Defense Minister Outlines New Military Options
YEREVAN (ArmRadio)—Armenia’s Ministry of Defense presented new options of military service during the “Nation-Army 2017” forum on Thursday.
“It is me,” one new option of military service to be offered, is a combination of compulsory and contract-based service.
Conscripts willing to serve at units carrying out their military duty will be given a chance to opt for a new type of service. With an overall duration of three years, it will follow “1+1+2” formula, allowing servicemen to be “on the loose” for seven months starting from their sixth month on duty.
Servicemen will have to spend a week at the military unit, another week on vacation and two weeks on military duty at the frontlines.
After a 5-month training period, the conscript will begin their service, with seven of the 31 months at home.
According to Sargsyan, the servicemen will be paid for every week out. Upon the completion of the service they will receive 5 million AMD on their accounts, which can be used for three purposes: acquiring affordable housing, creating a mini-farm (create a small greenhouse or purchase agricultural equipment) or paying the tuition fee.
The Ministry informed that the three programs are meant to help young citizens build their future in Armenia and deepen ties with the homeland through long-term projects. “The “Nation Army” concept is such an idea of strategic caliber, the introduction of which implies shaping cooperation of new level and depth between the society and the Armed Forces,” Sargsyan said.
This new service will be optional and anyone is free to choose the compulsory service currently in place.
In a second option called “I have the honor,” the Ministry of Defense offers students to enroll in a program hoping to create a link between university deferment and future service as an Army Officer.
Young citizens will have the opportunity to attend military training courses at the Vazgen Sargsyan Military University every Saturday starting from the second year of studies. Upon completion of their Bachelor’s degree, students gain a Lieutenant’s title and start their three-year military service in the Armed Forces.
The service is organized, taking into consideration the civilian profession, but in all cases at 1st class units (frontline).
Thus, citizens with higher education get the opportunity to serve the homeland in a higher rank and with a competitive salary (at least 260,000 AMD a month). Upon successful completion of the service they get an additional financial bonus in the amount of the tuition paid during the time at the university. Should the serviceman choose to do a Master’s degree, the fee will again be compensated.
Those studying at an accredited university (state or private) will have the opportunity to apply to the program. If certain prerequisites are met, the student can enroll in the program with a goal of serving as an Officer in the future.
“Through the organization of strategic defense security education in our University, the military education reforms underway in Armenia will be completed resulting in the formation of a military education system that prepares personnel capable of effectively resisting current security challenges, and comprises all – from tactical to strategic levels,” Sargsyan stated.