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Legal education and discipline training for students in military schools according to Ho Chi Minh Thought

(PTOJ) - Understanding and applying Ho Chi Minh’s ideology on law and discipline is of great significance in legal education and discipline training for students in military schools. This is important in improving students’ law and military discipline knowledge, contributing to building a revolutionary, regular, elite, gradually modernized Vietnamese People’s Army.

Legal education and military discipline training for students in military schools - Source: qdnd.vn

1. Ho Chi Minh’s ideology on law and discipline in the Army

The soldier’s legal consciousness is reflected in the deep understanding, unanimity, and belief in the law, in the sense of self-discipline in accordance with the Constitution and the law. For the Vietnamese People’s Army, discipline is a mandatory attribute for all organizations and individuals, is the strength of the Army; the soldier’s sense of self-discipline is one of the political and moral qualities that ensure their ability to self-perceive, self-regulate, self-restraint and self-decide independently, creates their thoughts and actions in accordance with the Army’s orders, charters, and regimes in all conditions, under all circumstances. This is the primary factor creating the fighting strength of the Vietnam People’s Army; it is a condition that ensures the Army always has a high unified concentration of will and action. 

President Ho Chi Minh said: “If the Army has no discipline, we will surely fail in fighting the enemy”(1). According to him, discipline is the strength of the Army; it is thanks to discipline that our Army overcame all difficulties and challenges to achieve incredible feats, becoming a revolutionary, regular, elite Army capable of completing all tasks assigned by the Party and people. He instructed: “A strong army comes from good education, right policy, and strict discipline”(2). Therefore, understanding and applying Ho Chi Minh’s ideology on the law and discipline of the Army is of great significance in raising the level of awareness, understanding of the law, and discipline of revolutionary soldiers.

2. The need to strengthen education on law and military discipline for students in military schools

The Vietnamese People’s Army is the Army of the people, for the people, under the absolute and direct leadership in all aspects of the Communist Party of Vietnam; the loyal fighting army of the Party, State, and people; the force protecting the Party, State, and people, defending the socialist regime, unified sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Socialist Vietnam Fatherland. The Army performs that function by military and political power and by its legal and disciplinary capacity. As part of the Army, students trained in military schools are an essential addition to the Army who must strictly and accurately comply with the provisions of the law. To do so, they need to receive primary and regular legal education and the best conditions for them to voluntarily obey the law in army management, in daily life, and when participating in social activities, to be worthy cadres in the “combat army, working army and production army” after graduation.

Currently, legal education and military discipline training for students in military schools according to Ho Chi Minh’s ideology on law and discipline is an objective necessity that comes from the complicated changes of the world and domestic situation. In addition to the favorable factors, the negative factors of the world and domestic situation have been affecting and hindering the process of building and maintaining discipline, law enforcement in general and military discipline in particular. On the other hand, to meet the requirements of building and improving the quality and combat strength of the Army to fulfill the tasks of the revolution in the new period, the legal education and military discipline training for the students in military schools need to be strengthened and improved in terms of quality and effectiveness. In recent years, law education and military discipline training for students in military schools has gained many achievements but still reveals certain limitations. A part of the students lack of discipline, the sense of self-discipline in obeying the law and military discipline is still not strict; the quality of learning and training is inefficient. Besides the majority of students who are serious about studying and training, some students are still ignorant about studying and military discipline. Many reasons are leading to the above phenomena, of which the primary reason is not being fully aware of the position and significance of studying, learning, and improving the knowledge of the law and military discipline of a few students. Therefore, understanding and effectively applying Ho Chi Minh’s ideology on military law and discipline is one of the essential contents contributing to forming, training, and improving knowledge about law and military discipline for soldiers; strengthening the right attitude towards the law, military discipline, progressing to limit, repel violations of the law, military discipline of students in military schools.

3. Good implementation of law and military discipline education for military school students

Firstly, strengthen the deep understanding and application of essential contents of Ho Chi Minh’s ideology on law and discipline, building a sense of self-discipline in studying, strictly observing the law, and military discipline for students in military schools.

Deeply understanding the contents of Ho Chi Minh’s ideology on law and discipline in law and discipline education helps students to fully realize the content, meaning, and importance of law and discipline in the Vietnamese People’s Army. The correct perception contributes to students’ attitudes and behaviors of self-discipline in studying, strictly observing the law and military discipline; it is a condition for each student to realize their social responsibility and act voluntarily according to the state laws, military discipline, and social standards.

According to Ho Chi Minh’s ideology, in law and discipline education for students, military schools must provide them with basic and systematic knowledge about laws, commandments, regulations of the Army; specify the do’s and don’ts. At the same time, it is necessary to arouse the sense of self-discipline to strictly abide by the laws of the State, the commandments of the Army, orders and directives of the superiors. In addition, it is also necessary to make students have a correct and profound awareness of revolutionary tasks, missions of units, rights and obligations and responsibilities of soldiers; clearly see the meaning, importance, and objective requirements of mastering and obeying the law and discipline, based on which have the attitude, motivation, will, responsibility, sense of self-discipline to strictly abide the law and discipline.

Secondly, promote the roles, responsibilities and role models of leaders, managers, and lecturers in fostering law and military discipline education for students. 

The contingent of leaders and commanders are responsible for all aspects of the unit’s activities. The positions and responsibilities of the contingent of leaders and commanders at all levels require them to uphold the sense of responsibility and dynamism and creativity in law and military discipline education for students. Leaders and commanders always need to innovate forms and measures and promote the synergy of all forces, improve the quality of military law and discipline education; at the same time, organize and manage the unit strictly abide by the law and discipline. Ho Chi Minh said that each leader and commander himself needs to self-cultivate and train, “the cadres must set an example, take care of the spiritual and material life of the soldiers, and be exemplary in learning and keeping discipline”(3). In fact, wherever and whenever leaders and commanders set good examples of law and discipline observance, students will have a good sense of law and discipline observance; on the contrary, wherever and whenever leaders and commanders are not exemplary, free and arbitrary, students will violate the law and discipline. Therefore, improving students’ knowledge of law and discipline is based on basic education and the exemplification of cadres at all levels for students to follow so that strict observance of the law and discipline becomes a daily habit. 

Thirdly, regularly and seriously maintain the law, military discipline, prescribed regimes, build a regular and exemplary lifestyle, and a cultural environment in the school. 

President Ho Chi Minh advised that fostering the law and discipline must always be maintained regularly and seriously, associated with the strict management of all regimes and habitual behavior in the unit, and resolutely fighting to prevent phenomena and acts of violating the law and discipline, “when necessary, discipline must be enforced strictly and properly”(4). The sense of law and military discipline not only exists as a mental element but also must be reflected in the behavior and actions of each soldier. According to him, to practice behavior training, strictly keep the law and discipline for the soldiers. First of all, it must be through specific instructions of the cadres, the more specific the instructions, the fewer mistakes and violations of the law and discipline. He pointed out: “All cadres from the commander down must try harder in their work, in their studies, in their steps, in their greetings which must be regularized, cadres must go ahead and set an example for the soldiers”(5). The regular and severe maintenance of the law, military discipline, and regulations in the unit contributes to building a sense of discipline training “self-discipline and strictness”, clean, healthy moral qualities, lifestyle and the habit of carrying out a regular and exemplary lifestyle in each student and group of students.

Fourthly, associate law and discipline education with revolutionary moral education for students in schools.

Law and ethics together regulate human behavior, direct them to behave according to the provisions of law and standards of society, contribute to the adjustment of human behavior in accordance with the common interests and requirements of society, and protect social order and discipline. Therefore, students’ law and military discipline education need to be associated with revolutionary moral education to improve educational effectiveness. The association of law and discipline education with moral education in military schools helps promote and orient students’ behavior in accordance with the requirements of law and discipline. When students know how to respect and adhere to the moral standards of society, it will be a good condition for them to obey the law, show the spirit of defending the right, upholding the truth, and strictly maintaining discipline.

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Endnotes:

(1), (3) Ho Chi Minh: Complete Works, vol.10, National Political Publishing House, Hanoi, 2011, pp.537, 491.

(2) Ho Chi Minh: op.cit., vol.7, p.483.

(4) Ho Chi Minh: op.cit., vol.15, p.170.

(5) Ho Chi Minh: op.cit., vol. 9, p.222.

TRINH VAN HUNG

Tran Quoc Tuan University - Ministry of National Defense

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