The defense minister has revealed that 800 Hungarians have so far applied for the army reserve scheme.
During an award ceremony of the Armed Forces of Hungary on Thursday, Tibor Benko said the first 450 volunteer reservists have already started their training. The scheme targets people who are out of work because of the coronavirus crisis as part of the government’s plan on protecting the economy. The minister earlier said he expected 3,000 people to apply for the scheme.
According to MTI, the minister said Hungary’s military has proven that it is able and prepared to hold its own even in a struggle against “an invisible enemy like coronavirus”. He said the army and the social organizations working with the military aided and protected the public, adding that without them, Hungary’s defence against the virus would not have been as successful as it had been.
The minister added that soldiers also had to face new challenges like fulfilling their role as hospital commanders, setting up military task forces to oversee strategic companies, disinfecting public institutions or operating hospital entry security.
Minister Benkő said the military’s role in the country’s epidemic response efforts was also important “because society should feel that the soldiers serve the Hungarian people”. He also said the armed forces would also contribute to the implementation of the government’s economy protection action plan by training 3,000 volunteer reservists.
The ceremony was held to recognize soldiers who were to be awarded on the occasion of the March 15 national holiday and National Defense Day observed on May 21, as those award ceremonies were cancelled due to the epidemic.