The President of the Republic of Armenia was present at the opening ceremony. Accompanied by the Ministers of Defense, Education and Science, Diaspora, and sports and youth issues, the Mayor of Yerevan, and presidents of the National Assembly committees on foreign relations and science, education, culture, youth and sports, Serzh Sargsyan toured around the complex to view the various presentation, the military field kitchen, presentations of various pieces of military equipment and armaments and products of the military-industrial complex of the Republic of Armenia, and acquaint himself with the educational programs offered by a number of leading education institutions and their successes. Thereafter, the President participated in the conference and held a speech.
“Initiatives to be discussed today, as well as potential, which has been accumulated for years, will create a solid base for the creation a stanch axis of commanders, officers-intellectuals of our new generation. From the Monte Melkonian college to be opened in September in Dilijan with its new and wide opportunities to the new educational programs in our military institutions of higher education, from civic educational establishments to our contract servicemen at their combat duty on the frontier – we have to continue to amplify through the renewed policies and consistent steps respect and love of our society towards the Armenian Army.
The state will continue to take practical steps with regard to the citizens who have chosen the occupation of professional officers. We will also continue to display special care towards the families of the fallen servicemen and those who have become handicaps during their term of duty and their families,” state the President Sargsyan.
In his speech, Minister of Defense of the Republic of Armenia Vigen Sargsyan presented two new program, entitled “My Honor” and “I Am,” aimed at stimulating discussion concerning relative topics. The programs will welcome expert analysis and public discussion before the introduction of any new legislative proposals.
The aim of the “My Honor” state program is to link temporary exemption from military service for higher education with professional military service. Anyone who has been admitted to a licensed university (public or private) will have the opportunity to apply for this program. Having satisfied a number of conditions (health, psychological qualities needed for military leadership, grades), he will be able to participate in this program, becoming a candidate for officer. Having successfully completed courses in the V. Sargsyan Military University and having received their civilian diplomas, students from civilian universities will receive the rank of lieutenant and carry out three years of service in the Armed Forces of the Republic of Armenia. The type of service will take into account the civilian degree obtained during university, but will take place exclusively in 1st degree military bases (front line). Thus, citizens with a higher education will be able to provide more advanced services as officers.
One of the results of this program will be to form a serious reserve of officers. An army with a large reserve of privates requires skilled officers with experience in front-line service.
The “I Am” program aims to reward those, who volunteered to serve on the front line. Those servicemen who express the desire to carry out their service in front-line military bases, will have the right to service through a new scheme, as temporary contract servicemen. Service will take three years, of which 7 months will be spent outside of service. After the sixth month, one week will be spent in vacation, one week in the military base and two weeks on front line, carrying out combat duty. After service, 5 million AMD will be transferred to the serviceman’s account, which he will be able to spend in one of three ways:
- Affordable housing
- Small firm (program to acquire a small greenhouse or farm or farm equipment for servicemen from rural areas)
The three options are chosen in order to provide the youth with some aid in shaping their future, and strengthening their link with their homeland through extensive programs.
Nuances concerning the directions of these programs, their payment schemes, their rejection and cancellation as well as their overall benefits will become apparent during public discussions. It is planned that these programs will be alternatives, and that citizens can decide to opt for the type of service that is currently in practice. In the future, given positive results, service through these programs may become the most common on the front line.
Representatives of the defense and education administrations, leaders of public and private educational institutions, teachers, lecturers, military instructors, and representatives of scientific centers and NGOs participated in the “Nation-Army 2017” conference.
From April 21st to 23rd a number of leading institutions will present their conditions, educational programs and success stories. Separate stalls will display samples of military equipment and products from the Armenian military industrial complex.