Soldiers do not prepare for war; they enter into service for the maintenance and preservation of security and peace, Defence Minister Tibor Benkő stressed at the oath-taking ceremony of non-commissioned officers in Budapest.

At Heroes’ Square (Hősök tere) in Budapest almost three hundred soldiers took their oaths as non-commissioned officers after graduating from the Academy of Non-Commissioned Officers of the Hungarian Defence Forces.

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The Minister described the oath-taking ceremony as a dual cause for celebration: the Hungarian Defence Forces have acquired 278 highly qualified young people dedicated to the security of the country and the Hungarian people, while they have in turn reached their destination by having become that which they have always wanted to be and they may henceforth live for the profession that they chose for themselves.

He told the attending non-commissioned officers that they had chosen a profession which required individuals fully dedicated at all times, in all circumstances, and in every respect. During their military career they will be required to rise to further and further challenges, and with the oath they had taken now they committed themselves to serving Hungary and the peace and security of the Hungarian people to the best of their knowledge and abilities, Mr Benkő stated.

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They also swore to carry out their duties for peace, security and the protection of their comrades-in-arms – if needs be – by risking or even sacrificing their lives, he added, stressing that they deserve gratitude, appreciation and recognition for undertaking this unique sacrifice.

The Minister pointed out that both the leadership of the Hungarian Defence Forces and the government are making every effort to ensure that they can perform these “noble and testing responsibilities” with cutting-edge equipment and modern weaponry. The Zrínyi 2026 Defences Forces and Arms Development Programme, which as he said also features elements of care for soldiers, in addition to arms developments, serves this purpose.

In his welcome speech Chief of Staff Ferenc Korom said the oath is a milestone in the lives of non-commissioned officers as from now on they are responsible not only for themselves, but also for their comrades-in-arms, their prospective troops, their country and their nation.

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Non-commissioned officers play a key role in the Hungarian Defence Forces as they serve as a link between staff and military leaders. They are responsible for training, but in many instances the operation of technical systems also falls within their remit, the Chief of Staff said.

The non-commissioned officers who took their oaths recited the so-called creed of non-commissioned officers. The celebration ended with the traditional unsheathing of the sword.