve force so as lớn ensure a supplementary source of manpower for the standing force when necessary.

The reserve force is composed of all home reservists chosen và classified as meeting the demands of the mobilization plan. In peacetime, the reserves are registered, administered, & organized into reserve units which are trained as stipulated according khổng lồ program và fulfill other tasks in their localities. The reserves have the same components as those of the standing force, with officers, non-commissioned officers, và soldiers of various branches và services of the main force và local forces who have completed their active service obligations & a number of civilians listed also as reservists.

Since the beginning of the period of national construction in peace, the State of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam has decided khổng lồ reduce by two-thirds the numerical strength of its standing force, readjusting its strategy so as lớn concentrate efforts on economic development with a view khổng lồ ensuring a happy life of abundance for the people. This reduction in the numerical strength of the standing force and the adjustment of strategy have been carried out simultaneously with an upgrading in chất lượng of all aspects so that the Army can cope with all situations of war or armed conflict that may threaten the independence, sovereignty, national unity, territorial integrity, & national interests of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.

The President of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam is the Commander-in-Chief; the Minister of National Defense is in charge of directing và administering the Vietnamese People’s Army and carrying out the functions of State management in the tên miền of national defense. Under the Minister of National Defense there are such agencies as the General Staff Department, the General Political Department, the General Logistics Department, the General Technical Department, the General Department of National Defense Industry, and other directly subordinate entities.

Components of the Vietnamese People’s Army:

1. Main Force

The main force is the chip core of the Vietnamese People’s Army which includes various services, Army corps, arms, & professional troops, with high mobility & combat-readiness lớn the meet the requirements of combat missions under any circumstance in any place. Besides units trained for combat readiness, there is a complete system of logistical & technical units, academies & research institutes, officer training schools, & other specialized schools at different levels.The Army (or Ground Force).

The Vietnamese army consists of military regions, Army corps, combined arms và armed units such as artillery, sapper, signal, chemical, armor, & special forces attached to the Ministry of National Defense. The military regions are organized according to lớn strategic direction và incorporate regular troops directly under the military regions as well as units of provincial and district local forces within the military regions.

The Vietnamese army, which plays an important role in the Vietnamese People’s Armed Forces, was established from the beginning of the founding of the armed forces & has developed step by step in size, structure, and unique in conformity with the conditions, circumstances, & fighting methods of Vietnamese “people’s war”. Undergoing trials in a war of liberation và a war of national defense, the Vietnamese army has grown step by step, performing its duties brilliantly và establishing a glorious tradition. All army corps, almost all armed units and many other units of the Vietnamese army have been awarded the title, “Hero of the People’s Armed Forces”.

The Navy

The Vietnamese People’s Navy, formerly the Coastal Defense Department, was established on May 7, 1955 & became a service of the Vietnamese People’s Armed Forces on January 5, 1964. The Vietnamese People’s Navy assumes the responsibility of safeguarding the waters & airspace over the waters belonging to Vietnam. The Vietnamese People’s Navy has engaged in combat activities on the sea, brilliantly fulfilling its duties & has been granted the title “Hero of the People’s Armed Forces” by the State.

The Vietnamese People’s Navy consists of combat và logistic elements having more và more modern vessels, weapons, và equipment which enable it khổng lồ carry out combat operations in Vietnamese waters. The Vietnamese People’s Navy plays an important part in protecting national waters, islands, the continental shelf, & special economic zones and in ensuring the interests of maritime economy. The Vietnamese People’s Navy is the lead force in maintaining coordination with other forces such as the police, customs service, border defense force, và maritime police to lớn strictly control national waters and economic activities at sea in compliance with Vietnamese and international laws.

The Air Guard và Air Force

The Air Guard and Air Force is a combat service which comprises the responsibilities of both national anti-aircraft troops và the Air Force. Grown up from small units, the Air Guard and Air Force was an important part of the success of the Dien Bien Phu chiến dịch in 1954. The Air Guard & Air Force has also made a worthy contribution khổng lồ the tasks of defending the North & liberating the South for national reunification. For its achievements in fighting and in performing other duties, both the Air Force and Air Guard forces were awarded the title “Hero of the People’s Armed Forces” by the Vietnamese State.

Currently the Air Guard và Air Force, organized into air and anti-aircraft divisions & equipped with different types of aircraft, missiles, anti-aircraft guns, & other sophisticated technical equipment, is carrying out the tasks of training and combat readiness for the defense and control of the airspace of the Motherland.

The Border Defense Force

The Border Defense Force, a component of the Vietnamese People’s Army, has as its basic function being specially in charge of controlling và protecting the sovereignty và territorial integrity of và public order và security along land borders, islands, territorial waters, & border gates in accordance with Vietnamese law và international practices. Units of the Border Defense Force in each locality are also members of the armed forces of the respective provincial or district defense zones. The Border Defense Force has been granted the title “Hero of the People’s Armed Forces” by the State for its achievements in fighting & in fulfilling other assignments.

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2. Local Forces

Local forces constitute a mobile force operating on the spot, mainly in local areas, & together with the militia và self-defense forces play a key role in people’s war at the local level.Local forces are closely associated with defense zones, fighting in the defense posture of the whole country in conformity with the requirements and characteristics of each zone in local people’s warfare, which is closely combined with the national people’s war. Local troops are in close coordination with the militia & self-defense forces in fighting for the protection of the people and of local authorities.The militia and self-defense force, the maritime police, và the People’s Police.are integral parts of the Vietnamese People’s Armed Forces, standing side by side with the Vietnamese People’s Army in the cause of defending the socialist Motherland & ensuring public order and security. The militia and self-defense force, a part-time armed force of the masses, is a component of the people’s armed forces of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. It is assigned the task of maintaining combat readiness và coordinating with grassroots security forces khổng lồ ensure public and social order & political security at the local level. During the two resistance wars against foreign aggression conducted by the Vietnamese people, the militia & self-defense force brought into full play its strategic role in the people’s war, working as the core movement of all people fighting the enemy and awarded the title “Hero of the People’s Armed Forces”. The militia is organized in the countryside whereas the self-defense force is mix up in urban areas, offices, enterprises & at construction sites and farms.

B. Carrying out the activities of “repayment in kind” & assistance khổng lồ comrades & the people

During the wars of national liberation & for the defense of the country, millions of Vietnamese cadre và soldiers of the Vietnamese People’s Army have died or left part of their flesh and blood on the battlefields.

In line with the moral philosophy “When drinking water, remember the source”, over the past decades, especially after the reunification of the country, the Vietnamese People’s Army has established special action teams which have climbed many mountains & crossed many rivers to all corners of the country và to some localities in Laos và Cambodia to tìm kiếm for & exhume the remains of our deceased soldiers và then relocate them to lớn be buried in our country, meeting the aspirations of the relatives of the martyrs and lessening the pain caused by war.

Being an army which is of the people, by the people and for the people, the Vietnamese People’s Army has always been loyal to lớn the people. During the last years, together with the tasks of training và combat readiness, the Vietnamese People’s Army has been conducting the tasks of propagandization and mobilization of the people aimed at successfully implementing the guidelines of the Party, abiding by the policies và laws of the Government và attaching importance lớn the building of an all-people’s national defense. Every year units of the Vietnamese People’s Army combine outdoor operations with the task of the people’s mobilization. The Army eats, lives, and works together with the people. These units spend millions of working days helping the people to do irrigation work, build roads, harvest crops, và build “gratitude houses” for the families of dead & invalid soldiers và “affection houses” for poor families at the local level. The Vietnamese People’s Army has been actively involved in universalizing education for tens of thousands of people, mainly from mountainous areas, và has built thousands of classrooms và hundreds of infirmaries khổng lồ hand over khổng lồ the people. It has also built small-scale hydroelectric stations & radio và TV stations to lớn raise the cultural standards of the people.

The Vietnamese People’s Army has contributed tens of billions of Dong lớn raise a Gratitude Fund for the families of dead & invalid soldiers as well as for families which have done a great service for the Revolution. It has also raised a Fund for the Poor khổng lồ help poor families stabilize their lives and develop their production.

Particularly when natural disasters or events of great tragedy occur, and imbued with the spirit of self-sacrifice for the people, the Vietnamese People’s Army mobilizes its forces and fearless of the danger saves the people và helps them to lớn overcome the consequences và stabilize their lives. Many cadre & soldiers have sacrificed themselves for the safety of the people. Their deeds go into the heart & minds of the people.

C. Engaging in productive labor & national construction

Over the past sixty years of fighting, building, và growing, the Vietnamese People’s Army has always attached importance lớn the tasks of engaging in productive labor and developing the national economy. Under the severe conditions of the past wars, units of the Armed Forces actively joined in productive labor, producing especially food, foodstuffs, và consumer goods in order to improve living standards và contribute lớn ensuring that they could fight & win.

Under the conditions of peace, the Vietnamese People’s Army has determined that engaging in production và helping to develop the national economy are strategic tasks aimed at closely combining national defense & the economy và combining the economy with national defense, thus making a contribution to lớn bringing the cause of industrialization & modernization lớn victory and firmly defending the socialist Motherland of Vietnam.

During the past years, besides carrying out the task of engaging in productive labor in order to lớn improve living standards, the Vietnamese People’s Army has participated in economic development in many fields, namely industry, agriculture, forestry, fishing, transport, capital construction, và post & telecommunications, in which it has exerted much of its efforts in the construction of many important economic projects, such as the Hoa Binh hydroelectric power nguồn plant, the trans-Vietnam 500 KV power line, and the Ho bỏ ra Minh Highway for the tư vấn of national industrialization and modernization. Units of the Vietnamese People’s Army participating in economic development have become a mission force which performs difficult and arduous tasks in restoring and developing the national economy and in reclaiming land in remote areas, border areas, and on islands. The participation of the Vietnamese People’s Army in economic development has brought about concrete effects on socio-economic development and the consolidation of national defense & security and has contributed to the strengthening of the defense industry. Some joint economic-defense zones built by the armed forces have become archetypal models for the adjustment và rearrangement of population areas at the national level, especially in border areas và on islands. By utilizing used military technical equipment khổng lồ meet in part the demands of national welfare and the people’s livelihood a wide range of products manufactured by national defense factories are of high quality and satisfy the needs of domestic consumption and export, contributing lớn the growth of the national economy & balancing the state budget earmarked for defense. From the efficient earnings generated by productive labor và economic development the living standards of the cadre và soldiers of the Vietnamese People’s Army have improved with each passing day.

Through the effects of productive labor và economic development, the image of Uncle Ho’s soldiers in the forefront of national construction with the aim of building “a rich people, a strong country, và a civilized, democratic, and equitable society” has gone into the mind of the Vietnamese people.

D. Expanding friendly relations và cooperation with foreign militaries of the world

Since its establishment the Vietnamese People’s Army has always thoroughly grasped and strictly implemented the guidelines và foreign policy of the tiệc nhỏ and State of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.

At the kết thúc of 1949 & in early 1950, meeting the demand for the expansion of foreign relations between the Vietnamese People’s Army & the armed forces of other countries, the General Military Committee of the các buổi tiệc nhỏ Central Committee (the present-day Military các buổi tiệc nhỏ Committee of the Central Committee of the Communist tiệc nhỏ of Vietnam) & the Ministry of National Defense phối up the Special Entertainment Committee khổng lồ receive delegations from the armed forces of foreign countries visiting & working with the Vietnamese People’s Army. On May 28, 1964 the Foreign Relations Liaison Department of the Ministry of National Defense, now the Foreign Relations Department of the Ministry of National Defense, was founded và assumed the task of advising the Military buổi tiệc ngọt Committee of the Central Committee & the Ministry of National Defense on working out measures & policies for controlling, guiding, & organizing activities conducted by the Vietnamese People’s Army in the field of foreign relations.

During the wars of resistance against foreign aggression for the defense of the Motherland the Ministry of National Defense exchanged military delegations, received and efficiently used assistance from international allies, exchanged and studied the experiences of war and military science, established và put into operation Vietnamese Defense Attache Offices in foreign countries, and approved and coordinated with the Defense Attache Offices of foreign countries in Vietnam.

Since the reunification of Vietnam the external activities of the Vietnamese People’s Army have been promoted further. Leaders of the Vietnamese Ministry of National Defense have visited many countries to express thanks for the support for the Vietnamese people & the Vietnamese People’s Army in their struggle khổng lồ defend independence và for national reunification & socialist construction và to at the same time exchange experiences on building the armed forces in the new period. Since 1986, in line with the policy of renewal of the Communist buổi tiệc ngọt of Vietnam & the principle “Vietnam is ready khổng lồ be friends with and a trusted partner of all countries in the international community”, relations between the Vietnamese People’s Army và the armed forces of neighboring countries, of ASEAN, & of traditional friendly countries have been expanded, restored, strengthened, & developed; relations with the European countries have been established và diversified, relations with the United States opened, & relations further developed with many countries in Africa (South Africa, Angola, the Congo, Mozambique, et c.) & Latin America (Brazil, Argentina, Chile) by means of reciprocal visits by leaders of the Vietnamese Ministry of National Defense và those of other countries.At present, Vietnam has established defense relations with more than sixty countries and set up Defense Attache Offices in 24 nations. There are Defense Attaches of 34 foreign countries either residing in Vietnam or accredited lớn Vietnam but residing abroad, including all five nations which are Permanent Members of the United Nations Security Council.

The foreign relations activities conducted by the Vietnamese People’s Army have made a worthy contribution to lớn the common achievements of Vietnam’s diplomacy & to the cause of building the Vietnamese People’s Army into a revolutionary, standardized, first-rate and gradually modernizing army, thus helping khổng lồ safeguard peace, stability, và development in the region & the world.