NATION-ARMY

It was not our choice, it was imposed on us. Awaken from the sleep of ages, we have sought our national identity. Not only did we declare our independence, but also defended it in a cruel and unequal - but a heroic - war. From the tore canvas of the earthquake ruins, the collapsed economy, the energy crisis, the depravations of the war, and the social relationships, the “Armenia” monumental canvas began to resurge.

Twenty-five years ago, the History gave us a surprise, which we were waiting for a long time, preparing for a long time, but we could not even imagine it would happen so quickly. And we leaped forward with the enthusiasm of the child who had been given what he was dreaming of without noticing the cold wind blowing on our faces. In front of our eyes - or rather around us - the superpower was collapsing taking our seeming wellbeing and tranquility, the predictability and the confidence in tomorrow’s day.

At a lightning speed, Life taught us things that seemed impossible: digging trenches, communicating by makeshift radio stations, finding weapons, burying friends, standing lines to by bread with coupons, using wooden furnaces in multi-apartment buildings. It seemed as though the whole world had come to an end and life would never be the same again. The Armenian army, indeed, is an army out of the people’s backyard. An army that has been fighting for our nation’s security for 25 years. An army that has brought victories and pride to its society. It is a national army because it has always served its nation and national ideas.

But the nation-army is far more than a national army because a national army serves the nation, while the nation-army is the nation itself. Taking into account that our armed forces are disproportionate compared to the territory, population and the size of the country, they can’t be taken separately from that population. Our society can’t be isolated from the army, neither can the army get self-contained and distance itself from the people. Just think about this: every 40th citizen of our nation - from an infant to an elderly person - is wearing a uniform. There is no family to whom the army is not a personal story.

The nation-army is the society that operates as one unity. It does not mean militarization of the society or the state. Quite the opposite: it is the democratization of the army, its full integration with the society, economy, culture, education and science, nature protection, sports. It means to put to the service of the society and the state whatever the army has created, and strengthening the armed forces of the country with all the achievements of the civilian life. The nation-army is the army the inextricable connection with which does not begin or end with a term service. It is the army that has an educative, and teaching potential that it transmits to its people. The nation-army is the society and the armed forces with an undetectable movement between them. Where there is just one step from innovation to the military industry. Where the economy grows and is reinforced through the orders from the army, its investments, its creative abilities instead of bowing under its burden.
The nation-army is the confidence that the society has toward its Armed Forces and its commanding officers. It is the society in which officers are the most respected and honored citizens. But it is also an officer who is the incarnation of competency, leadership, self-confidence, but never conceited. The nation-army is the school and military unit that are each other’s logical continuation, where the teacher, parent, and commander are working together to bring up tomorrow’s generations. It is the army that is the undisputed leader in building effective governance, tackling corruption, working for proper conduct, modernization, and bringing up the next elites.

The nation-army is a defence system where everybody is ready for mobilization, knowing exactly what their tasks, objectives and means are. The nation-army is the country where there is no soldier and a civilian, but there is a citizen in uniform and there is a defender of the homeland in civilian clothes.

We will still have a long-standing need to have a disproportionately large number of armed forces. This means that a disproportionately large number of our citizens will be discharged from the military and need pensions. In order for those military retirees to never be considered a burden, we must make sure that an Armenian army officer is able to enhance his knowledge and skills when preparing himself from military life to a civilian one and bringing the traditions of army discipline, patriotism, professionalism and good manners to the economy, industry, science, education, and thereby strengthening the might of our state. The nation-army is also the society that always backs its disabled servicemen and the families of those killed in action. The nation-army is the family, whose father makes sure his offspring grow tough, and the mother, who sends her son to the army knowing she would inevitably miss him but does it with a great resolve.

But it is also the army that keeps the soldiers - especially the conscripts - in touch with their families, and never becomes a punitive facility that isolates the child from the family. The nation-army is the military educational institution whose graduates feel proud and respected because their education is required and guarantees jobs; whose teachers are knowledgeable and skilled, whose cadets are happy and curious, where the environment is friendly and pleasant. It is also the officer whose son does not hesitate to answer that he dreams to become an officer like his father or mother. The nation-army is the businessman who considers serving the army as honor and responsibility. Who, when baking bread for the army, makes is a little heavier so the soldiers could be full, and uses such ingredients that make the soldiers healthier and he is proud to give his children to taste them, explaining that it is delicious and useful because it is for the army. But it is also the army that will never cut a deal with a dishonest supplier hoping to make his family happy at the soldiers’ expense. The nation-army is the army from which they steal neither bullets nor carrots; it is the army that people don’t try to evade by getting all the possible and impossible diseases of the world; it is the army they don’t desert by getting a military doctor’s education at the expense of the state and then by failing the internship exams. The nation-army is the commander who is not afraid that his soldier is strong, confident and daring. It is the commander who does not differentiate between his son and his soldier, who does not try to affirm himself at the expense of his privates. The nation-army is the environment in which a young officer feels as an inseparable part of a large family, where he is accepted as a younger but dear friend, where he is being trained to overcome problems, where he is taught by his colleagues that are older and higher in rank.

The nation-army is the system of values ​​that relies on the centuries-old solid foundation of the Armenian Apostolic Church that prepares its soldiers for service based on morality and principles.

The nation-army is the doctor who is always ready to rush to the battlefield and struggle to save every wounded soldier; it is the filmmaker, whose film depicts servicemen in the best possible light; it is the songwriter whose “I Have the Honor” song excites everyone no matter what his profession is; it is the athlete who, after winning the Olympic Games, wears a shirt with a portrait of a fallen freedom fighter during the award ceremony; it is the child who uses his own money to send a parcel to a military unit. The nation-army is the army that has its contribution to the maintenance of the international security, and the army that is straightforward and confident with its big and small partners․

The path of creating a nation-army is not easy. It requires hard work, dedication, high self-esteem, sacrifice. Then who if not the military people can and should do the first step in this direction? The biggest paradox is that we have no choice when it comes to the concept of nation-army. We can only adopt it today and with a new vision, with self-consistent approach to making that idea real. We are confident that we will jointly accomplish that task.

We have everything we need for it: the right people, a well-established government, the necessary resources, and a public demand. Most importantly, we have the confidence and expectations of the head of the state and the supreme commander-in-chief to keep the positions of the army safe and to take quick steps in that direction.

So let’s move ahead to new victories.