Serbian Armed Forces

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Serbian Armed Forces
Bojcka Србије
Vojska Srbije
Emblem of the Serbian Armed Forces.svg
Emblem of the Serbian Armed Forces
Founded6 May 1830
Current form2006
Service branchesArmy
Air Force and Air Defence
HeadquartersMinistry of Defence, Belgrade
Commander-in-ChiefPresident Aleksandar Vučić
Minister of DefenceAleksandar Vulin
Chief of the General StaffGeneral Milan Mojsilović
Military age18 years of age for voluntary military service
Conscription30 days (limited circumstances)
Fit for
military service
3,573,091[1] males, age 16-49 (2010 est.),
3,537,415 females, age 16-49 (2010 est.)
Reaching military
age annually
43,945 males (2010 est.),
41,080 females (2010 est.)
Active personnel28,000 (2020)[2]
Deployed personnel336[3]
Budget$1.14 billion (2020)[4]
Percent of GDP1.75% (2019)
Domestic suppliersYugoimport SDPR
Zastava Arms
Prvi Partizan
Sloboda Čačak
Krušik Valjevo
Milan Blagojević - Namenska
Utva Pančevo
Fabrika automobila Priboj
Zastava Trucks
Annual exports$888 million (2018)[5]
Related articles
HistoryMilitary history of Serbia
RanksMilitary ranks of Serbia

The Serbian Armed Forces (Serbian: Војска Србије, romanizedVojska Srbije) form the armed forces of Serbia. The Armed Forces consist of:

The highest authority in the Armed Forces as well as in the defense system of the country, in-charge of the deployment and preparation of the Armed Forces in peace and war, is the General Staff. The President of the Republic acts as Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces. The Serbian Armed Forces are a professional- and volunteer-based military. Serbia exercises civilian control of the military through the Ministry of Defence.

The Serbian Armed Forces follow a doctrine of neutrality regarding political ideology.[6]


The 1804 Serbian Revolution, started with the First Serbian Uprising 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, the Serbo-Bulgarian War broke out following the Bulgarian unification which was subsequently lost by Serbia. 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 led to the Bosnian crisis of 1908–09. 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 corp of senior officers. The general staff is led by the Chief of the General Staff. The chief of the general staff is appointed by the President who is the Commander-in-Chief. The current Chief of the General Staff is General Ljubiša Diković.

The armed forces are formally a part of the Ministry of Defence. The current Minister of Defence is Aleksandar Vulin.[8]

Unofficial reports on 14 Sept 2018 indicate that Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic is planning to promote Major General Milan Mojsilovic, currently Assistant Minister of Defense Aleksandar Vulin, to the Chief of General Staff position. The same report indicates that the heads of all other military services, including the Special Forces brigade, will be changed.[9]

Service branches[edit]

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.

Serbian Training Command[edit]

The Serbian Training Command was established on 23 April 2007, by merging parts of Operation Forces, Land Force and Air Force units. The Training Command is primary responsible for providing soldiers, non-commissioned officer and officers of SAF, as well the members of foreign armies basic and military specialist training.

Serbian Guard[edit]

The Serbian Guard is an honor guard unit of the Armed Forces of Serbia. The Guard is directly subordinated to the Chief of General Staff Office and performs duty of ceremonial guard during peacetime as well as strategic combat duties during wartime.

Units directly subordinated to the General Staff[edit]

As General Staff comprises various sections there are specific units that directly subordinate to the Staff such as[10][11],


The comprehensive list of equipment is given in Equipment of the Serbian Armed Forces. It includes most of equipment in use and plans for modernization.


The reserve force is composed of an active reserve and passive reserve. The active reserve force numbers 2,000 members,[12] while the passive reserve totals about 1.7 million citizens with past military training or experience.[12]


Example of high-stepping in a military parade in Belgrade.

The Serbian military was the first to pioneer the high-step as a military step. It is similar to the goose step, with the difference being that the knee is bent at the top of the arc. It originates from the Royal Yugoslav Army and at the time was called the male step. The Yugoslav People's Army abandoned it after World War II, being in use for over two decades before being replaced by high-stepping in the 1975 Victory Day Parade, to assert himself as independent from Soviet influence in the eyes of the Non-Aligned Movement. High-stepping is still used today in Serbia, and is also utilized by the militaries of North Macedonia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.


The Serbian Armed Forces actively take part in several multinational peacekeeping missions.[3]

Country Mission Number of personnel
 Cyprus UNFICYP 1 staff officer, 2 observers, 6 non-commissioned officers and 37 infantry
 Central African Republic MINUSCA 3 staff officers, 2 observers, 68 medical infantry
 Central African Republic EUTM RCA 7 medical infantry
 DR Congo MONUC 2 staff officers, 2 doctors and 4 technicians
Lebanon UNIFIL 8 staff officers, 5 national support element and 164 infantry
 Liberia UNMIL 1 officer as military observers
 Mali EUTM Mali 3 medical infantry
Middle East UNTSO 2 officers
 Somalia EUTM Somalia Medical Corps team including 1 staff officer, 1 doctor and 3 medical technicians
 Somalia EUNAVFOR 4 OHQ staff officers, 1 OHQ non-commissioned officer, 2 FHQ staff officers and 12 members of AVPD

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The World Factbook".
  2. ^ "Sa 28.000 vojnika Vojska Srbije među najbrojnijim u regionu". (in Serbian). Tanjug. 2 February 2010. Retrieved 9 December 2017.
  3. ^ a b "Министарство одбране Републике Србије - Актуелне мултинационалне операције".
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ O Vojsci at
  7. ^ "Serbian Army in WWI". Archived from the original on 2009-03-23.
  8. ^ "Министарство одбране Републике Србије - Министар одбране".
  9. ^ "Vucic to replace military brass, including army chief - English - on". Retrieved 2018-09-15.
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^ a b "Iz stroja pravo na posao" (in Serbian). Večernje novosti. 22 March 2013. Retrieved 24 May 2014.

External links[edit]