Armenian Minister of Defence Davit Tonoyan's speech on the Armenian Army’s 27th anniversary (January 28, 2019)

28 January, 2019
Honorable President of the Republic of Armenia,
Honorable President of the Artsakh Republic,
Your Holiness,
Honorable Mr. Prime Minister,
Honorary President of the National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia,
Servicemen,
Dear guests!
I congratulate all of us on this sacred holiday – the Army Day.
Our army is 27 years old. Twenty-seven years ago, the formation of the Army and its development can in fact be considered as one of the most important achievements of our independence.

Being the most distinctive component of a statehood and the only government institution that involves the entire nation, the Army – in the people's perception -- has become a unique symbol of our country’s security, development and, in general, its future.

Today is a day of joy and pride, but at the same time, a day of national consciousness and appreciation of own power and ability.

I think we all have that double feeling, especially because for many of the present, the Armenian Army is like a child that has walked along them. The lives of the many of you have gone parallel to the life of the heroic and remarkable period that is called the History of the Armenian Army.

Our Army was born in the victorious Artsakh war. From the very first day of its birth and to this day, daily problems have been accompanying us. Our war is not over yet; it continues everywhere: from offices to command posts, from schools to battlefields, from negotiating tables to combat positions.

Today is also a day of remembrance and reevaluation. To remember all those dedicated people who have provided their experience and knowledge for the development of the Army. And, indeed, to remember our fellow servicemen who have built our today’s and tomorrow's right, whether in the Artsakh Liberation War or in everyday military service. It's no coincidence that every year we start this day from Yerablur. Glory and honor to them and our bow to their parents and loved ones.

 

Dear guests,

After the political hot spring of 2018, a new situation has emerged when the public's attention to every field, and especially to the Army, is very high. So are the expectations. This is a demanding, but also a pleasant, feeling. The feeling that also gives additional charges because the level of the people's unity is very high as well, and in this respect, our back is extremely strong.

This atmosphere is also in the heart of the apparent accomplishments we had in the past year.

For instance, due to vibrant political commitment and the skillful tactics and actions of our Armed Forces, we enjoyed a quite peaceful front line.

We will continue to be resolute with our high professionalism; to maintain our political agreements, but if necessary, we will dictate our will to the adversary.

Due to our discipline and high sense of conscience, we managed to keep the Armed Forces away from the political developments and, first of all, from influencing the electoral processes, which was clearly demonstrated in the parliamentary election.

We further strengthened the principles of transparency and justice during the conscription, raising the level of people's confidence in the Army. In a very short period of time, we created prerequisites for qualitative progress in the supply of goods and services to the soldiers in the Armed Forces, as well as for the advancement of women in the Armed Forces and in ensuring human rights.

We continued to develop effective relations with our allies and partners to enlarge our arsenal, to bring to life not only the current arrangements, but also come up with initiatives and reach new agreements that are aimed at raising the level of our relations with the allies and reach supremacy over the adversary in some cases. We have revised approaches to combat readiness programmes to increase combat capacities and reach qualitative supremacy over the adversary, so we set new, ambitious demands.

We are currently completing the basic structural changes of the Army management system, the Ministry of Defence and the Armed Forces General Staff. Several legislative reforms aimed at improving and facilitating the management system, procurement processes, making the Army more transparent and accountable are in process.

We are committed to keep building the Army in close cooperation with the legislature, judiciary, local government bodies, human rights defenders, the journalistic community and non-governmental organisations, while also keeping in mind that due to continuous security threats, we will have to maintain an army that is inadequately large from the perspective of our resources as well as from that of international criteria.

And therefore, it will be our priority to continuously improve the complementary system of mandatory and contractual military service, to improve the efficiency of material and human resources management, and to come up with intelligent solutions in the human resource management.

We will continue to work on increasing the combat readiness of the Armed Forces. In this regard, I consider both the training of the personnel and acquisition of modern weaponry crucial. We will focus on military intelligence, on combat duty and the moral and psychological education of the personnel, developing such capacities, ways and means that would secure our reliable defence capacities, and in the case of resumption of combat actions, taking them to the adversary’s territory.

Together with my partners in the government, we will encourage the production and modernization of military production in Armenia in cooperation with national and international companies.

These are only fraction of what we are doing and need to do. On this remarkable day for all of us, we must once again reassess the exclusive responsibility of each of us--from the minister to the 18-year-old conscript-- to our people, and we must say that our army simply has no right rebuff, and that it will surely succeed in all aspects.

We should say that an Army that has such victorious and heroic traditions, and that was born of the blood of devoted people, will definitely succeed.

We have talked about our vision of future on numerous occasions, we have discussed it with many of you. Today, more than ever, there are all the prerequisites to make that vision a reality. We know our geography, we know our neighbors, our friends and opponents, we know ourselves and we know what we will say in our history book, and I assure you that these pages will be written so that they will never need editing.

I'm more than confident that we are on the right track and will surely succeed if we do not lose vigilance and time, but work hard.

There is a well-known saying: "The time in wars is calculated in seconds" and our situation is not "peaceful" in any way.

Congratulating all of you on the 27th anniversary of the Armenian Army, I would particularly like to welcome the awardees and say that all the awrds to anyone are the position of Armenia’s military and political leadership, but I also believe that those awards must be perceived as the awards given by the people.

 

Dear guests,

Our motto is "To do more than"

more than requested,

more than usual,

more than we can imagine,

more than we have,

and more than we can.

And so we serve the people and do MORE THAN ...

 

Thank you