Top graduates of military academies, universities and institutions were invited to a gala reception at the Grand Kremlin Palace.
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President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Comrade officers, friends,
Welcome to the historic halls of the Moscow Kremlin.
In line with tradition, today we honour top graduates of military academies, schools and universities.
From all my heart, I would like to congratulate you on achieving an important milestone in your career – completing your studies. You have acquired good knowledge; you have everything you need to be a wise leader for your personnel, to successfully operate and use the most sophisticated weapons and equipment. I expect that each one of you will demonstrate the best of your qualities in the near future.
I want to stress that many times in the course of history the fate of Russia depended on the military talent, valour and dedication of its officer corps. Those who now stand in order should follow in the footsteps of the heroes of our great Fatherland.
This year we mark 100 years since the beginning of World War I. Russian officers gained immortality on the battlefields of that war, while the names of such legendary army commanders as Brusilov, Alekseyev, Kornilov and Denikin take a rightful place in the history of national military art. It is also fair that we are bringing back the memory of World War I, which had been undeservingly forgotten for some time.
It is our duty to honour the commanders of the Great Patriotic War, the 70th anniversary of which we will be marking next year. Their talented leadership played a decisive role in the defeat of the enemy and in the liberation of our country and the whole world from Nazism.
Today’s generation of Russian officers show their professionalism, patriotism and valour through action. These very qualities made it possible to avoid bloodshed in Crimea and to provide conditions for a free referendum on reunification with Russia.
You will be the ones who will make the future of our Armed Forces, protecting and strengthening their invincible spirit and developing the great combat traditions of our ancestors. I am certain that each one of you can feel this great responsibility.
During the past years, we have been consistently modernising our Armed Forces to bring them to a modern level that would fully meet the demands of the 21st century. Clearly, only mobile and highly efficient army and navy are capable of resolving strategic tasks, of guaranteeing Russia’s security, sovereignty and national interests, and most importantly – of reliably protecting our citizens from any potential military threat.
Therefore, we will continue to strengthen our army and navy. We will continue our snap inspections to test combat readiness of military units of all types and branches of our armed forces, including the peacekeeping forces, just as we recently did in the Central Army District.
Today you commence duty. You will have to practically resolve complicated and responsible tasks aimed at strengthening the defence capability of our nation. Theoretical training is definitely not enough here – you also need to be determined and persistent in achieving your goal. Besides, your subordinates should see you as role models in terms of competence and discipline, decisiveness and integrity.
You have to pay special attention to work with your personnel. Your duty is not only to train soldiers in the use of modern weapons and equipment. You should serve as mentors for young people, teaching them in the context of true patriotism, valour and tenacity, and always bearing in mind the words of the great Suvorov, who said, “I value my soldier more than myself.”
The officer corps is a special military union held together by the common goal of protecting our Motherland and by spiritual values. Today, the ranks of the Armed Forces also include service members and staff of the Interior Ministry, the Federal Security Service and other security agencies. You are to maintain stability and order in society, relentlessly fight terrorism and extremism and sternly resist crime and corruption.
Our citizens expect you to demonstrate the highest possible professionalism in resolving these tasks; they expect you to act consistently, in an organised and coordinated fashion. We, in turn, will continue to work to make service to our Motherland an honour and to bring the social status of the service members to a level matching their hard and often dangerous work.
In the past years remuneration has gone up significantly in all security agencies, along with the level of social security. We are dealing consistently with the issue of providing housing for service members. As of this year, we are providing permanent housing on a planned basis. We are allocating special subsidies for housing, improving the mortgage system and increasing the service housing stock. It has already been fully formed for the Emergencies Ministry, the Internal Intelligence Service, the Federal Guard Service and the Main Directorate of Special Programs. The Interior Ministry is to complete this work this year, at least I expect them to; the Federal Security Service is to have it by 2016, and the Defence Ministry – in 2019.
Friends, I would like to repeat: the citizens of Russia are counting on your professionalism and courage, your resolution and commitment in defending our Fatherland. It is your duty to meet these expectations.
I am convinced that you will preserve and enrich the best military traditions of this country, that your success will confirm the words of our outstanding commander Mikhail Kutuzov, who said, “There is no greater honour than to wear Russian army uniform.”
I would like to once again congratulate you and all the 2014 graduates of military universities on the successful completion of your studies. I wish you every success in the glorious and honourable job of protecting our Fatherland. I wish you all the very best, happiness to you and your dear ones!
Allow me to raise a toast to Russian officers, to our glorious Armed Forces, to our great Russia!