Armed Forces Activities

12/02/2018 21:04:27

The political and military leadership of the Ministry of National Defence at the celebration event for the 190 years of operation of the Military Academy

    The Minister of National Defence, Panos Kammenos, accompanied by the Alternate Minister of National Defence, Dimitris Vitsas, the Chief of HNDGS Admiral Evangelos Apostolakis HN, the Chief of HAGS Lieutenant General Alkiviadis Stefanis and the Chief of HNGS Vice Admiral Nikolaos Tsounis HN, attended the celebration event for the 190th anniversary of the establishment of the Military Academy that was held at the Academy’s premises in Vari – Attika.

    The Minister of National Defence, in his address, stated amongst others the following:

    “It is with great honor and pleasure that I am here today with the students and the staff of the Military Academy; an Academy that has admittedly a national mission.

    I bow in respect to its battle flag and pay tribute to our ever memorable deceased Officers and Military Academy Cadets, who made the ultimate sacrifice in the battlefield to honor the indefinite oath – promise of the Hellenes “I will not bring dishonour on my sacred arms … and I will not leave my country smaller when I die…”.

    I welcome our fellow students from Cyprus, as well as the students from Albania, Armenia, Bosnia – Herzegovina, Georgia, Montenegro, Jordan, Moldavia, Nigeria and Senegal. I want them to know that we think of them as the permanent ambassadors of friendship of Greece to their country.

    It is about another quality of the Military Academy and I would like to share with you my experience from my recent formal visit to Armenia, where graduates from the Military Academy sang national chants with deep faith in the principles they shared with their Greek fellow students.

    Today we are honoring the 190 years of operation of the Military Academy; the oldest Higher Educational Institute in the country. It was established in Nafplio on the 21st day of December of 1828. A year begins that will reach its highest point on the 21st day of December. A number of events about the Military Academy, its history and its future will be prepared.  

    The Military Academy was the personal vision of the first Governor of Greece, Ioannis Kapodistrias, who realized right from the start the crucial importance for a newly-created state to have an Army composed of people possessing knowledge, a sense of responsibility, discipline and national targets.

    This leading governor wished that this Academy also constitutes a temple of science and creation.

    In this way, the Military Academy was the cradle of domestic technological development, in addition to its purely military mission that constitutes its main task.

    Now we are realizing that; now that the creation of Ioannis Kapodistrias reaches the age of 190 years old, offering thousands of officers to the nation, who led the fight during difficult years, its Armed Forces.

    However, the Academy’s catalyst role does not stop to combat activities. One needs only to think that the majority of Greeks has served and still serves in certain military units in order to perform its military service, is placed under the orders of officers, with an impact to some degree on its subsequent choices and its character.

    We should say a little more at this point. On the development of military leaders, taking into consideration that the operational environment has now only one unchanging value: the constant change.

    This means that the officer that is trained today, the future chief of 2050, should possess a multidimensional personality. Apart from the fighting virtues, the patriotism, the physical and mental endurance, he should know everything about the art of war, the military technology, which precedes in all other spheres of life; he should be able to constantly examine the evolving operational environment, to perceive its messages, adapt the same and be adapted.

    But also to meet the requirements of the modern society. To support the values and the role for which he exists.

    Consequently, as you understand, we talk about a military education with a broad spectrum that does not stop at the end of the Academy, not even at retirement, given that the officer keeps on offering to the service and the society, just with his morals, his presence and his continuing value.

    At this point, I would like to inform you that together with the Alternate Minister of National Defence, Mr. Vitsas, we are making an effort and we are hoping to succeed in changing the manner of admission to the Military Academy and the military schools. We have already submitted a proposal to the Ministry of Education about the existence of a fifth orientation at Senior High School, leading exclusively to the admission to military schools. In other words, candidates shall opt exclusively for their military service and evolution through the officers and non-commissioned officers’ schools.

    The former President of the Hellenic Republic, Konstantinos Tsatsos, wrote amongst others a text on the mission of the Greek Officer that I exhort you to read:

    “It is the officer’s duty to lead honestly the way towards freedom; the way that renders the common man in the mountains and islands, a free citizen of a true democracy…. You will contribute to the formation of free people; free-thinking humans that express themselves and act within the wider framework of a righteous law … In this way, the army trains the citizen. It teaches him also in the field of ethics, so that he would be able to assume his social duties, the proper way to live that ensures freedom and humanity in human relationships…”.

    We refer to an education that cannot be taught; it is experienced, it needs time and passes on from one generation to the next and is converted into a living tradition.

    Dear Cadets,

    You form part of the best asset, to which our country may invest. You have all participated in the examination and obtained a high score, in order to get admitted to the Military Academy.

    The Military Academy was for most of you one of your first choices.

    You could have been admitted to any other school; however, you chose to become officers. You chose to wear the officer’s honored uniform and to fulfill the ultimate mission of protecting freedom and the sovereignty of the country with dignity, courage and a great sense of responsibility.

    I am confident that your choice was the result of mature reflection. Your attendance at the Academy will certainly be an important stage in your life. A milestone in your career and your professional achievement.

    The duties of an Officer will evoke within you a wonderful feeling. The utmost moral satisfaction that only those who serve the Country can feel.

    I urge you to put into practice and promote the pure military spirit. Take whatever you can from the reserve of virtues of the Hellenism and abide strictly by the rules of conscious discipline.

    The route won’t be easy. You will be required to take initiatives, to demonstrate responsibility, discipline, decency, loyalty to duty and leadership skills. You should treat all challenges as an opportunity to discover your mental, spiritual and physical strengths.

    I am confident that you will fully comply with the highest requirements, but also with the great expectations that the Country places in you.

    Cadets, while swearing your oath, you swear to faithfully and loyally serve the Country and execute the orders of your superiors without discussion.

    But there is an order, a command that never changes. Ministers and Chiefs come and go, but the command is the one that you hear when your receive the flag.

    During the delivery and acceptance of the flag, you are told to respect the written and unwritten laws of the Academy. The Academy’s tradition is in your own hands. And you should know that this duty is of a paramount importance.

    Your Chiefs are here today. Graduates from the Academy that are now Generals, Major Generals and Lieutenant Generals. They have all graduated from the Military Academy, after accepting and delivering this command.

    Concluding, I would like to quote from the essay that you are all aware of, the letter of Pavlos Melas:
    “Life is war and victory is your duty; you should fight for your ideals, for the Greek ideals of humanism. Young Cadet always hold firm to your purpose and your dreams”

    Thank you”.



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