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Graduation ceremony for the first generation of students of High Security and Defence Studies and 55th class of General Staff Advancement Studies at the National Defence School has been held today at the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia.

Today's promotion was attended by President Tomislav Nikolic, Defence Minister Dragan Sutanovac, Serbian Armed Forces Chief of General Staff Lieutenant-General Ljubisa Dikovi?, representatives of ministries, religious communities in Serbia, organizational units of the Ministry of Defence and the General Staff, as well as diplomats and defence attaches accredited in our country, and families of students who have completed the highest forms of advanced studies in the defence system.

High Security and Defence Studies were attended by 13 students from a number of government bodies of Serbia and two from the Ministry of Defence of Bosnia and Herzegovina, while General Staff Advancement Studies were completed by 36 officers of the Serbian Armed Forces and three officers from the armed forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Congratulating officers on the completion of the advancement studies, the President of the Republic of Serbia, Tomislav Nikolic said that with successful completion of High Security and Defence Studies and General Staff Advancement Studies the students are qualified to give an optimal response to all security challenges that our state and society are facing with.

Students of the first class of High Security and Defence Studies were presented plaques with labels by Defence Minister Dragan Sutanovac.

Welcoming the members of foreign armies who have completed studies together with the officers of the Serbian Armed Forces, President Nikolic pointed out that they proved that the countries they come from have confidence in our military schools which is an indication that the Military Academy is a leading higher education institution in the region.

- Serbia nowadays is actively contributing to security and stability in the region. Our country strives to achieve this contribution with the maximum cooperation with neighbours and the international community. Serbia has always advocated a peaceful resolution of outstanding issues respecting the principles of positive law and international law, President Nikolic underlined .

"With the integration into the European mainstream Serbia has the opportunity to progress in all areas, and members of the Serbian Armed Forces have the opportunity to show their quality internationally," Nikolic said and asked the officers to continue with the glorious military tradition.

According to him, by development of military education Serbia seeks to prepare officers to fulfil their duties and conduct military missions in the country and abroad.

"Serbia is ready to participate with other countries in common solving of the international problems", Nikolic said and wished officers to build their careers in peace. He pointed out to the graduates that they were to continue honourable military history and tradition, to which they are bound by the history, the foundation which peace and stability are to be built on.

The Serbian President said that the Serbian Armed Forces is ranked first by trust among citizens and state institutions, pursuing the most modern standards in the world.

Head of the School of National Defense Colonel Mile Jelic, welcoming the audience, said that a lot had been done on developing programmes and facilities in the past two years

- Answering the challenges of modern society, our teaching programmes follow the modern world trends in education. School of National Defense is a unique educational entity with the resources that can meet the needs of the region. We have become a benchmark educational institution to educate officers, and as of this year, senior civil servants as well, said the head of the institution and noted that the special quality to this education is given by expert speakers from the country and abroad.

-Being an officer of the Serbian Armed Forces is an honourable and exalted profession; even more than a profession. It is a commitment to the fatherland and the citizens of own country. This is the military step on the threshold of the light of the centuries-long tradition of honourable victories of the Serbian Armed Forces and a clear vision of the future – Colonel Jelic said and added that being an officer means to apply the acquired knowledge and experience, to know when and how to fight, and when and how to build peace.

On behalf of the 55th Class of General Staff Advancement Studies of National Defence School, the best ranking officer, Lt. Col. Milkovski addressed the audience thanking his family and friends for their support, and teachers on the correct attitude and hard work.

- I assure you that the security system got honourable, loyal, professional civilian and military leaders and officers who are ready to use their rich experience and lessons learned to bravely meet the challenges of creating a safer environment in the Republic of Serbia, concluded the first ranked in this year's General Staff Advancement Studies.

President of the Republic of Serbia, Tomislav Nikolic, gave the officer's sabres to the officers who have successfully completed training in the 55th Class of General Staff Advancement School of National Defence School. The best ranked – Lieutenant Colonel Vangel Milkovski was awarded gilded sabre with inscription, the second ranked, Colonel Zoran Dragicevic, received a silver plated sabre with inscription, and Lieutenant Colonel Nenad Sretenovi? officer's sabre with inscription.

The main goal of advanced studies at the High Security and Defence Studies is education and preparation of students to take over high office in the national security system. The focus has been manifested in training students for multidisciplinary analysis of the contemporary security environment, assessment of long-term political and security trends, development of elements of national security policy and cooperation with other national security systems at the regional and global levels.

General Staff Advancement Studies represent the highest level of education in our defence system, after which the students are trained in planning and directing forces in contemporary operations, both in the country and abroad.

During the military professional studies, officers have studied military strategy, command, leadership and operations. They attended lectures on the theory of conflict, international relations, foreign strategies and doctrines, and international humanitarian law and civil-military relations. They were delivered lectures by professors of the Military Academy, but also the ministers of defence, finance, energy and mining, then Chief of General Staff of our Armed Forces, state secretaries of the Ministry of Defence and Assistant Minister, and commanders of operations elements in the Armed Forces. They also had the opportunity to listen to the lectures of high foreign statesmen who were visiting our country. Apart from the cabinet classes, various study trips were organized for the students in the country and abroad, but also commander trips accross Serbia.


Colonel Radovan Jovovic, one of the three members of the Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina who have completed the General Staff Advancement Studies says that this education is an important step for a successful career of each officer.

- The studies have realised our expectations. We had great conditions, good relationship and I think we made a good base for further progress in the career - Colonel Jovovic said and thanked all members of the Serbian Armed Forces and the Ministry of Defence for their cooperation.

Igor Vukonjanski, Assistant Minister in the Sector for Labour Relations at the Ministry for Human and Minority Rights, Public Administration and Local Government is the graduate of the 1st class of High Security and Defence Studies. He describes his experience as valuable.

- Based on multidisciplinary approach of High Security and Defence Studies, we who come from civil sector had a chance to understand the degree of organization and complexity of the government structures dealing with areas of defence and security, and in the conditions of overall globalization to learn to identify the security risks. Also, we learned some scientific and methodological approaches in the development of security and defence system which is a valuable experience for us, Vukonjanski said.

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Generala Pavla Jurišića Šturma 33, 11040 Belgrade, Serbia
Tel: +381(0)11/3603-065; Fax: +381(0)11/3005-190
E-mail: kancelarija@va.mod.gov.rs
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