Celebration upon completion of studies of 8th class of Advanced Security and Defense Studies and officers of 62nd class of General Staff Advanced Studies
- The Serbian Armed Forces are stronger today for something that cannot be provided by any manning plan, no budget. Stronger for the honest, brave, dignified men, who are determined to build their lives into the foundations of the freedom for their people. Today we are stronger for another generation of officers who will be able to stand in front of aline of men and who will, in the most urgent, terrible times, be able to protect their country, their people – saidthe envoy of the President of the Republic of Serbia and Supreme Commander of the SerbianArmed Forces, Minister of Defense Aleksandar Vulin at today’s ceremony on the occasion of completionof studies of 8thclass of the Advanced Security and Defense Studies and students of 62ndclass of the General Staff Advanced Studies of the School of National Defense, held today at the National Assembly.
On behalf of the President of the Republic of Serbia and the Supreme Commander of the Serbian Armed Forces, Minister Vulin congratulated all participants on the successful completion of the courses and said that he is proud that we can introduce Serbia and the world to another generation of honorable officers and civilians in the defense system, who above all love and appreciate freedom and who will be able to continue with the tradition of those who came before them.
According to Minister Vulin, today, as the whole world so obviously and deafeningly loudly keeps quiet at the announcement of the creation of Great Albania and the dismemberment of the Balkans, not realizing the evil lurking and submerging all the peoples of the Balkans, not only the Serbian. The Serbian people have no one else to rely upon and trust, but the political unity of all Serbs and their Armed Forces - since they are the sole guarantee that we will prevail and, hold our heads up before the evil of the Great Albania, remain upright, together.
- The President of the Republic of Serbia and the Supreme Commander of the Serbian Armed Forces said that neither Jasenovac, Jadovno nor March massacre will be repeated again, nor the terrible crimes of “Oluja” (“The Storm”). He said that on behalf of all the members of the Serbian Armed Forces, on behalf of all the Serbs, wherever they may live. It has been and still is the message to both friends and foes, for one and all to interpret as they will; let them align as they wish and where they see their place is. We look forward to friends and we choose the friends ourselves. The enemies always choose us, without our doing or cause or guilt. In wars that we did not ask for, which we did not provoke, from wars at the territory of the former Yugoslavia all the way to the NATO aggression, in wars where guilt never lay with the Serbian people and their state, the people were sided with their Armed Forces and the Armed Forces were with their people, as much in the times past as in the present, self-reliable, confident in their political unity, confident in their Armed Forces, trustworthy and capableof protecting all the Serbs, wherever they may live - said Minister Vulin.
There were times in the Serbian history, which in itself has been a persistent struggle for freedom, that the Serbian people did not have the state protection, sincethe state did not exist, but, as Minister Vulin recalls, the people have always had the protection of their Armed Forces and it has always been difficult to make a clear distinction between the people and the Armed Forces.
- The Serbian people always stood with their Armed Forces, because they knew that when they were left without the state protection, without the protection of the law, without the protection of international law – whichwas eliminated in 1999, their Armed Forces were still there, the Armed Forces remainedaligned with them, taking care of them. Where the Serbian Armed Forces are, there were order, justice and law. Where the Serbian Armed Forces are, there is no place for injustice, or cowardice, or crime. Throughout our history, the Serbian people were with their Armed Forces, secure and confiding only in it. All others may betray, all othersmay leave. All great friends can cease to be that. Only the Armed Forces are here forever. While there is a nation, there is also the Armed Forces. For that reason precisely that no one has ever managed to make a clear distinction between the people and the Armed Forces, the Armed Forcesand people were victorious, and the thirst for freedom unquenchable. Serbs do not hunger for wars. We endlessly thirst for freedom. The Serbian people are ready to do almost everything for peace, but for freedom, we are ready to do everything. It has been so and still is, Minister Vulin said on the occasion, and once more, on behalf of the President of the Republic of Serbia and the Supreme Commander of the Serbian Armed Forces, he thanked all who devoted their lives to the mission of country’s defense, as well as their families for the support and understanding they provide to them every day.
As a token of successful graduation, Minister Vulin awarded the officers’sabers to the three first-ranked officers of 62ndclass of the General Staff Advanced Studies, as well as the replica of the medieval Serbian sword to the participants of 8thclass of the Advanced Security and Defense Studies, while the rest of the officers of 62ndclass of the General Staff Advanced Studies were awarded sabers by the Chief of the General Staff of the SerbianArmed Forces, General Milan Mojsilović.
General Staff Advanced Studieswere completed by 28 officers from the country and abroad: 24 from the organizational units of the Ministry of Defense and the Serbian Armed Forces, one from the Ministry of Defense of the SR of Nigeria and three officers from the Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The most successful in the class were LieutenantColonel Vladimir Ušljebrka with the average of 9.80, the second in rank was Lieutenant Colonel SretenKovačević with an average of 9.40 and third-ranked Lieutenant Colonel VeroljubVeličković with an average of 9.40.
Addressing the assembly on behalf of the 62nd class, the first in rank, LieutenantColonel Vladimir Ušljebrka, emphasized that the students established an excellent collective spirit during the studies, that the planned teaching contents were successfully mastered and that they were all absolutely prepared for performing responsible duties within the Ministry of Defense and the Serbian Armed Forces.
- We are taking up new positionsricher in knowledge and experience, conscious of the commitments that await us, ready to accept our share of responsibility, and to improve the operational capability of the Serbian Armed Forces and the state of the defense system as a whole by our work and devotion, said Ušljebrka, thanking all who provided them the necessary supportduring professional development.
Advanced Defense and Security Studies were completed by nine, five of which were from the state administration bodies and services of the Government of the Republic of Serbia, three officers of theMinistry of Defense and the Serbian Armed Forces and one officer from the Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Secretary General of the President of the Republic of Serbia, Nikola Selaković, who was among 8thclass of the Advanced Security and Defense Studiesgraduates, says that he was immensely honored to have attended those studies.
- I had the opportunity to be among 8thclass students this year, to acquire knowledge and skills and to get acquainted both with strategic planning as well as with the defense and management systemswithin the system of defense. It will not be pretentious to say that it is the pride of the State,as well as our Defense University,to have this kind of educational module, something that does not exist in any of the countries in the region and something I am confident will only experience serious progress in the future - said Selaković, thanking the President of the Republic who nominated him for this type of professional developmentas well as the management of the University of Defense and the National Defense School.
Colonel MiljanJanković from the Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina did not hide the feeling of satisfaction to have been part of 62ndclass of the General Staff Advanced Studies.
- I feel greatly honoredto have been part of the General Staff Advanced Studiesover the past nine months. We have had the privilege to learn from eminent experts in different fields about strategy, command and leadership. For me, the General Staff Advanced Studiesis the climaxin career development, especially considering that it was right here in Belgrade, where I entered the Military High School when I was 14 years old, and then the Military Academy, said Colonel Janković.
Representatives of the National Assembly, Ministers in the Government of the Republic of Serbia, members of the Collegiums of the Minister of Defense and the Chief of the General Staff, representatives of churches and religious communities, academic community, family and friends of students attended the ceremonies at the National Assembly.
Advanced Security and Defense Studies are the organizational element of the School of National Defense and are implemented once a year as the highest level of professional development for officers and state officials, with the aim of educating and preparing them for taking up the highest duties within the national security and defense system.
General Staff Advanced Studies is of inter-branch and inter-disciplinary character and represents the third level of officer career development with the goal of developing in officers the leadership capabilities for strategic thinking and effective command and leadership in a wide range of national and international security challenges.