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09. 12. 2008.   15:33:07


Today, at ceremony in front of The House of The National Assembly, 138 students of 128th and 129th class of The Military Academy from The Republic of Serbia, 5 students from The Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina and two students from The Republic of Montenegro (who graduated from Belgrade Military High School) are promoted to the first officer’s ranks.

The President of The Republic of Serbia Boris Tadić, The Prime Minister Mirko Cvetković, PhD, The Deputy Prime Minister Ivica Dačić, The President of The National Assembly of The Republic of Serbia Slavica Đukić Dejanović, PhD, vicechairpersons and members of The Serbian Parliament, The Minister of Defence Dragan Šutanovac and numerous ministers in the Government of The Republic of Serbia, The Serbian Army Chief of the General Staff Lieutenant General Zdravko Ponoš and the most important members of The Ministry of Defence and The General Staff of Serbian Army attended this meeting.

Guests at the ceremony of promotion of new officers of The Serbian Army were The Minister of Defence of The Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina dr Selmo Cikotić, The Acting Chief of the General Staff of The Army of Montenegro vice-admiral Dragan Samardžić, The Chief of the General Staff of People’s Liberation Army of People’s Republic of China, General Chen Bingde, the commandant of The Ohio National Guard Major General Gregory Wayt, then the representatives of The Military Academies of Hungary and Slovakia, The Serbian Ortodox Church, The University of Belgrade, and The Delegation of Defence accredited in Serbia.

After the reception of The President Tadić, the national flag and striking up of the national anthem of The Republic of Serbia, The Head of the Serbian Military Academy, Major General Vidosav Kovačević welcomed the guests and pointed out that the students of 128th class graduated from The Military Academy after five years of studying with the average grade 8, 00. The Military Academy graduates of 129th class, during their four-year military education, achieved a very good results – their average grade is 7, 87.

The President of Serbia Boris Tadić said, on that occasion, that Serbia is peace oriented, and that its Army should be a guarantee of peaceful state politics with which the partners can be made and allies can be gained in the world and with which the full development is provided as well as the stability of the country. He emphasized that The Army was doing everything to restore the reputation it had had before, to modernize itself and to be better equpped and more effective.

In this, 2008, year, we celebrate the ninetieth anniversary of victory in The First World War, in the war in which Serbia was on the right side, on the side of liberty. The Serbian Army had then a high moral position, and military honour and dignity were inviolable. A Serbian soldier was a brave warrior, respected by everyone, and he was never a war criminal. And it is values which, you – the modern members of The Serbian Army – the junior officers should inherit and look after and that, in the way, completely restore the reputation and admiration bequeathed to you by Duke Mišić, Putnik, Bojović and Stepa Stepanović’, Tadić said.

The President of Serbia pointed out that by finishing the cooperation with the International Criminal Tribunal in The Hague, we remove anathema from the face of the people and save we fullfill domestic legal obligation, we restore faith in values of the Serbian soldier from Kolubara, Cer and Kajmakčalan.Tadić emphasized that there are two key parameters in the sense of planning of The Army, ready and capable of carrying out its tasks. The first is, according to his words, international- political and security contex, and the second is economic potential of the state. It is necessary, the president says, to answer the questions like what kind of army we need and what kind of army Serbia can support in the following decade.

The past, realised results of transformation of The Army are very good. By regional organisation, increasing effectiveness, national military management of The Ministry of Defence and The Army, it is enabled that by regular financial savings for defence of 2,4%, not only The Army can be sustained, but also the accelerated modernisation and raising of standards of work and lives of its members. I want to congratulate to The Minister and The Chief of the General Staff on the achieved results.’ – The President Tadić pointed out.

’The Republic of Serbia has shown, in the past period, that it is strongly oriented to protectection of its interests through peace – in a peaceful way. The new Serbian Government executes such politics, and that politics does not have alternative,’ Boris Tadić emphasized it, addressing to the graduates of The Military Academy.

Serbia decided, according to his words, for protection of its legitimate rights on Kosovo and Metohija by using legal capacity and diplomatic means, and not by force.

’In the case of Kosovo, we observe not only the norms of The United Nations abd OEBS, but also the system of values on which The European Union is based,’ The President of The Republic of Serbia said and added that Kosovo is for Serbia the greatest and the most delicate political question.

The first in the rank, the second lieutenant Zoran Denda, who graduated with the average grade 9,53, The President of Serbia Boris Tadić rewarded with the officer’s saber. The others also got the officer’s sabers, i.e. the third in the rank, the second lieutenants Dragan Polimac and Ivan Bondžić.

This is a great day for all of us. We, the newly promoted second lieutenants, have passed a long and strenuous path, full of self-sacrifice and work, but also honourable and honest. We graduated from The Military Academy and we are now the officers of our army, ready to face any assigned challenge under missions of The Army of Serbia. Nobody should doubt it. We took the oath on our first academic year, and today, we are solemnly obliged and take a vow that we will fullfill our entrusted tasks with responsability. – said a second lieutenant Zoran Denda.

The Minister of Defence, Dragan Šutanovac, rewarded the most successful students in four departmens of The Military Academy with pistols with inscription. He rewarded the second lieutenants Milana Mikića from The Land Forces, Ivana Jakšića from Antiaircraft Defense, Đorđa Cvjetičanina form The Navy and Darka Vasiljevića from Logistics.

The students of The Military Academy also had to pass, besides a few tenths of exams, a great number of practical tests and skills in the scope of special forms of curriculum on the artillery, grounds and training-fields all over the country. During four or five years of their studying, the level of their physical readiness by regular trainings has been improved.The young second lieutenants have got the driving licences for steering motor vehicles of C category, took skiing instruction classes, and a significant number of them, besides their academic degree, also possess the certificate of The English language according to the standard STANAG 6001 and the certificate of using softwares ECDL (European Computer Driving Licence). The promotion of the young second lieutenants was also celebrated by a rush of aircrafts of The Aviation of The Army of Serbia.

During the ceremonious march-past, three MIGs, Three Seagulls G-4 and an Eagle 29 flew over The House of The National Assembly. At the moment, when the newly promoted officers by traditional throwing of service caps celebrated their first rank, from the air, piloting with MIG 29, a brigadier general Nebojša Đukanović, the Deputy of the commanding officer of Antiaircraft Defense, greeted them by saying: ’Long Live Serbia!’

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