On Saturday, 430 graduates of the Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO) Academy of the Hungarian Armed Forces took their ceremonial oath at Heroes’ Square in central Budapest. They recited the so-called “NCO Creed,” then a squadron of helicopters and Gripen fighter-aircraft flew over the square.
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A Mi-17 combat helicopter of the Hungarian Defense Forces over Budapest during a demonstration on the occasion of the commencement ceremony on July 16, 2022. Photo by Péter Lakatos/MTI
Hungarian Defense Minister Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky said at the ceremony that Hungary’s security should be strengthened and noted that he had ordered an increase in the operational readiness of the Hungarian Armed Forces. He told the more than 400 non-commissioned officers who took their oath in Heroes’ Square on Saturday that he was counting on them to play a key role in strengthening the renewed, confident, well-trained and equipped, well-organized, and capable Hungarian Defense Forces.
The comprehensive development of the armed forces began a few years ago, but needs to be accelerated because of the war in the country’s immediate neighborhood and increasing migration pressure on the southern border, the minister stressed.
The politician recalled that all personnel of the Hungarian Armed Forces will receive an “unprecedented” salary increase, that the government has established the Defense Fund, which will contribute to the development of the armed forces, and that defense spending in the budget will reach the NATO-expected level of two percent of GDP as early as next year.
The minister called on the non-commissioned officers who took the oath to be proud of the fact that they “have learned the craft and can pass it on, and urged them to be worthy members of the Hungarian Armed Forces and role models for soldiers inside and outside the service.
The ceremonial swearing-in of the non-commissioned officers of the Hungarian Defense Forces who graduated from the Hungarian Defense Forces Academy this year at Heroes’ Square on July 16, 2022. Photo by Anikó Kovács/MTI
In his opening speech, Lieutenant General Romulusz Ruszin-Szendi, Commander of the Hungarian Defense Forces, addressed the soldiers who took the NCO oath, recalling that during their training they had to overcome many obstacles, participated in the fight against the coronavirus epidemic, and contributed to the defense of the two border areas of the country.
It will also be necessary to reorganize and downsize the administration so that the Hungarian Armed Forces can become the dominant force in the region with more trained, operational, and combat-capable soldiers. This is now also the task of the non-commissioned officers who will be sworn in on Saturday, Ruszin-Szendi said.
“The Hungarian Defense Forces are in a historic situation,” as there is a war in the neighboring country that has made all of Europe aware of the importance of security and defense, the commander of the Hungarian Defense Forces stressed.
Featured image: illustration via Anikó Kovács/MTI