Commissioning ceremony for new officers of Serbian Armed Forces

The President of the Republic and Supreme Commander of the Serbian Armed Forces, Aleksandar Vučić, alongside Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence Miloš Vučević and Chief of the Serbian Armed Forces General Staff, General Milan Mojsilović, today attended the commissioning ceremony in front of the National Assembly building for 175 cadets of the Military Academy and the Medical Faculty of the Military Medical Academy who were commissioned as second lieutenants.

President Vučić addressed the audience beginning his speech by quoting Field Maršal Mišić: “In war, it is easy to lose life, but it is equally easy to lose face“.

- Dear second lieutenants, I will speak from the heart, knowing that difficult times and a great burden lie ahead of you. I am addressing you as someone who is old enough to be your father and as someone who knows very well what problems our country is facing today and what challenges lie ahead. It is beautiful and honourable to be a soldier of the Serbian Armed Forces, it is beautiful and honourable to serve your homeland, there is nothing more beautiful and honourable, but your job will not be easy - emphasized President Vučić and added that they will forever have fond memories of their cadet days.
President Vučić thanked the new officers for taking the job responsibly and seriously.

- Thank you for allowing us to expect a lot from you in the future and to ask a lot from you, thank you for carrying out your not-so-easy tasks even in rain and sun, wind and snow, always putting your motherland first. When I say difficult times and a heavy burden on your shoulders, I mean the situation in the world and the region for which we are not to blame. We are building our armed forces and we have trained you to be a deterrent against anyone who might think that Serbia is easy prey. That's why militaries exist. That is why we are investing more than ever - President Vučić said.

According to him, the standard of living of our military personnel is much higher today, but it will not stop there and problems will continue to be solved.

- And your parents won't have to worry about whether you'll have enough to live on or rent a flat for the next 10, 20 or 30 years - they won't! We will solve all these problems, but what is important for us is that you know that we must always be ready to safeguard and protect our country and homeland. Supplying you with weapons and equipment is not easy for us either, because when we want to purchase equipment in the East, we can't, because the West won’t allow that, when we want to buy equipment and weapons in the West, we can't because they ask: what do you need those weapons and equipment for? They really don't care that there are some in the region that would like to see Serbia as weak as possible and they don’t have a problem with everyone else arming themselves, but they have a problem with Serbia wanting to be a deterrent - said the President of the Republic.
Serbia will do everything to preserve peace, said President Vučić.

At the beginning of the ceremony, the Commandant of the Military Academy, Colonel Prof. Srđan Blagojević, delivered the report to the President of the Republic, and after reading the Decree, President Vučić presented the best cadets with engraved officers’ sabres - a symbol of officers’ honour.
Colonel Blagojević said that this year too, the Military Academy has fulfilled its honourable task, and added that today the final-year cadets are ready to receive the President's Decree. They are characterized, he said, by determination, courage and loyalty to our Armed Forces and our country – they have strong arms, iron will, steady gait, and the Military Academy is a guarantor of their officer competencies.

Today, 175 cadets of the Military Academy and the Medical Faculty of the Military Medical Academy were commissioned as second lieutenants. A total of 148 cadets of the 143rd and 144th classes of the Military Academy graduated from the Military Academy, including 10 cadets from the Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina and two cadets from the Ministry of the Interior of Republika Srpska. Also, the 9th class comprising 27 young men and women graduated from the Medical Faculty, Military Medical Academy.

According to the Rector of the Defence University, Brigadier General Prof. Boban Đorović, following the long-established tradition of military education in Serbia, particularly the educational ideal that views soldiers and officers as complete, harmoniously developed personalities, the University has made sure to provide the cadets with relevant scientific knowledge, military education that suits the officer's profession and an advanced level of training.
- Our goal, among other things, was for each cadet to reach the level of mental, moral and psycho-physical ability required by the rank of second lieutenant, and beyond that, beyond the limits of their personal abilities, in an institution that is a winning combination of the academic and the military, and in which the Serbian military spirit lives and is confirmed every day. At the same time, the Defence University has striven to maintain a high level of research activity - stressed General Đorović, congratulating the new second lieutenants of the Serbian Armed Forces.

The best cadets of the Military Academy are: Đorđe Pešić (GPA 9.62), ranked first among Army cadets, Viktor Teodosić (GPA 8.85), ranked first among Air Force and Air Defence cadets, and Milica Marinković (GPA 9.48) ranked first in the services. The best cadet of the Medical Faculty, Military Medical Academy, is Dijana Đokić (9.91).

Speaking on behalf of the cadets commissioned today, the top-ranking Second Lieutenant Đorđe Pešić said that the officers of the Serbian Armed Forces, from the very start learn how to carry the burden of the most difficult and beautiful service to the motherland, as well as the responsibility for the lives of all the people who call Serbia their homeland.

- On behalf of the entire class, I say - it has been a pleasure to walk this path of ours. We have received encouragement from our parents, families and friends, without them, many would not have succeeded. Our teachers, professors and commanding officers have stood with us and taught us what we know now. Thanks to them, today we stand responsibly and firmly before you and before Serbia. For a Serbian officer, the question of honour is at the heart of all questions. Looking at the past, inspired by history, we do not see the future as better and easier times, but as the eternal survival and endurance of our people, our free country, its valiant armed forces and cultural heritage - said Second Lieutenant Pešić.

The aircraft of the Serbian Armed Forces made the parade of the new second lieutenants and Defence University cadets even more special. MiG-29s, Orao and Lasta aircraft, as well as Mi-35, H-145M and Mi-17 helicopters flew over the Belgrade sky.

- Congratulations to our youngest colleagues on their commission as second lieutenants. Serve your people honourably and be the pride of your homeland. Long live Serbia! - said Major Nikola Mihailović, one of the pilots, to the new second lieutenants.

The ceremony also included the performances of the MoD Artistic Ensemble “Stanislav Binički”, Guard Orchestra and Folk Ensemble “Kopaonik” from Leposavić. Some of the songs performed at the ceremony were “Srpkinja” (Serbian Woman), “Oj Srbijo mila mati” (Oh, Serbia, Dear Mother), “Ej Goro Goro Zelena” (Hey, Forest, Green Forest) and “Marš na Drinu” (Drina March). The commissioning ceremony was attended by the highest state and military leaderships, representatives of the diplomatic corps, delegations of the armed forces of friendly and partner countries and religious communities, families and friends of the newly commissioned officers and numerous citizens.
This time too, family members, relatives and friends of the youngest officers of the Serbian Armed Forces were waiting impatiently for the moment when their hats would fly into the air.

Kristina Rauković has come from Republika Srpska to congratulate her friend Marina Bojinović on her commission as a second lieutenant.

- I feel immensely proud, we are already crying. This is a huge success for our region. Today we have reason to be proud and happy - said Kristina.

Feeling proud of his girlfriend, who has graduated from the Medical Faculty of the Military Medical Academy, Stefan Grbić has come to the ceremony to congratulate her on her second lieutenant rank.
- I feel wonderful. I am proud and happy. It has been a big challenge for her - six years of great sacrifices. Today I am here to support her and make her day even better - said Stefan.

Jovo Sukur and his family have come from Kula to congratulate their nephew on completing the Military Academy.
- We have come as a family to celebrate the graduation of Duško Sukur, my brother's son. We are all very happy, the whole family is here. Our hearts are filled with joy - said Jovo, the proud uncle.