Lieutenant Colonel Luong Thi Tra Vinh, her husband and children

Following successes in peacekeeping operations of Vietnamese soldiers, the first Vietnamese police officers joined the peacekeeping forces in August and September. Vinh considers this an honor for herself and her family.

Born into a farming family in Hanoi’s Hoai Duc suburban district, Vinh as a child dreamed of becoming a policewoman. 

When village festivals were organized, Vinh was fascinated with wrestling matches and traditional martial arts where the competitors were mostly men. When a villager opened a martial-art class, Vinh immediately enrolled in the class. 

“There is no other police officer in my family, but during the resistance wars to protect the fatherland and unify the country, my grandparents and relatives always upheld the spirit of patriotism and dedication to the revolution. The generations of my forefathers inspired me and encouraged me to strive right from a young age,” Vinh said about her decision to apply to the People's Security Academy.

In 1999, Vinh passed the exam to enter the academy. Her love for martial arts was satisfied with the strict training in a disciplined environment. 

She also practiced Pencak Silat at the academy’s club. After graduation, Vinh was assigned to work at the Office of Humanitarian Affairs of the Ministry of Public Security. She has had 23 years of studying and working in the field.

The Ministry of Public Security has been preparing for its plan to join the UN peacekeeping operations in 2014-2020 and later. 

Accordingly, police officers like Lieutenant Colonel Vinh have opportunities to attend training courses at home and overseas to meet the UN’s standards.

Vinh said she has attended many training courses since 2016, which were organized by the Vietnam Department of Peacekeeping Operations (the Ministry of National Defence), the UN and the police of other countries.

During a training session in Turkey last February, three days after passing the tests, Lieutenant Colonel Vinh and six other officers were recognized as meeting the requirements to join the UN peacekeeping mission.

Vinh said in some subjects, Vietnamese officers were trained to obtain higher levels than the requirements set by the United Nations. 

At the exam in Turkey, Vietnamese officers outperformed other countries in some subjects, including shooting skills and skills in handling certain situations.

Vinh and Vietnamese officers were also trained with survival skills in different situations; negotiation skills; skills in using maps, using walkie-talkies and communication devices in the field; medical first aid skills; and combat driving techniques in all terrain and weather conditions.

With many years of working at the Humanitarian Affairs Office of the Ministry of Public Security (MPS) with the task of creating a favorable environment for foreign non-government organizations (NGOs) to operate in Vietnam and more than 10 years of experience in state security management, Lieutenant Colonel Vinh was promoted by the UN to the position of administrative manager at the UNMISS mission.

Vinh said at first her family members did not support her decision to join the mission in South Sudan. However, they trust in her and respect her decision, she says, which has helped keep her mind on her work.

Tran Thuong