Speaking at the NCO graduation ceremony in Szentendre on Saturday, Minister of Defence Dr. István Simicskó stated that the Hungarian Defence Forces are set on the path of development again, as the Zrínyi 2026 is the most comprehensive and extensive national defence and armed forces development program of the last 25 years.

The minister of defence reminded his audience that the expanding budgetary resources make it possible to spend not only more but also better, so that there can be tangible positive changes in the recognition of soldiers. This process has already started with the pay rise, he said, and will be carried on in terms of individual equipment. Furthermore, the new casual and formal dresses are in the making too. There is ongoing modernization in every area, he pointed out, but besides modernization, the military values and virtues must be preserved and even strengthened.

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The modernization project must be implemented alongside the preservation of old values, the minister underlined, adding that they wish to give soldiers esteem and a predictable life.

István Simicskó also said that the choice of military profession is the highest-level expression of serving the homeland. He went on saying that – as it is also stated in the NCO Creed – the only kind of service that can give real meaning and value to our lives is the one in which we turn to the causes of our fellow humans and our national family. He also noted that there is no nation without the homeland, and everybody has their own responsibility in defending the homeland.

Referring to the recent commemoration of Hungarian soldiers fallen in the Don Bend and the horrors of the Second World War, the minister also pointed out that we must never enter into a pointless war or any war at all.

We must serve peace, the security of Hungarian people and the protection of Hungary, the minister said.

Chief of Defence Gen. Dr. Tibor Benkő stated that the soldiers present at the ceremony give proof of their commitment by pledging that they will serve the country and the nation even by sacrificing their lives.

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The NCOs are a linchpin between the officers and the enlisted personnel. At the graduation ceremony on Saturday, the newly sworn-in soldiers included career soldiers who successfully graduated from the day in-school training program of the Hungarian Defence Forces NCO Academy and the contract enlisted personnel graduating from the course-based training system.

This year 174 soldiers took the sergeants’ oath of service in Görgey barracks, which houses the Szentendre unit. Of them, 42 personnel graduated from the in-school training program, including two servicewomen, and 132 personnel from the course-based NCO training, including 16 servicewomen.

(Ministry of Defence/MTI)