Comrade Le Kha Phieu started working at the Military Region 9 Command as Chief of the Political Agency and later Deputy Political Commissar cum Chief of the Political Agency of the military region. At that time, the military region’s armed forces witnessed major changes in organization, number of personnel, and missions that had strong effects on troops’ thoughts. As a senior political officer of the military region, Comrade Le Kha Phieu made timely recommendations to the Party Committee and Chain-of-Command of the military region to issue resolutions, directives, and plans to realize the Party’s guidelines, State’s policies, and the military’s missions.

Former Party General Secretary writing in a guestbook of the Museum of Military Region 9 during his visit in December 2015

With the decisiveness and prestige of a leader in charge of Party and political work, Comrade Phieu greatly contributed to stabilizing the regional situation and strengthening combat power of the military region’s armed forces to protect the Southwestern border of the country.

In the 1978-1981 period, Comrade Le Kha Phieu and Military Region 9’s leadership led the armed forces to engage in the Southwestern border defense war and then carry out international service. In any positions, the leading officer always left a good impression on troops with his closeness, decisiveness, in-depth analysis, and creative and wise guidelines in Party and political work.

As the Deputy Political Commissar of Military Region 9, Comrade Le Kha Phieu led Military Region 9 to overcome challenges when doing international service in Cambodia. In the period, Comrade Phieu and the military region’s leadership helped troops embrace the significance of the international mission and advised higher-level authorities on approaches to solve major issues. As a result, the military region’s armed forces were strengthened, gradually meeting requirements of the mission of helping Cambodia protect its government.

Not only was he an excellent political leader, but Comrade Le Kha Phieu was also one of the commanders who directly led Vietnamese volunteer soldiers in the first battles against reactionary forces led by Pol Pot and Ieng Sari and helped Cambodia strengthen its revolutionary forces. During the time, to consolidate and develop the Cambodian revolutionary forces, he travelled to many important localities in the country, where he was tenderly called with a lovely name, Uncle Nam Phieu, by local troops.

Later, because of new mission requirements, Comrade Le Kha Phieu was posted to different units and held different positions before being elected to the General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam in 1997.

During 10 years working at the Military Region 9 Command, Uncle Nam Phieu always served as a role model for the people and troops in the Southwestern region to follow. Decades have passed by, but the image of an experienced and dedicated officer has still been in the hearts of generations of troops of Military Region’s armed forces. Following his example, the military region’s troops are trying to contribute more to the nation.

By Lieutenant General Huynh Chien Thang (member of the Party Central Committee, Party Secretary and Political Commissar of Military Region 9)

Translated by Tran Hoai