Heroism of a Female Border Guard in Nghe An, Vietnam

The “healthy women to protect the fatherland” program has been carried out by the Women's Union of Nghe An Border Guards for the past six years. In this program, female border guards will practice martial arts, making them capable protectors of the homeland.


Female Soldiers Master the Art of Martial Arts

In late February, the weather at the Cua Lo – Ben Thuy Port Border Guard Station is exceptionally hot, resulting in severe sunburns.

In spite of the intense heat, the female officers belonging to the Women’s Union of the Border Guards of Nghe An province remain dedicated to their training and martial arts practices. They are preparing to showcase their skills at the upcoming training ceremony of Nghe An province in March, alongside their male counterparts. Their performances will include various forms of martial arts such as hand-to-hand combat, dagger fighting, nunchaku, and situational fighting.

The Bravery of a Female Border Guard Soldier in Nghe An Province
A female border guard soldier is practicing. (Photo: phunuvietnam.vn)

During the break, Captain Dang Minh Khue, President of the Nghe An Border Guard Women’s Union, expressed her satisfaction with the progress made by her team.

“We have been diligently rehearsing for three weeks in preparation for our upcoming official performance. My sisters and I are fully committed to giving our utmost alongside our male colleagues. As a seasoned participant in martial arts training, I have gained valuable experiences that benefit my personal growth. I approach each session with careful mental preparation, unwavering determination, and utmost dedication to my practice and training. However, we do encounter certain challenges such as the rigorous nature of our training, the scorching weather, and the relentless sea breeze,” expressed Captain Khue.

According to Captain Khue, this training program no longer incorporates the practice of qigong, which was included in previous programs. Qigong is recognized as one of the most challenging martial arts, with an element of risk involved. Both male and female participants are required to bear the weight of 60 kg of concrete on their bodies, which they then break using a sledgehammer. Moreover, an exceptional demonstration was provided by a female soldier who lay on a spike-board, successfully smashing a concrete block weighing 60 kg on her body.

The Bravery of a Female Border Guard Soldier in Nghe An Province
Female soldiers are performing with their male counterparts. (Photo: phunuvietnam.vn)

The Nunchaku, also known as the dual-section stick, poses a significant challenge for female soldiers as it demands superior technique and concentration. Even the slightest moment of inattention can result in injury from the powerful strikes of these sticks. Captain Khue recounts the early days of training when both she and her fellow female soldiers endured numerous bruises and injuries on their hands and legs. However, their persistence and dedication have paid off, as all of them have now achieved mastery of the exercise and are deemed equally capable to perform alongside their male counterparts.

Training Squad

Second Lieutenant Nguyen Thi Tra My

Second Lieutenant Nguyen Thi Tra My is a dedicated and motivated newcomer, having recently joined the army five months ago. She is currently employed in the Logistics Department of the Border Guards in Nghe An province.

“This is my initial experience participating in such rigorous training,” Tra My stated, wearing a joyful expression. “Initially, I had doubts about my ability to complete the tasks, particularly after observing my experienced colleagues execute them swiftly, elegantly, and flawlessly. As a result, I felt overwhelmed. Our daily practice sessions run from 7:30 am to 10:30 am, and then from 1:30 pm to 4:30 pm, even in inclement weather.”

However, with the unwavering determination and incredible support of our entire team, the young soldier Tra My has made remarkable strides in her progress. She expressed, “I am fully committed to giving my best performance in the front lines, which is why I am pushing myself even harder during practice sessions.”

The Bravery of a Female Border Guard Soldier in Nghe An Province
Nguyen Thi Tra My tries to do her best in the intensive training session. (Photo: phunuvietnam.vn)

The Courage of Female Border Guards in Every Scenario

Colonel Tran Dang Khoa, Deputy Political Chief of the Nghe An Border Guard, expressed his admiration for the dedication shown by female soldiers who have joined the martial arts training team. Despite their various specialized duties, these female border guards still find time to engage in intense training sessions.

Participation in martial arts training is a prerequisite for female soldiers to actively engage alongside their male peers in combatting drug criminals and other unlawful activities in the region. Initially, some faced challenges in meeting the demanding criteria of intense training, optimal health, and agility. However, they swiftly exhibited their dedication, professionalism, and courage by diligently practicing martial arts alongside their male counterparts.

In addition to engaging in rigorous training sessions, female officers consistently excel in their assigned duties, producing highly impressive results.

The Bravery of a Female Border Guard Soldier in Nghe An Province
Practicing martial arts is one important part in their professional tasks. (Photo: phunuvietnam.vn)

According to Captain Dang Minh Khue, the Women’s Union of Border Guards in Nghe An province is composed of 7 branches with a combined membership of 60 women who primarily serve in various units. However, through their strong sense of responsibility, enthusiasm, dynamism, and creativity, the Union and the women’s movement within the border guards force have achieved remarkable accomplishments in Nghe An province in 2022.

All members consistently fulfill their assigned roles and take complete responsibility for their professional tasks. They actively participate in the campaign to “build a sustainable family” and the emulation movement, showcasing their intelligence, bravery, and exceptional professional performance as female soldiers.

The Union has also initiated a collective effort among all members to embrace the frugal lifestyle advocated by Ho Chi Minh. Certain models, such as “Women supporting each other in times of hardship” and “The thrift group,” have proven to be particularly effective.

Female officers of Nghe An Border Guard consistently demonstrate bravery and innovative thinking to effectively safeguard our borders in any given field or situation. Their unwavering commitment greatly contributes to the successful fulfillment of our important mission to protect and preserve border security.

2022 Highlights of the Accomplishments of Female Border Guard Soldiers

In recent years, the Union has successfully implemented and coordinated various practical initiatives and events, garnering significant participation from both cadre members and female constituents. Notably, the Women’s Union of Ha Tinh Province Border Guard has initiated the impactful “Spreading the Love” program, which aims to provide comprehensive support and sponsorship to 17 underprivileged children. These children, who are the offspring of deceased border guard soldiers, have exhibited exceptional academic achievements. Through this program, each child receives a monthly sponsorship amounting to VND 500,000, aiding in their educational pursuits and overall well-being.

The “Follow” program initiated by the Women’s Border Guards of An Giang province encourages each member to register for 1-2 job responsibilities. Similarly, the Border Guard Women’s Union of Quang Ninh, Nghe An, Ha Tinh, and Tay Ninh organized the “Good Female Soldier in the Propaganda of Culture” program.

The Bravery of a Female Border Guard Soldier in Nghe An Province
Group performance. (Photo: phunuvietnam.vn)

Members of the Women’s Unions collaborate with local women’s unions, as well as the women’s unions of police and military units in the region, to actively engage in the initiative “Accompanying Border Women”. Additionally, the implementation of the “Godmother” program has successfully sponsored 12 children.”

In response to the challenging circumstances brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic, female border guard soldiers demonstrated their compassion and unity by collectively sponsoring six orphaned children. With the generous support of VND 500,000 per child per month, these soldiers ensured that these children had the necessary financial means to navigate the difficult times.

Going beyond monetary assistance, these soldiers extended their support by donating books and school necessities, particularly to commemorate the Tet holidays and to welcome the start of a new academic year. Their aim was to provide additional resources and support to these children as they pursued their education amidst the pandemic.

Furthermore, the dedication of these border guard soldiers extended to a special adoption program, where seven underprivileged orphans found a new home within the care of the soldiers. This initiative exemplifies their commitment to providing a nurturing and stable environment for these vulnerable children, ensuring that they receive the care and support they need to thrive.

Tracy Dao