Speeches & Statements

The President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili met the graduates of Sachkhere Mountain Training School

My dear fellow soldiers, my brothers, my officers!

Not long ago I saw a movie, which reflects your training and I talked to our foreign advisors, generals, who came from Israel, high-ranking officers that trained you for serving our country.

Two years ago I couldn't dream about it. Georgia always had strong officers. We have military talent in our genetic code. Georgians used to fight in every great empire during the last millenniums. I would like to remind you that in the Roman Empire, in Byzantium, in Persian Empire, in Mamluks' Empire, Georgians weren't only famous officers and warriors, but most successful militaries of those empires. I will never forget Ispahan built by Georgians, Akhvlediani Bridge built by Undiladze, when he was the Commander-in-chief in Persia. I will never forget the fact that Mamluk- army was commanded by Georgians in Iraq. I will never forget that Giorgi Saakadze conquered huge territories for Osmals and Persia. Georgian John Malkhaz Shalikashvili the military leader of the most powerful and great army of our times was.

The Europeans, the Polish and I myself will never forget the fact that in 1921 the Georgian officers saved the independence of Poland, these were the officers which couldn't find their place in Georgia who could defend the independence of Georgia but because of the inability of the political authorities couldn't save the independence of Georgia in 1921. The they went to Poland and under the leadership of Marshal Polsunski saved the independence of Poland. It does not happen by accident that Poland helps us so much in NATO. Every Polish remembers well that Georgian shad their blood for Poland and famous Georgian officers contributed in the creation of modern Polish state. General Sumbatashvili was the Military Commander of the Polish army and the Chief of Military Chancellery. 150 Georgian officers shad their blood for Poland. The most powerful Bolshevik army that ever penetrated any foreign territory, much stronger than the 11th army that penetrated into Georgia, penetrated into Poland and was defeated by the Polish under the commandment of the Georgian officers. We must not forget it - the Polish don't forget it.

I want to tell you that you are pride of modern Georgia. I am proud of you, we all are proud of you and future Georgia will be proud of you. Every clever Georgian remembers that David the Builder started to build the State from building Army. Many centuries have passed, but we still have existential challenges. Our existence is still under the threat and we still need to act the same way that our ancestors did. Contemporary politicians do not compare themselves to David the Builder. He reflected all the best features - he was a real King, he was wise, he had equal attitude towards all ethnic and religious communities, he was exceptional with his tolerance. We do not compete with him, but we try to imitate him. You are the most important part of modern Georgia. We have brought several high-ranking Generals from Israel, the best officers and militaries. Today Georgia needs most contemporary training. I served in the most elite Soviet Army for two years. I envy you, because you stand five steps higher than any Soviet unit ever. I am proud because Georgia did more than the Soviet Union could do. We will prove this and everyone will see it. We have brought famous militaries from Israel; a great majority of our Land Forces is trained by Americans. In this case you were trained by the Jewish militaries. We are very grateful to all our Jewish friends for what they did for Georgia. Americans and Jews developed a new Georgian military school. This Georgian school is based on our historic instinct, our genetics, experience, talent and on the joint experience of Jews and Americans.

We have spent several billions on our military equipment. But the expensive arms and types of armament are not the most important; the most important is heart, motivation, patriotism and professionalism. Professionalism is a component that our military advisors share with us together with the military enthusiasm. Patriotism is what was taught to you by your parents, your mothers and your families. Your patriotism and best military training will show everyone in the world, that there are no small nations that are not able to defend themselves.

Georgia is an exceptional country, Georgians can be very good friends, Georgians love peace, want prosperity, Georgians have peaceful intents and are able to defend themselves. We will contribute in our and world's security. We are devoted to our country, to our friends and allies. Today it is a very happy day. I know that you spend most of your time in forests, in very difficult conditions, you denied living in warm houses, you rejected fun, human instincts, but you were able to learn most important in extremely difficult conditions - to defend your most beautiful country. I know very well how difficult this period of time was for you. But it is the hell that will lead the whole country to the doors of heaven that will let you become historic heroes in the most decisive moment for Georgia. It is the difficulty that will bring us great happiness that will lead Georgia to victory and integrity. It was all worth of it. Most important is what you tell to your grandchildren, not what you've been through when you were young. I would like to thank you all my brothers! The best Georgian officers were selected for this course, 150 officers. 54 were able to get through it. All others were the best too, but they were not able to get to the end. You all know that we are building flats for every Georgian officer, we give them high salaries, but all this will be left behind if our homeland is not strong. Our lives are dedicated to the victory of Georgia. Our hearts beat in the absolute unison. I want to apologies for not being able to run through forests together with you during the last year. But I want to assure you that we weren't having fun either, because no one will have happy lives, before Georgia is secured and united finally. I want to congratulate you on this historic graduation day. Georgians were never trained by the best professionals and we never had such corps of officers in the history of Georgia. You are elite, you are those people who will restore the integrity of Georgia and your names will remain in history after final success. I want to thank you for braveness and toughness. Do not get calm, because all the heroisms are awaiting you in future and you will be those people who will make decisions. The soldiers of democratic countries are different they make decisions by themselves. The battle for the integration of Georgia continues and it will end successfully. We are the defenders democracy and freedom. You serve the future of our nation. I wish you success in defending democracy and freedom, in executing a historical mission! I want to give the successful course graduate officers gifts in remembrance. I wish you success and victory. God bless Georgia! God bless this great day in our history!

Press Office
of the President of Georgia

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