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Service in Georgian army: For country, for money2013-01-14 15:51
The other day, Georgian Defense Minister and First Deputy Prime Minister Irakli Alasania stated that in four years the country would completely switch to a professional army. "No one should be forced to serve in the army", said Alasania. "On the contrary, the service must be prestigious and accessible not for everyone. There should serve only persons who have received vocational training and who are ready to give their lives for their country". How relevant in these times is a switch from a mixed conscription to contract? And whether there are funds in the budget to offer the soldiers a decent pay for defense of the country?
"When I first heard the sound of bullets near my ear, I did not understand what was going on", says George Nanuashvili, serviceman of the Georgian troops in Afghanistan. "Then the guys calmed me: lucky, if you hear a sound, this means that the bullet has missed. Next time do not protrude, said experienced soldiers", says George. He is serving in Afghanistan for four months. Another month - and he returns home. George is Corporal, his monthly salary is $ 780, and from next year it increases by 33% - up to $ 1040.
Only professionals are serving in Afghanistan. Starting from the new year salary of a private will amount $ 1,000 a month, a sergeant - $ 1120, and a senior sergeant - $ 1155. Salary of officers serving in Afghanistan will also increase.
The idea of creating a professional army in Georgia was born in the early 90's. Although that time the Georgian armed forces rather looked like half-voluntary units. Only some of their members had experience of service in the army, and for others it was just an opportunity to get a gun and rob anybody, and no matter where - in Abkhazia, western Georgia or Tbilisi.
Gradually, the Georgian armed forces became similar to the army. Especially important step in this direction was taken in the early 2000's, when the U.S. military instructors arrived in Georgia as part of the program "Training and equipping". Several thousand Georgian servicemen have passed this program and most of them later served in Iraq.
Later, NATO instructors got even more actively involved in the preparation of the Georgian troops, when they became aware of the intention of the country's leadership to send troops to Afghanistan. After training in Georgia servicemen passed an additional two-month military training in Germany, and only after that they were sent to the front line - in Afghanistan.
A few days ago, Defense Minister and First Deputy Prime Minister Irakli Alasania said that in four years the country would completely switch to a professional army. According to him, at an early stage the term of service will be reduced from 18 to 12 months, and then they will completely abandon the conscription. "No one should be forced to serve in the army", said Alasania. "On the contrary, the service must be prestigious and accessible not for everyone. There should serve only persons who have received vocational training and who are ready to give their lives for their country. Perhaps we do not manage to reform the army by the end of our political leadership, but we create a solid foundation for long-term strategic development of the defense department", said Alasania.