General Staff of the Vietnam People's Army

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Bộ Tổng tham mưu
(General Staff)
Vietnam People's Army General Staff insignia.jpg
Insignia of the General Staff
Active 7 September 1945 – present
Country  Vietnam
Allegiance Flag of the People's Army of Vietnam.svg Vietnam People's Army
Branch Active duty
Type Staff
Part of President
Ministry of Defence
Vietnam People's Army
Garrison/HQ Hanoi
Commanders
Current Chief of General Staff Lt.Gen Phan Van Giang
First Chief of General Staff Gen. Hoàng Văn Thái

General Staff (Vietnamese: Bộ Tổng tham mưu) is the commanding and managing organisation of the Vietnam People's Army, the paramilitary forces, militia and other activities relating to defence of Vietnam. The General Staff was established on 7 September 1945, right after the foundation of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, the first Chief of the General Staff was General Hoàng Văn Thái. During the Second Indochina War, Vietnam War, Cambodian-Vietnamese War, Sino-Vietnamese War and other skirmishes, the General Staff always had an essential role in organising, commanding the armed forces and planning, operating military campaigns for the Ministry of Defence and the Government of Vietnam. The current Chief of the General Staff is Lt.Gen Phan Van Giang who also holds the position of Deputy Minister of Defence.

History and roles[edit]

Right after the August Revolution and the foundation of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam on 2 September 1945, the General Staff was established on 7 September 1945.[1][2] The first Chief of the General Staff was Major General Hoàng Văn Thái who held the position from 1945 to 1953.[3] During the existence of the General Headquarters of the Vietnam People's Army (Bộ Tổng tư lệnh Quân đội Nhân dân Việt Nam), which had been the supreme commanding organ of the armed forces from 1946 to 1975, the General Staff was directly under the General Headquarters and acted as staff of the General Headquarters according to the decree No. 47/SL which was issued on 1 May 1947.

After the Vietnam War, the General Headquarters was dissolved and the General Staff began to operate under the Ministry of Defence in the position of commanding and managing organisation of the Vietnam People's Army, the paramilitary forces, militia and other activities relating to defence of Vietnam. From 1978, the Chief of Staff was also Deputy Minister of Defence and would take the position of acting minister during the absence of the Minister of Defence.[4] Following the demise of Colonel General (or Senior Lieutenant General) Nguyễn Khắc Nghiên, the current Chief of Staff is Lt.Gen Phan Van Giang.

Structure[edit]

Gen. Phùng Quang Thanh, Chief of the General Staff from 2001 to 2006.

The organisation of the General Staff consists of:[4]

  • Office of the General Staff (Văn phòng Bộ Tổng tham mưu)
  • Department of Political Affairs (Cục Chính trị)
  • Department of Operations (Cục Tác chiến)
  • Department of Personnel (Cục Quân lực)
  • Department of Information Technology (Cục Công nghệ thông tin)
  • Department of Electronic Warfare (Cục Tác chiến điện tử)
  • Department of Politico-Military Training (Cục Quân huấn). This is also the office responsible for the sport activities of the Army including the operation of the Thể Công football club.
  • Department of Cartography (Cục Bản đồ)
  • Department of Cryptography (Cục Cơ yếu)
  • Department of Logistics (Cục Hậu cần)
  • Department of Schools (Cục Nhà trường)
  • Department of Civil Defence (Cục Dân quân tự vệ)
  • Department of Search and Rescue (Cục Cứu hộ cứu nạn)

In addition, the General Staff also directly manages the operation of the 144th Brigade (which protects the Ministry of Defence headquarters), the Military Honor Guard Battalion Hanoi (Đoàn Nghi lễ quân đội), and several companies and project management authorities.

List of Chiefs of General Staff[edit]

No. Image Time Name Rank in office Notes
1 Đại tướng Hoàng Văn Thái.jpg 1945–1953, 1954 Hoàng Văn Thái Major General Later promoted to General, Deputy Minister of Defence, Member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Vietnam. Leader of Vietcong from 1967 - 1973.
2 Van Tien Dung 1954.jpg 1953–1954, 1954–1978 Văn Tiến Dũng Colonel General Later promoted to General, Minister of Defence, Member of the Politburo of the Communist Party of Vietnam.[5]
3 Le Trong Tan.jpg 1978–1986 Lê Trọng Tấn Army General Deputy Minister of Defence, Member of Central Committee, died in 1986.[6]
4 1986–1987 Lê Đức Anh Army General Later elected to President of Vietnam, Member of the Politburo.[7]
5 General Doan Khue.jpg 1987–1991 Đoàn Khuê Army General Later promoted to Minister of Defence, Member of the Politburo.[8]
6 1991–1995 Đào Đình Luyện Colonel General Held at the same time the position of Deputy Minister of Defence, Member of the Central Committee.
7 Pham Van Tra 2000.jpg 1995–1997 Phạm Văn Trà Lieutenant General Later promoted to full General, Minister of Defence, Member of the Politburo.
8 1997–1998 Đào Trọng Lịch Lieutenant General Deputy Minister of Defence, member of Central Committee, died in an aircraft crash in 1998.[9]
9 1998–2001 Lê Văn Dũng Lieutenant General Later promoted to full General, Director of the General Department of Politics, Secretary of the Central Committee.
10 Phung Quang Thanh 2010.JPG 2001–2006 Phùng Quang Thanh Colonel General Later promoter to full General, Minister of Defence, Member of the Politburo.
11 Nguyen Khac Nghien.jpg 2006–2010 Nguyễn Khắc Nghiên Colonel General Deputy Minister of Defence, Member of the Central Committee, died in 2010 of cancer.[10]
12 Đại tướng Đỗ Bá Tỵ.jpg 2010–2016 Đỗ Bá Tỵ Army General Deputy Minister of Defence, Member of the Central Committee. Later elected to Deputy Chairman of the National Assembly of Vietnam
13 Phan Van Giang.img.jpg 2016–present Phan Văn Giang Lieutenant General Deputy Minister of Defence, Member of the Central Committee

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Ministry of Defence (2009), White book, p. 110
  2. ^ Mai Phương (7 September 2007). "Gặp mặt truyền thống các thế hệ cán bộ" (in Vietnamese). Qdnd.vn. 
  3. ^ "Hoàng Văn Thái" (in Vietnamese). Từ điển Bách khoa toàn thư Việt Nam. 
  4. ^ a b Ministry of Defence (2009), White book, p. 53
  5. ^ "Văn Tiến Dũng" (in Vietnamese). Từ điển Bách khoa toàn thư Việt Nam. 
  6. ^ "Lê Trọng Tấn" (in Vietnamese). Từ điển Bách khoa toàn thư Việt Nam. 
  7. ^ "Lê Đức Anh" (in Vietnamese). Từ điển Bách khoa toàn thư Việt Nam. 
  8. ^ "Đoàn Khuê" (in Vietnamese). Từ điển Bách khoa toàn thư Việt Nam. 
  9. ^ "Bay qua đỉnh Phy Phả Xây" (in Vietnamese). Tuoitre.com.vn. 6 June 2005. 
  10. ^ "Nguyễn Khắc Nghiên" (in Vietnamese). National Assembly of Vietnam. 

References[edit]

  • Ministry of Defence of Vietnam (2009). White book of Defence of Vietnam (in Vietnamese). Hanoi: World Publishing House.