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The graduation ceremony for cadets of the 133rd class of the Military Academy was held today in front of the National Assembly in Belgrade. 156 cadets, including 31 women cadets, and two members of the Army of Montenegro were promoted into Lieutenants.

Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic presented sabers to the best in class: Radovan Zunic, who graduated from the Air Force study program and is the top cadet of the class- 9.48, Milko Durlevic, the second in rank, with an average score 9.37 studies in defence management program, as well as to Djordje Stojanovic, who graduated in military electronic engineering and telecommunications with a 9.33 GPA.

Defence Minister Aleksandar Vucic presented guns with inscription to the most successful cadets of the Army Cadets and Air Force – Viktor Veres (9.21) and Milena Djokic (8.70).

The event was attended by Prime Minister Ivica Dacic, Speaker of the National Assembly Nebojsa Stefanovic, ministers in the Serbian government, the Serbian Army Chief of general Staff Lt. Gen. Ljubisa Dikovic, Serbian Patriarch Irinej, representatives of the Ohio National Guard, of the armed forces of Austria and the Ministry of Defence of Angola, diplomats and DAs accredited in Belgrade, representatives of religious communities and prominent public figures.

Congratulating the newly-promoted officers, President Nikolic said that these young people have decided to choose to serve his homeland as his life's calling.

- Knowledge, responsibility and commitment they have demonstrated in school, are proof that they are worthy to continue our heroic tradition of preserving peace, friendship and good neighborly relations in the region and the world in general. Our rich military history records many events that have placed various challenges before for our state and nation. The first invest their skills without any reserve, and sometimes laid even the most precious their own, their lives, in the name of the fatherland, were students of the Military Academy, 162 years ago, as the guardians of the tradition of Artillery School, the first military educational institution in Serbia – the President said. He added that despite enormous material difficulties, Military Academy has been educating cadets year after year, with undiminished quality of education, which is proven by participation in peacekeeping missions.

Speaking about the importance of the study programmes offered at the Academy, President Nikolic said that during the training brave cadets have acquire skills and knowledge necessary to make important decisions once they assume their positions in the ranks.

- On various occasions, they are expected to demonstrate the ability to adapt to different situations, to adequately respond to the challenges and show responsibility towards themselves, their families and their homeland, which a choice they placed before other things- said President Nikolic, saying that the Serbian Army institution enjoys the confidence of the citizens of our great country, of which a continuous increase in the number of applicants for military schools as well as for jobs, thus confirming the prestige of military profession.

In addition, he said, the Serbian Army is a factor of stability in the Balkans and a significant factor in scientific, technological and social development.

By military-technical cooperation with friendly countries, and the missions under the United Nations’ auspices, our military has contributed to peace and security throughout the world. At the same time, by performing a large number of exercises, in the training grounds home and abroad, the army has continuously perfected knowledge and skills. They have offered all available resources to selflessly help the population in emergency situations - President Nikolic stated, recalling the great anniversary of the Balkan Wars, saying that a century had passed since our heroic army had begun to win freedom and defend the honor of its people.

According to him, a nation’s elite is characterized by the willingness to sacrifice itself for higher goals and Serbian officers have always belonged to the elite, where they have always held their homeland sacred.

- I congratulate you on being promoted into first officers’ ranks and wish you success in future work when you assume your posts . Long live Serbia! - said President Tomislav Nikolic.

The Head of the Military Academy Major General Mladen Vuruna, in his address to the audience on behalf of the Ministry of Defence and the Serbian Armed Forces, said that the fact that so many foreign delegations are present today is proof that they hold our armed forces in high regard.

- Military Academy, a member of the Defense University, an institution which has had 162 years of tradition, has successfully educated officers in all military branches and nearly all services. In fact, we rely on the glorious history of our ancestors and the Liberation Army, which boasts of a tradition, but also on study rooms with top equipment and modern approaches to teaching - said General Vuruna.

According to him, the military high school has 367 students, and undergraduate academic studies have 903 cadets. This year 80 reserved officers finished the school, 213 attendees finished their career courses in the School of National Defence.

In his address to future lieutenants, General Vuruna said that in the last four years, they had invested great effort to pass 40 exams and performed more than 120 exercises in the weaponry, firing and tactical training, with a noteworthy GPA, participated in numerous extracurricular activities and sports both in country and abroad.

Military career is honorable, yet how risky it really is you realized in the tragedy that claimed the lives of our Milina and Filip. You become officers in the year when we mark a century of heroic battle to save the Serbian army and the glory of the fatherland. Armed with the glory of tradition, honor and knowledge, always keep in mind what Serbia and all its citizens expect from you- as major general Mladen Vuruna reminded the youngest officers.

On behalf of the newly promoted lieutenants, the best student of the class Radovan Zunic, thanked the teachers, family and friends for all their support during the study, because they believed in their success.

Today's ceremony is the reward for all your worries, and concerns. Our professors, commanders, teachers, you have achieved the main goal You have managed to educate yet another generation of officers who will face any challenges placed before them with honor and dignity- Lt. Zunic remarked, adding that commanders, commanders, pilots, doctors and professors, but, above all, the officers, honorable and dignified stand ready in the ranks to take bold steps in life. - Honor is our property, our heritage, which we will keep for posterity – the best of 133rd class of cadets of the Military Academy said.

Today's ceremony, along with the parade, was made complete with aircraft and helicopters Air Force of the Army of Serbia, who flew over the Serbian capital, and citizens had the opportunity to watch and follow the egzercir of the Guard and the MoD’s Art Ensemble “Stanislav Binicki” and Representative Orchestra Guard’s music programme.

- May you serve with honor your people and be the pride of our motherland. Long live Serbia! – as Lt. Col. Brane Krnjajic said from one of the planes that flew over Belgrade in honor of the youngest officers .

As in previous years, it was a cue for newly appointed officers to mark their graduation with throwing caps in the air.

Statement by Defence Minister Aleksandar Vucic

First Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Aleksandar Vucic is proud of 154 cadets who became lieutenants of the Army of Serbia.

The whole ceremony has been successfully prepared from the parade to the egzercir of the guards, not to mention our cadets. It is all very impressive and I am delighted that we have once again presented our country in the best way to foreign delegations. It was obvious by the number of people in the audience, which has never been greater, that our people love their army and their country.

Statement by the Speaker of the Assembly of Nebojsa Stefanovic

Speaker of the Serbian Parliament Nebojsa Stefanovic described today as a great promotion of our military tradition.

- Serbian people have confidence in their army. This event is very important for all our citizens. I hope that we will always cherish this tradition, in order to strengthen relations between the citizens and the army, and of course, to allow everyone to enjoy the presentation of our guard.

Statements of families and citizens

For Nemanja Mitrovic such a glorious day, as the day of graduation and promotion into the rank of lieutenant, was made even greater by the entire family. His mother Milica grandmother Stanimirka and grandfather Milen Rancic, proud of the first officer in the family stood behind the fence waiting for Nemanja.

- I threw the cap before they threw – as grandfather Milan exclaimed in delight, explaining how happy and proud of my grandson We all came. His aunt also came, his younger brother, and his girlfriend. I am 83 years old, and believe me, this is the greatest happiness of my life!

Bojana Lukic's father, Zdravko, says one needs to experience such a glorious day.

celebration awaits Bodomir Taojlovic in his home village of Vadovinci. At least that is what the mother of a young lieutenant of the Army of Serbia, Gorica, told us. Celebration in front of the National Assembly was also attended by his father, sister and girlfriend.

The parents of Aleksandra Stajic, cadet of the Military Academy, are proud of their daughter. –She is not only the first woman officer in our family, but also the first member of the army in our family. When she decided to pursue a military career, we offered her support, because we knew what she wanted - says Father Nikola.

Aleksandar Drobac celebrated his graduation with his family, who were eagerly waiting for the end of the graduation ceremony to congratulate him.

- His education took a long time, "as Aleksandar’s mother Mirjana said with tears in her eyes. - Finally, he became an officer, and we all know that all the sacrifice was well worth it. Aleksandar, a member of the tank unit, is the first officer in the family Drobac, and his father, Dusan, is proud to announce the celebration.

Cedomir Petkovic came to see his son, Stefean, who as a sophomore was the support to his colleagues from the MA. He cannot wait for the day when Stefan will also throw his cap into the air, as he will be carefree then knowing his son will then have a secure job. - In addition to carrying on the family tradition, his grandfather was a soldier, Stefan chose the Academy because of the good conditions after graduation – as Cedomir explains his son’s wise decision.

Milica Tasic has waited for this day for eight years. When he left the family home in Lebane, her son Danijel was only 15 years old. First four years of the Military Academy, and then four more at the Military Academy were too long for a caring mother. - He was just a boy when he left the family. It was very hard for me, but I supported him in his decision. I thought this day would never come, but I am the proudest in the world today.

In addition to family members, numerous friends of cadets came to the promotion ceremony. Lt. Misa Kokotovic was first hugged by friends from the neighborhood, and then his relatives came.

There were a lot of children who had come to watch the ceremony. One of them is Andrea Paunovic. She has not started school yet, but seeing a lot of beautiful girls in the alignment, she is already thinking of entering the military academy. What she liked most was the way soldiers marched and handled rifles.

This is the second year in a row Vojin has come to see the soldiers. Both his grandfather and his father were his soldiers, and he wants to. - I'd like to drive a tank! From the story to the best cadets we realized childhood dreams were a condition for success. And little Vojin is on the right track!
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Military Academy
Generala Pavla Jurišića Šturma 33, 11040 Belgrade, Serbia
Tel: +381(0)11/3603-247, +381(0)11/3603-331; Fax: +381(0)11/3005-190
E-mail: office@va.mod.gov.rs
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