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“THERE IS FIRE IN THE EYES OF OUR BOYS”An interview with the head of the Syunik regional subdivision of the conscription and mobilization service, Lt Col ARMEN HOVSEPYAN


Armen Hovsepyan graduated from the Monte Melkonyan Military College. Then he was drafted into the Army for term service. Then he graduated from the Vazgen Sargsyan Military Institute and served in the army as a platoon commander. He served in the border military units for 11 years. He was wounded by a mine while performing a combat mission. He started his service in the Conscription and Recruitment Service from the position of Artashat Deputy Military Commissar. Then he headed the Gavar military commissariat. Then he was appointed head of the Vayk, Vayots Dzor Conscription and Recruitment Service.


Q: Mr. Hovsepyan, you have passed a glorious military path on the front line, you were wounded while performing a combat mission, so your word is more credible, more influential. All that remains is for the people of Syunik to know who is sending their sons to the army, so to speak …

A: They know. We are a nation with a traditional morality and values, the human factor will always be a priority for us. We will always ask, are you brave to call for courage; are you patriotic to speak for the defense of the homeland, what have you done to make me believe your words? In general, each soldier has an attitude and mood towards the army, and the soldier who works directly with the people should be as presentable as possible, with his past and present.

Q: The physical and psychological protection of the soldiers and the living conditions have a great influence on the attitude of the people towards the army and military service.

A: We can state unequivocally that the furnishing of the front line has made the military service much safer along the entire border. Today, all the enemy’s subversive attacks are repulsed without casualties, because no “visit” surprises us anymore. Significantly, I would say, the food and clothing of the soldiers have dramatically improved. Today we have the right to speak about a soldier oriented army without reservations. And all this, naturally, raises the prestige of the army in the society. Each overcoming problem removes a number of concerns, and the parent sends their child to the army with greater confidence.

Q: In connection with all this, is there an influx of conscripts from abroad … Let’s remember that in 2019 In December 2012, the law exempting citizens from military service who avoided compulsory military service and reached the age of conscription for a corresponding fee ceased to apply.

“THERE IS FIRE IN THE EYES OF OUR BOYS”A: Yes, boys who have avoided compulsory military service should use the opportunity to join the army until they reach the age of conscription. After that, they will be prosecuted for refusing to protect the borders of the homeland. Which is very dishonorable. If in the past they hoped to pay, get rid of criminal responsibility and contribute to the strengthening of the homeland’s borders with financial investment, now it is impossible …

Q: Did the coronavirus make it very difficult to organize the conscription?

A: We do everything possible to prevent the spread of the infection during conscription. Our boys go to military units, and we can not allow them to be infected at work. We strictly follow all the safety rules: thermometer, disinfection, social distance … And we give the masks to the conscripts and change them every two hours.

Q: Lieutenant Colonel, according to the new order, the medical examination of conscripts is mainly carried out by doctors of civilian medical institutions. The chairman of the Central Medical Commission is no longer the head of your institution, but a civilian with professional education. In effect, your organization is free from liability, accusations, speculation, and targeting. Of course, this is good, but I’m interested in something else: did the parents’ complaints decrease as a result of this change?

A: As the head of our structure, Colonel Avtandilyan, said in a conversation with you, it was illogical that the Central Medical Commission was headed by a serviceman without medical education, who made a decision.

Q: Well, it was based on medical conclusions.

A: And he was responsible for the wrong conclusions, not the one who gave the conclusion. Obviously, if you are not a specialist, you can be easily misled. Our organization was relieved of responsibility for the conscripts’ medical examination results, and that is wonderful. It is no secret that the parents ‘complaints during the conscription almost completely referred to the conclusions of the conscripts’ medical examination. It is the same now, the number of complaints has not decreased. In order to be impartial, it should be noted that the health of a conscript son is the most vulnerable point of the parent, the most painful, he can be subjective. In any case, everything must be done to convince the parent that the decision of the medical commission is fair.

Q: Do you have a son?

A:Yes. My son is 15 years old, he is an athlete, a football player. He will soon become a soldier, will go to the border to defend his homeland. He dreams of serving in Tavush.


Q: Did he decide that after the recent events?

A: He wants to serve where I was injured by a mine and lost my leg. When I was serving in Tavush, my family was with me, and my son was very attached to that land.

Q: With what message, with what wish are you going to send him to the army?

A: I will say what I say to our conscripts. I look forward to the safe return of each of you. Serve in such a way that I have no reason to bow down because of you.



Category: #31 (1351) 05.08.2020 - 11.08.2020, National army, Spotlight