Ministry of defence Republic of Serbia

President Vučić: Youngest officers – echelon of freedom and sovereignty of our homeland

The youngest Second Lieutenants of the Serbian Armed Forces were promoted today at an official ceremony in front of the National Assembly Building. 160 cadets of the Military Academy and the Military Medical Academy reached their first officer ranks.

The best cadets of 140th class of the Military Academy are Stefan Milićević (9.88) from the Military Mechanical Engineering study program, Miloš Basarić (9.60) from the Military Geodetic Engineering study program, and Stefan Rašović (9.57) from the Management in Defense Studies program, River units module.

The best at the Military Medical Faculty of the MMA are Stefan Spirić, Jelena Obradović and Marina Radovanović, all with overall success of 9.96.
Serbian President and Supreme Commander of the Serbian Armed Forces, Aleksandar Vučić awarded the sabers to the best in rank at the Military Academy, Minister Aleksandar Vulin handed parade daggers to the most successful at the Military Medical Academy, while the most successful cadets in terms of branch and service were awarded inscribed pistols presented by the Chief of the General Staff of the Serbian Armed Forces, General Milan Mojsilović at yesterday’s ceremony at the Military Academy.

Congratulating the first officer ranks to the youngest Second Lieutenants of the Serbian Armed Forces, the Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić emphasized that we are celebrating this day because young officers take up the most honorable duty of defending the country of their people.
- From this day, you are the youngest officers in the long and glorious tradition of the Serbian Armed Forces, all the heroic deeds, magnificent victories and renowned military leaders. So here you stand proudly and responsibly before your heroic ancestors, aware what ideals our ancestors made epic heroic deeds for and bore the greatest sacrifices for. You stand ready and determined in the face of future awaiting you; to be worthy of picking up where they had left off, worthy of their unbreakable moral, of the highest military skills and of unwavering patriotism. You, gentlemen and brothers and sisters, are young officers, the echelon of freedom and sovereignty of our homeland. You are sons and fathers of freedom, which is another name for Serbia - said President Vučić.

As he emphasized, in order to enjoy peace and to build a rich and prosperous society, we rely on the readiness, knowledge and skills of our youngest Second Lieutenants, to deter anyone who does not mean well to Serbia.

- The Military Academy at which you studied is one of the most renowned officer schools in the world. It has been enrolled by talented, brave young men and girls, brought up in their families on patriotic examples from our past, inspired by the poems of Kosovo and Serbian uprisings of 1804 and 1813, forever inspired by the messages of Major Gavrilović and Voivoda Živojin Mišić, captivated by the wondrous and wonderful heroine Milunka Savić and the youngest soldier in the world, Momčilo Gavrić, in a miniature Corporal uniform. Proud of the humble King Peter, who escorted his soldiers through the Albanian Golgotha ​​on an ox cart - said President Vučić.

Today, the Supreme Commander added, the Military Academy is enrolled by young men and women who are descendants of the great Milunka, who know how to appreciate the heroic deeds of our country’s defenders from all times and from different times, from the First and Second Serbian Uprisings, to the 1999 attack on our country.

- Today, unlike in some past times, we especially respect all those officers, all your predecessors, who, through superhuman courage, perseverance in the Serbian Thermopylae - at Košare, stopped the enemy from penetrating the Serbian land. Serbia is proud of you, proud of your decision to firmly and unwaveringly take its sacred banner in your own hands, to protect the Serbian land, its rivers, its skies, so that no other citizen of this country ever again falls into the hands of the aggressor. And it is thanks to the Military Academy that you have been provided, like all previous generations, with civilian and military education of the highest levels, shoulder to shoulder with the world academic institutions, and in terms of military knowledge and skills even leading in certain aspects - said President Vučić, expressing gratitude to the professors and commanders of this higher educational military institution, who brought the cadets to the honorable path of the officers of the Serbian Armed Forces.

According to what Vučić has said, it is an honor that other countries, and cadets from those countries, who have also acquired the rank of Second Lieutenants, have shown confidence in our education.

Reminding of a significant jubilee - 180 years since the establishment of our military medical service, which is celebrated this year, President Vučić also referred to its importance, adding that today’s generation of MMA graduates is getting the first officer rank aware and proud of continuing an exceptional tradition in the Serbian Armed Forces and Serbian society as a whole.

- Your predecessors have, throughout the turbulent history of the Serbian wars, saved brave Artillery and Infantrymen from death, fearless in the face of shells and epidemics, and the experience of this institution has enriched the world and medical science – emphasized President Vučić.

The Armed Forces of the Republic of Serbia, the Supreme Commander emphasized, has been renewed and is still renewing its strength with great speed nowadays.
- We are able to protect our borders by ourselves, much more than we were able to do this just a few years ago. We are ready to deter any attempt to endanger our people, our borders, our country and our population, wherever it is threatened. Aircraft with the latest equipment and weapons we have acquired, which you will be able to see in the sky above us at today’s ceremony, anti-aircraft defense and helicopters guard our skies and provide strong support to the ground forces. We have made great efforts to improve the production of our own weapons. In accordance with Serbia’s commitment to military neutrality, members of our military cooperate and organize joint military exercises with their counterparts from numerous countries, regardless of their affiliation with political and military alliances - President Vučić recalled. 

As he said, in the vortex of various challenges and increasingly aggressive attempts to revise history, to turn the victim into executioner, and vice versa, to demand that we relinquish our friendship with many of our traditional friends, Serbia is today resolutely and successfully pursuing its European policies and is equally well cooperating with Russia, China, the United States, but above all, Serbia preserves and pursues a policy of peace and stability in the Balkans.

- A growing part of the international community recognizes that our country is the promoter of establishing new relations and a prosperous future for the Balkans as a whole. All of this has become possible, when instead of condescendingly ingratiating ourselves to the world’s potentates, we turned to ourselves, our historical experience and our own interests. Yes, Serbia is allowed to say today that it has its own interests; yes, Serbia is allowed to say today that it has its friends who do not have to be friends with everyone, because we take care of ourselves, take care of our country and take care of our people. Instead of a culture of forgetting the past, Serbia today nurtures a culture of remembrance along with its people from Republika Srpska, Montenegro, Croatia; in a conciliatory way, we direct our prays to honor the victims of Jasenovac, Prebilovci, Stara Gradiška and Glina and other death factories. We commemorate the destruction of the innocent Serb population of the 1990s. We also accept that others have had their victims. And unlike some others, we strongly condemn the crimes committed by members of our nation. We also remember the beginning of the aggression against our country in March 1999, the heroic defense of Košara and her heroes - said President Vučić.
Addressing the cadets who are becoming officers of the Serbian Armed Forces today, President Vučić told them that as they stand with their officer saber defending their homeland, they should be aware that they are defend both her past and her future.

- You, dear young officers, have chosen this honorable and noble vocation as your life’s path. And Serbia has chosen you to be her elite defense, with your human and professional virtues to be a beacon and example to young people, pride to ancestors and descendants - emphasized the President of the Republic, telling them not to worry, as their position would be slightly easier than that of their predecessors, because they will have better working conditions and a better standard of living.

Serbia rejoices with your families today, said President Vučić, our hearts are full and we wish you every happiness, adding that we wish for you to make your dreams come true, to start a family and to have children just like you, beautiful, noble and successful.
- Let your sabers, dear friends, only flash during military parades, when we evoke the events of the glorious Serbian past, let our Serbian banners and flags be lifted high in your strong and decisive hands, and no enemy will dare to set foot on Serbian land. You are the guarantor of a peaceful and untroubled future for the citizens of yours and ours only beloved country of Serbia - said the President of Serbia and the Supreme Commander of the Serbian Armed Forces, Aleksandar Vučić to the ceremonially lined up young officers.

The Commandant of the Military Academy, Major-General Bojan Zrnić, PhD, greeting all present in front of the National Assembly Building, emphasized that the changes in the modern world, transformed by universal digitization, are very dynamic and therefore it is crucial to keep pace with education and professional development in cooperation with others. He welcomed the representatives of similar institutions with which the Military Academy is continuously cooperating and which are attending the ceremonial promotion, institutions from the USA, from Ohio, Egypt, the United Kingdom, France, Algeria, Germany, Hungary, Bulgaria and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

General Zrnić said that in the history of warfare, there are numerous reasons why one side has won and the other has lost the battle. The two basic conditions of victory are the power of the mind and the courage of the heart, because knowledge and the fighting spirit are what decide the winner.

- Precisely because in our cadets we develop both of these qualities, the Military Academy is a military educational institution of strategic importance for the defense of Serbia - Vučić emphasized, noting that during all the transformaions over the past 170 years, the Military Academy has relied on two pillars - properly selected, highly motivated cadets and equally well motivated, rich in experience and knowledge and dedicated teachers.

General Zrnić said that the Military Academy, as part of the University of Defense, annually educates more than 1.500 students through 28 accredited study programs, at various levels, ranging from students of the Military High School and the Military Vocational School to the highest forms of career development for officers.

Over the recent years, there has been a significant increase in investment in military education, teaching material base and infrastructure security, on which General Zrnić thanked the President of Serbia and Supreme Commander Aleksandar Vučiću and the Ministry of Defense.

Between the two promotions, the standard of cadets has been significantly improved, increasing their personal incomes, upgrading their nutrition, regulating payments for city transport and personal insurance.

- If you feel pride, strength and hope while looking at the line of the Cadet Brigade of the Military Academy, know that it is not because of this perfect lineup or because of the number of people in it, but because these young men and girls in uniforms love Serbia more than anything else; it is because of their love for Serbia, their character, discipline and every other virtue. We are convinced that there is no such fateful storm that could be fatal to our homeland - General Zrnić emphasized, recalling the words of General and Academician Jovan Mišković at a similar ceremony in 1883, that patriotism and loyalty and adherence to the oaths are the most important virtues of a soldiers, that these are exactly what motivates the armed forces to achieve great deeds.

- I am convinced that you are armed with acquired knowledge and skills, and illuminated by officer honor; you are precisely the generation that is capable of great deeds - pointed out Major-General Bojan Zrnić, PhD, wishing the young Second Lieutenants successful officer’s careers.

First in rank Stefan Milićević, in his address on behalf of the youngest officers in the Serbian Armed Forces at today’s ceremony, pointed out that it is a great honor to study at the Military Academy and the Military Medical Academy, institutions with a long and proud tradition, which produced numerous senior military leaders, doctors , academics and PhDs.

- After much hard work and much self-deprivation, we have completed our studies. We have acquired much useful knowledge and skills that we will apply in the preservation of peace and freedom of the Republic of Serbia. I stand today in front of those who have chosen a difficult but honorable vocation - the vocation of an officer. I can say on behalf of all of us who are becoming officers today that we will carry out our assigned tasks responsibly and honorably. We who stand in front of you are people determined to follow in the footsteps of our ancestors, whom we are indebted to for their sacrifice and who have provided us with a sacred example through their lives. Honor is our property, but also a heritage that we will preserve for future generations - said Stefan Milićević, expressing special gratitude to all who have provided them unconditional support during their education.

The youngest colleagues were greeted by a MiG 29 pilot, Major Goran Bulajić, flying in one of the aircraft of the Serbian Armed Forces whose flight made the ceremony today even more magnificent.

- Congratulations to our youngest colleagues on their first officer rank! May you serve your people honorably and be the prided of your homeland! Long live Serbia! – said Major Bulajić.

160 cadets of the Military Academy and the Military Medical Academy have been promoted into the first officer ranks today. 135 male and female cadets of 139th and 140th classes of the Military Academy have graduated from the Military Academy today, including three cadets from the Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The MMA School of Medicine has produced 25 young men and girls of 5th class of the Medical Faculty of the MMA, including a cadet who is a member of the Namibian Armed Forces.

Guests at today’s ceremony, along with the defile of the youngest Second Lieutenants and cadets of the University of Defense, could see the flight of the military aircraft of the Serbian Armed Forces, performances by the Ministry of Defense Art Ensemble “Stanislav Binički” and the Representative Orchestra of the Guards, as well as a rich cultural and artistic program.

The MiGs 29, “Orao” (“Eagle”), “Super-Galeb”, Game and for the first time Airbus H145M helicopter flew over the capital.
The song “Vila sa Košara” (“Fairy from Košare”) was sung by Katarina Božić accompanied by the “Stanislav Binički” Symphony Orchestra, and the cadets sang “Marš na Drinu” (“March to the Drina”) at the end.

The senior state and military leadership, representatives of the military and diplomatic corps, delegations of the Armed Forces of friendly and partner countries, religious communities, numerous guests from the country and abroad, families and friends of the newly promoted Second Lieutenants and citizens attended the official promotion of the Second Lieutenants.

The promotion of officers traditionally brings together a large number of citizens and families and friends of the youngest officers, and today, in front of the Assembly, was the mother of Lieutenant Milan Đorđević, who came from Leskovac area to support her son, who received the first officer rank today.
- This is the pride of Serbia, this is what everyone should come and experience, regardless of whether they have anyone they know in the line - says the proud mother, who was among the citizens in the first rows.

The pride of the Guberinić family is their daughter, who became Second Lieutenant Selena Guberinić today and who graduated from the Medical Faculty of the MMA and says she is proud to have become an officer of the Medical Service and a physician.

- I am proud to serve my country and my people - says Second Lieutenant Guberinić, whose proud father Rastko says he remained speechless at the end of the promotion and never doubted his daughter’s success.