Under the NationArmy concept, the Defense Ministry of Armenia is introducing new programs. Defense Minister Vigen Sargsyan presented the “I have the Honor” program during the Nation-Army-2017 conference. Sargsyan emphasized that the Armenian Army needs intelligent and skilled officers.
“Graduates of military educational institutions are people who have chosen the military profession as a lifestyle, a mission. They begin their combat path as cadets and dream of becoming generals. But the large Army needs large numbers of junior officers, who will serve in the platoon-company circle.
It is even desirable for commanders serving in this circle, having necessary military education, to come from different environments, to have the most various civilian specializations. They will bring new skills and knowledge to the Armed Forces, which will help making the service years of conscription soldiers more effective,” the Minister said.
He added that the university deferment system in the current reality is defective and leads to numerous manifestations of injustice. According to him, the university enrollment exams, the bachelor’s-master’s-PHD – the globally intermittent cycle of acquiring job experience – has become an uninterrupted 4+2+3 educational process, which is followed by a hasty defense of the PHD thesis, with the prospect of saying goodbye once and for all to conscription service.
“Moreover, the potential of university graduates who are being drafted to the Armed Forces after the bachelor’s program isn’t being used effectively. They mostly fill the private-sergeant ranks in best cases – by passing through training bases, while sometimes they are immediately outlines for combat shift military bases,” he said.
Vigen Sargsyan stressed that the ideology of the “I have the Honor” state program is linking university deferment from military service with future officer service. “Any person enrolled in a state accredited [state or private] university is eligible to apply for this program. In case of meeting certain conditions (health, psychological assessment, grades) he/she can be involved in the program and become a candidate for officer.
By studying in a civilian university, these students will have a military training lecture every Saturday in the Vazgen Sargsyan military institute from the beginning of the 2nd year until the first semester of the 4th year. If successfully passing the education and receiving a diploma, the citizen will receive the title of Lieutenant simultaneously with being granted the bachelor’s degree and enters service with a three year term.
The service is organized taking into account the civilian specialization, but in all cases in 1st degree bases – in the frontline,” the Minister said, adding the officers will receive at least AMD 260 thousand monthly salary.
In case of enrolling to a master’s program after completing the service, the tuition fee will be compensated. Students who have won international Olympiads and graduates of one of the 10 leading universities of the world will be proposed with special conditions for the officer service. They will serve under officer titles, but in the military-industry complex, where they will use their skills more efficiently.