The youngest officers of the Serbian Armed Forces promoted

09. 09. 2017

The youngest second lieutenants of the Serbian Armed Forces have been promoted today at the ceremony in front of the National Assembly. A number of 187 male and female cadets of the 138th class of the Military Academy and the 3rd class of the Military Medical Academy Medical Faculty received the first officer's ranks.
The best ranked ones were presented sabres by President of the Republic of Serbia Aleksandar Vučić, while the most successful cadets in their branches and services were presented pistols with inscription by Serbian Armed Forces Chief of General Staff General Ljubiša Diković. The best cadets of the Military Medical Academy Medical Faculty were awarded parade daggers by Defence Minister Aleksandar Vulin.
The best cadets of the 138th class of the Military Academy are Aleksandar Ilić (GPA 9.73, Public Finance study programme), Ivan Dimitrijević (GPA  9.72, Military Chemical Engineering study programme, Lethal Ordnance Module) and Marija Lukić (GPA 9.67, Public Finance the study programme).
The best ranked ones in ranking by branches and services are – in the Army – Milan Stevanović (GPA 9,58, Defence Management study programme, Artillery Module), in the Air Force and Air Defence Stefan Marković (GPA 8,93, Defence Management study programme, AD Artillery Missile Units Module), and the best one in services is Vladimir Marković (GPA 9.44, Public Finance study programme).
The best cadets at the MMA Medical Faculty are Miloš Danilović (GPA 10.00), Stefan Petković (GPA 9.94) and Aleksandra Đajić (GPA 9.92).
Congratulating the youngest second lieutenants of the Serbian Armed Forces on their first officer's ranks, Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić said:
- A right school, in addition to gaining new knowledge and skills, is tasking itself to develop students' interests to better understand the events, phenomena and processes in the world that surround us, to create a versatile, curious personality, always thirsting for new knowledge. Our officers are educated in accordance with this goal. So, cadets of the 138th class of the Military Academy and cadets of the 3rd class of the MMA Medical Faculty, lined-up here in front of the House of the National Assembly, have just finished their education for initial officer’s duties, ready for a brave and honourable calling in life – to serve their homeland and all its citizens.
The Serbian President reminded the youngest officers that they had completed a school which, in its tradition of 167 years, produced famous officers like Putnik and Stepa, Mišić and Bojović, Major Gavrilović, and others who led the Serbian Army through victories and glory in both world wars. He told them that they are the youngest generation of officers who inherit and continue the tradition of their ancestors, by improving their knowledge and skills according to the most up-to-date educational programmes.
- Performing the first officer's duty will face you with everyday challenges, you will make important decisions that depend on the successful execution of the assigned task, so you must be aware of the responsibility for what is the most valuable thing, and that is human lives and above all our only home country Serbia. I am convinced that they the accountability to people who are expecting your orders, but also accountability towards your homeland, are values that were deeply ingrained in you during your schooling at the Military Academy. I am sure that you will know how to cope with even the toughest problems. Therefore, among the values that you learn first as cadets, the top places are occupied by military honour, an officer's integrity, a love for Serbia, a pride in a glorious military tradition, and a system of values based on a libertarian idea that has written our historic letter, the idea of humanity and cooperation between the states, the idea of peace. Your job is to preserve, defend and protect the independence and sovereignty of our Republic of Serbia - President Vučić said.
Addressing the gathered citizens, the President of Serbia said that he is proud that the Serbian Armed Forces, by its reputation and respect, occupies the first place among state institutions and enjoys the highest level of trust.
- Serbia is certainly claiming, in the field of defence and security, as well as the education of military personnel, to take a leading position in the region in view of its geographic position, training level and qualification of its army, but also the reputation of the Serbian military education in the world. Cadets from many countries from all continents passed through our Military Academy during its respectable existence and work", Vučić said and invited those present to greet cadets from Angola and the Republic of Srpska, who have just completed the Military Academy of the University of Defence of the Serbian Armed Forces.
He pointed out that even these young officers will also take with them to their countries extraordinary officer's knowledge, that they will bring with them nice memories of their stay and education in Serbia, first of all, lifelong friendships with their colleagues from the same class.
- Another of the national priorities is the preservation and enhancement of the reputation of our military and military profession. Under the complex security challenges of the present, the Armed Forces maintains and enhances its operational and functional capabilities in order to be ready in any situation to direct the armed forces at its disposal to carry out its entrusted missions and tasks. This process is reflected in the development, modernization, equipping and arming of the Serbian Armed Forces, as well as in the scientific research and educational activities. Only with each other, therefore, in constant harmony, they build and improve the efficiency of the Serbian Armed Forces - Vučić said in his address.
He also emphasized Serbia's firm commitment to military neutrality:
- This does not mean that our army should remain passive in relation to peace and security challenges. Neutrality does not mean disinterest and passivity. On the contrary. It means, among other things, a genuine commitment to peace and cooperation. That is why the members of our army are engaged in several countries of the world in peacekeeping operations in several world crises. I wish to share with all citizens of Serbia pride of the members of our army who have received numerous and constant praises for their efforts, knowledge, training and dedication and who honourably represent us among their colleagues from all over the world.
The Serbian President said that this engagement is a small, but very important indicator of our desire "as a state not to be carried by the storm of the world events, but to control our destiny ourselves; to listen to what is happening around us, but also to listen to ourselves and what is happening in ourselves".
- Today, too, we need above all the vigilance that soldiers have on guard, we need the resolve to act which soldiers have as they perform their tasks. Serbs in the trenches of the Thessalonica front had exactly such vigilance and such a resolve exactly a hundred years ago as they dreamed of returning to the enslaved Serbia. From these trenches they went to the assault, marched and fought until they made the final victory. And this victory of a Serbian soldier entered the textbooks as an example of a strategic and skilful tactical activity in the conflict with a very superior enemy - the president of Serbia reminded of the famous days.
President Vučić, concluding his address, said that the strength of an army is not just in the number of soldiers but in the answer what each of them is like.
- The strength is not even as much in the number of officers, as it is in their skill, knowledge, strategic art, and boldness. The greatest power is in that invincible and eternal answer to what you are you defending and who you are you fighting for. The one who is defending freedom, his home threshold and on the threshold his children, his wife, his grandfather's heritage, his homeland, can hardly be defeated. And our continuous enhancement of the Serbian Armed Forces is nothing else but the need to preserve the same home threshold inherited from the ancestors. Also, the job of the state is to provide better life for you and for your families. Do not forget, it is precisely because of our strength and the desire to preserve Serbia that the army will certainly be exposed to constant attacks of foreign services, media and interest groups. You have to stay firm and steadfastly defend the interests of our and the only Serbia to whom we swore allegiance – Aleksandar Vučić said.
The youngest cadets and all those present at the ceremony were addressed by the Commandant of the Military Academy Major General Goran Zeković.  He recalled that currently at the Military Academy there are about 1,500 students, and, describing the newest generation of young officers, he said:
- This is a generation of excellent cadets, good athletes, and capable, ready and determined young people. This is also reflected in the fact that this is the second generation in the last 15 years with high GPA - 8.23. Among them there is a national athlete in track-and-field and a Balkan athletic champion in a race on 400 meters, among them there is also the third-placed sailboat team in the competition of naval academies of the Mediterranean and the Black Sea countries. Among them there is the bearer of the Holy Cross from traditional swimming on the Ada Ciganlija Lake on the Epiphany Day. Among them there is the women's futsal team, that won the first place in the "Let's Play for 16" tournament, and many other talented and determined future officers.
General Zeković told the second lieutenants that they should be proud also of the day today and to act in the spirit of the academic motto they received at the Academy – Knowledge is your weapon and virtue, and honour is your property.
- The Academy is convinced that it has created a generation of honourable male and female officers. It believes in your knowledge and therefore, you should make efforts not to let down our expectations at your initial duties. Remember, your life path is the path of continuous education and requires from you self-sacrifice. Serbia believes in you, the Serbian Armed Forces believes in you – Commandant of the Military Academy told them.
On behalf of the 138th class, those present were addressed by the first in the ranking of the Military Academy, Second Lieutenant Aleksandar Ilić, who said that the cadets passed the road full of obstacles and challenges that they have successfully overcome.
- It took a lot of effort and renunciation, motives and the desire for us to be able to stand before you today honourably and proudly, and it was not easy at all. However, this is the only right way to create a man and a Serbian officer, Ilić said, adding that this year Serbia gets young officers who are ready and competent to continue the famous tradition of their ancestors, who never retreated from difficulties.
Thanking to the professors who, as he pointed out, through their dedicated work, helped the youngest officers of the Serbian Armed Forces to acquire skills and habits, and to the officers, who unselfishly shared their experience and prepared them for military life, the first in the rank of the Military Academy said that they should rest assured that the generation will justify their trust and fulfill their expectations.
Pilot Major Aleksandar Gajić, from the airplanes that lent solemnity to the today's ceremony, was also the one who extended greetings to the youngest colleagues.
- I congratulate my youngest colleagues on their first officer's rank! Serve your people honourably and be the pride of your homeland. Long live Serbia! - Major Gajić said.
At today's ceremony, the parade of the youngest lieutenants and cadets of the University of Defence has been performed, along with the overflight of the aircraft of the Serbian Armed Forces.  The programme of the ceremony was completed by the performances of the “Stanislav Binički” Artistic Ensemble of the Ministry of Defence and the Representative Orchestra of the Guard, cadets of the Military Academy performed drill, and an artist Bojan Perić read the passages from the memoir material of Colonel Nikola Colović, Commander of the 1st Army Brigade of the Konjic Division.
The ceremonial promotion of the second lieutenants was attended by representatives of the diplomatic corps, delegations of the armed forces of friendly countries, religious organizations, numerous guests from the country and abroad, families and friends of newly-promoted second lieutenants and citizens.
This year, 160 male and female cadets of the 138th class completed the Military Academy, including 12 from the Republic of Angola and one from the Republic of Srpska. The MMA Medical Faculty was completed by 27 boys and girls, among them 24 from the 3rd class of the Medical Faculty and three from the Master Studies.

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