July 30 2009

Congratulatory address by President Serzh Sargsyan at the ceremony
dedicated to the 15th anniversary of the establishment of the Vazgen
Sarkissian Military Academy at the Ministry of Defense and commencement
ceremony for the graduates of the military training institutions

"Your Holiness, Generals and Officers, Dear fellow citizens and guests,

Today, we are witnessing a momentous event - the commencement
ceremony for the graduation class of 2009 of the military training
institutions. In a couple of days, today's graduates will start
writing a difficult but immensely honorable page of their biography
as officers, filling the powerful ranks of those who are carrying out
uprightly and unwaveringly the utmost task of standing in the first
line of protecting the borders and watching over the security of the
Republic of Armenia.

Symbolically, this year's commencement of the graduates of the military
training institutions coincides with the commemoration of the 15th
anniversary of the establishment of the main facility for training
the officers for the Armed Forces.

First military training institutions in our newly independent Republic
were established in difficult times when our regular army was just
being formed and when the full-fledged military actions were still
underway. Today we can state that all these military institutions have
become centers for training skillful professionals. They have great
educational and technical capacities, the experienced faculty and
command staff. Be assured that just like before the issues of army
enhancement, augmentation with highly skilled commanding officers,
and social protection of their families will remain in focus of
the Armenian government's and my personal attention. It can be no
other way.

It is well known that army is as strong as its officers, who are the
backbone of any army and whose professionalism, personal and moral
character shape the combat readiness of the troops. The Armenian armed
forces have proved more than once their combat professionalism and
high moral standing while protecting the borders, during the military
exercises, and on peacekeeping missions.

The Armenian army will continue to carry out its sacred mission with
honor; it will continue to be the unfailing defender of our state's
and people's security, and a pivotal and an indispensable component
of regional peace and stability. Today we stay strong, stronger than
ever. Our army is powerful, modern and able to complete any task. It
has passed with honor not only the test of war, but also the test of
peace, personifying the victorious spirit of the Armenian nation.

Those who threaten us with war ought to be mindful of the words from
the Bible, "All who take the sword will perish by the sword". The best
sons of our nation - the generation of our fathers, our generation,
my own generation have proved the undeniable truthfulness of these
words with their lives and struggle. Let no one make any mistake
about it - if necessary it will be done again.

Dear graduate officers,

Starting from this very day you too, every one of you becomes that
sword of justice and retribution. Starting from today you too become
the indestructible shield of Armenia and Artsakh which will crush the
charges and encroachments of our opponents. Starting from today you
too personify the power and repute of the Armenian Army, its brainpower
and discipline, its resolve and unbreakable spirit. I believe in you.

I congratulate you all on the occasion of the 15th anniversary of the
Vazgen Manukian Military Academy and inauguration of the new officers
of the Armed Forces. I wish the new officers and the entire military
staff in their service to uphold the high reputation and honor of
the Armenian officer, to be inspired by the heroic military spirit
of our forefathers, to be resilient, to be dedicated to our people
and our state for the glory of our Motherland and for a peaceful and
creative life of our people.

Long live the Army of the Republic of Armenia!

Long live Armenia!

Long live the Armenian nation!