Serbian Armed Forces

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Serbian Armed Forces
Bojcka Србије
Vojska Srbije
Grb 1.svg
Emblem of the Serbian Armed Forces
Founded 1838
Current form 2006
Service branches Serbian Army
Serbian Air Force and Air Defence
Headquarters Belgrade, Serbia
Commander-in-Chief President Tomislav Nikolić
Minister of Defence Nebojša Rodić
Chief of the General Staff General Ljubiša Diković
Military age 18 years of age for voluntary military service
Fit for
military service
1,395,426[1] males, age 16-49 (2010 est.),
1,356,415 females, age 16-49 (2010 est.)
Reaching military
age annually
43,945 males (2010 est.),
41,080 females (2010 est.)
Active personnel 70,000[2]
Reserve personnel 170,000[3]
Budget $826 million (2012)[4]
Percent of GDP 2.2% (2012)[4]
Domestic suppliers Fabrika automobila Priboj
Prvi Partizan
Utva Pančevo
Yugoimport SDPR
Zastava Arms
Annual exports $400 million (2009)[5]
Related articles
History Military history of Serbia
Ranks Military ranks of Serbia

The Serbian Armed Forces (Serbian: Bojcka Србије / Vojska Srbije) are the armed forces of Serbia.[6] The armed forces consist of the Serbian Army and the Serbian Air Force and Air Defence. The Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces is the President of the Republic. The Serbian Armed Forces are a professional and volunteer based military. Serbia exercises civilian control of the military through the Ministry of Defence.


The history of the Serbian military dates back to the 9th century when Vlastimir defended the Serbian Principality from the invading Bulgarian Khanate. Over the following centuries Serbia expanded into the Serbian Empire, one of the largest states in Europe at the time.[citation needed]

Moravian Serbia was governed by Stefan Lazarević who introduced modern military tactics and firearms to his army, however the new technology failed to defeat the superior numbers of the Ottoman Empire. The Ottomans had suppressed the formation of a Serbian state along with its military from 1540 until 1804, the year of the first Serbian uprising.

The 1804 Serbian Revolution, started with a Serbian rebellion against the Ottoman occupation of Serbia. The victories in the battles of Ivankovac, Mišar, Deligrad and Belgrade, led to the establishment of the Principality of Serbia in 1817. The subsequent Second Serbian Uprising led to full independence and recognition of the Kingdom of Serbia and weakened the Ottoman dominance in the Balkans. In 1885 Serbia had a war against Bulgaria. In 1912, the First Balkan War erupted between the Ottoman Empire and the Balkan League (Serbia, Greece, Montenegro and Bulgaria). The victories in the Battle of Kumanovo, Battle of Prilep, Battle of Monastir, Battle of Adrianople, Siege of Scutari resulted in the defeat of the Ottoman Empire and its expulsion from the Balkans. Shortly after, the Second Balkan War broke out when Bulgaria, dissatisfied with the division of territory, declared war against its former allies, Serbia and Greece. Following a string of defeats, Bulgaria requested an armistice and signed the Treaty of Bucharest, formally ending the war.

Serbia's independence and growing influence threatened neighboring Austria-Hungary which lead to the Bosnian crisis of 1908-1909. Consequently, since 1901, all Serbian males between the ages of 21 to 46 were liable for general mobilization.[7] Following the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria in 1914, Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia under the pretense that Serbia was responsible for the assassination, marking the beginning of the First World War. Serbia repelled three consecutive invasions by Austria, securing the first major victories of the war for the Allies, but was eventually overwhelmed by the combined forces of the Central Powers and forced to retreat through Albania to the Greek island of Corfu.


The Serbian Armed Forces are commanded by the General Staff (GS) corp of senior officers. The general staff is led by the Chief of the General Staff (CoGS). The chief of the general staff is appointed by the President who is the Commander-in-Chief. The current CoGS is General Ljubiša Diković.

The armed forces are formally a part of the Ministry of Defence. The current Minister of Defence is Nebojša Rodić.

Service branches[edit]

Following the 2006 reorganization, the armed forces consist of the following service branches:

Serbian Army[edit]

The Serbian Army (including a River Flotilla on the Danube) is the land-based component of the armed forces consisting of: infantry, armoured, artillery, engineering, and special forces units.

Serbian Air Force and Air Defence[edit]

The Serbian Air Force and Air Defence is the aviation and anti-aircraft defence based component of the armed forces consisting of: aviation, anti-aircraft, surveillance and reconnaissance units.


Although Serbia abolished conscription on 1 January 2011, it still maintains a passive reserve[clarification needed] of about 1,7 million people with males ages 30-60 and females 18-50.[8] Only about 10% (170,000) are distributed to combat-ready units.[3] The active reserve numbers about 20,000 members, divided into four brigades mainly under the Training Command.[9]


The Serbian Armed Forces actively take part in several United Nations and European Union peacekeeping missions.[10]

Country Mission Number of personnel
Cyprus Cyprus UNFICYP 1 staff officer, 2 observers, 6 non-commissioned officers and 37 infantry
Democratic Republic of the Congo DR Congo MONUC 2 staff officers, 2 doctors and 4 technicians
Ivory Coast Ivory Coast UNOCI 3 officers as military observers
Lebanon Lebanon UNIFIL 8 staff officers, 5 national support element and 130 infantry
Liberia Liberia UNMIL 4 officers as military observers
Middle East UNTSO 1 officer
Somalia Somalia EUTM Somalia Medical Corps team including 1 staff officer, 1 doctor and 3 medical technicians
Somalia Somalia EUNAVFOR 2 OHQ staff officers, 1 OHQ non-commissioned officer, 1 FHQ staff officer and 12 members of AVPD

See also[edit]


  1. ^ CIA The World Factbook - Serbia
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b "Obveznici postali "pasivna rezerva"" (in Serbian). B92. 4 January 2011. Retrieved 21 June 2013. 
  4. ^ a b SIPRI military expenditure database (2012)
  5. ^ "Serbia's Arms Industry Recovers to Become Major Exporter". Bloomberg. 16 September 2009. Retrieved 12 December 2011. 
  6. ^
  7. ^ Serbian Army in WWI
  8. ^
  9. ^ [1] - Latest information published in Serbia Defense Ministry monthly press "Odbrana" in 1. November 2011 about reserves according to law passed in Serbian parliament. Document contains 20 pages and have information about obligation regarding defending country use of reserve forces and division in to active and passive reserve
  10. ^ [2]

External links[edit]