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Dear, editorial staff, dear “Iravunk”, honourable gentlemen, I have seen lots of things in my life. My generation which is a generation of 30s of the previous century, saw Stalin, Beria, wars and hunger. Our Armenians and senior friends took part in a patriotic war and many of them never returned. Thirty-one people were recruited from our street (a small area of now Alaverdyan street), twenty-two of which never returned and the rest became disabled. I clearly remember how our mothers and grandmothers used to knit woolen gloves and socks for their offsprings and husbands and sent them to the front. The entire country rebelled against its enemy and that is the reason why it won the war. Many years passed, the united country collapsed and Armenia became independent. The victory of our hero Armenians remained in our hearts.

Being an old man and having witnessed many things in my life, on September 21, at the military parade dedicated to 20 years of independence of Armenia, I automatically started sobbing, but it was not sobbing, it was a tear of pride, it was a tear of the winner-country. I am an Armenian who went through Genocide, whose grandchild today is serving in the Armenian Army. I wish all Armenians in the whole world learnt to handle weapons and pay their respects, i.e. mandatory military service, to the Republic of Armenia. I would like to know whether RA citizens who are members of any sect have the right to serve in the army.

S.Baghdasaryan, Yerevan

Dear Mr.Baghdasaryan, serving in RA Armed Forces is the constitutional responsibility of each citizen of the Republic of Armenia. For a small number of people, and Armenians belong to such small group of people, armed forces is the only condition of existence in turmoil occurring in the world. Otherwise, a genocide may occur between civilized countries, as it did in 1915 where Turks were against Armenians, and in 1940 fascists were against Jewish. Unlike other countries, RA Army was created for the safety of its citizens and itself. It is already common knowledge which is proved by our thousand-year history. Armenia can never be accused of committing aggression. Today, as the chief commander emphasized during the military parade “You cannot cheat, threaten, frighten us anymore because we have triumphant, respectable Armenian army which will do credit to many countries”. As for the fact that some sectarians are released from serving in the army, since one of the commandments of the Holy Bible runs “Do not kill”, I believe that it is easy to see that “Do not kill” commandment is about non-killing of innocent people.

When a Turk scum broke the head of Varuzhan and Siamanto with a stone in the West Armenia, the Armenians did not have an army. When an Azeri scum attempted to continue the deed of his elder brother in 90s in the West Armenia, a newly independent Republic of Armenia did not allow a new genocide and new calamity to take place, and its guarantor was the newly-created Armenian army. “Do not kill” commandment is effective under heaven and earthly laws, but when your relatives and you are desecrated and slaughtered, then one ought to have this army which we saw during the military parade. Furthermore, I dare to remember the birth of Jesus according to the Bible, during which “the heaven army descended…” . Alas, I think that it is the power acceptable by God which struggles for its safety and resists the enemy, the evil. Below are the legal norms which are binding upon the citizens of the Republic of Armenia.

1. Recruitment of private soldiers and sending to reserves are carried out by the Chief Commander of the Republic of Armenia twice a year, in April-June and October-December.

2. Recruitment of depot battalions’ officers and sending to reserves are carried out by the Chief Commander of the Republic of Armenia.

3. After the announcement of mandatory military recruitment all the draftees are obligated to appear in the military commissariat of the registration area within the time stated in the notification.

The Legislation stipulated also the procedure of release from mandatory military service, as well as getting deferment, which does not concern the sectarians.

Mandatory military service is:

1. two years for the ranks,

2. for contractual soldiers, common, senior sergeants – 3 years, non-commissioned officers – 3.5 years.

It is necessary to know that mandatory military service commences from the day of arrival at the military commissariat for leaving for the service area. Under the law, the Minister of Defense of the Republic of Armenia is entitled to extend the military service of separate time service conscripts up to 1 month.

I wish all the conscripts safe service. The structure headed by me provides free consultation for the conscripts and families of the conscripts undergoing time service, and with state authorized bodies – rural administration, municipality, regional administration. In case of violation of rights, free consultations are provided up to the elimination of the violation of rights.