Not everyone gets a service pension after fifteen years. Sad reality.
If you look at the numbers, which the Czech Army publishes, it may appear that recruiting is very successful, including a number of members of the Active Reserve Forces. Though, a destiny of regular soldiers is not quite as wonderful as it could seem to be. Who is the arbiter that makes decision on their destinies? The Personalistic Agency and Minister of State. It is worth mentioning that contracts of 7,500 soldiers will end in this year. The Army offers a series of requalification programs for the outgoing soldiers, but it is insufficient compensation.
The service of 423 regular soldiers terminated in the period from 2018 till 30th June 2019. In 2018, 231 entitled persons asked for requalification in according to § 64 of Regular Soldiers Law (of 484 persons, who met requirements of the Law), and in 2019 (till 6/30/ 2019) 256 entitled persons, the service of which is going to be terminated in the first half of 2020. In 2018, requalification was provided to 171 entitled persons (60 applications weren’t realized, of this 27 weren’t realized by reason of cancellation on request of a soldier, 3 weren’t realized due to health reasons of a soldier, 19 weren’t realized by process reasons, 5 weren’t realized by reason of failure to win the required requalification program, 6 weren’t realized by reason of repeated allocation of a soldier to a duty position).
In 2019 (till 6/30/ 2019) requalification was provided to 95 entitled persons (17 applications weren’t realized, of this 10 weren’t realized by reason of cancellation on request of a soldier, 2 weren’t realized due to health reasons of a soldier, 1 wasn’t realized by process reasons, 4 weren’t realized by reason of repeated allocation of a soldier to a duty position). This is official information of the Ministry of Defence on a number of soldiers with a terminated service and on the consequent requalification.
What is reality, then? Our well-proven sources specified cases of termination of the service before the fifteenth year of service, i.e. before the time of origination of the official right for the service pension, which could be considered as a sort of appreciation of the soldiers for their longstanding service in the army. Some cases of termination of the service are reasoned by health condition of a soldier, by cancellation of a job position etc., but the reality is also so that a lot of skilled soldiers are simply laid off before the reach of the service pension without giving any reason. Some of them later went to litigation with the Ministry of Defence and it should be noted that successfully, such as, for example, Brigadier-General Vladimír Halenka, who – according to the court – has the right for the service pension, but MoD dissented.
And an earlier case of Martin Štefánek, who was a military driver, is also well-known. He considered his discharge as wrong-doing. “I consider it as wrong-doing. They discharge people, who are experiences, who know how and could pass some skills to the younger colleagues, to can give them to missions and show how it works. Instead of it they recruit people who have no experience, therefore their education will cost additional money,” he said that time. What is incomprehensible is the fact the Mr. Štefánek was a military driver, because the army was always missing them.
Absence of practice mentioned by Mr. Štefánek, is also evident in case of novices with military university education, where a fresh graduate of the University of Defence, i.e. a young man or woman aged about 23-25 years, comes in a unit in an officer rank and consequently - having no real skills – commands soldiers with long-term practice.
It is necessary to openly talk about what bothers many of our soldiers and not to close eyes to it. Though our army – according to its new slogan – knows what it wants, it however shouldn’t forget about the fact that experienced soldiers should always come first. You can look at the current conditions for obtaining the service pension for the soldiery, for example on the web-portal: prispevky.cz.
A relatively big defender of the soldier rights is, for example, congresswoman and mayoress Jana Černochová, who calmed the soldiers in the last and this year, when the media published a message about possible modifications of the service-pension conditions within MoD endeavours to save finance. Eventually, the conditions of soldier service pension weren’t changed at all.