The South Ossetian Army is the ground forces element of the South Ossetic military. Formed in 1992, the South Ossetian Army is the primary defense force in the breakaway sovereign region of South Ossetia, largely considered to be within recognized Georgian territory.
There are 2500 active members and approximately 16000 reserve members within the South Ossetian Army (SOA). Since the establishment of the South Ossetic Military in 1992, the SOA has played a major role in several regional conflicts. Most recognizable, was the 2008 War in South Ossetia.
Training within the SOA is conducted by both experienced South Ossetic troops and members of the Russian VDV.In August 2009 the SOA and Russia reorganized the 4 Air Mobile Brigade, as a joint forces brigade, which would have an active Russian military base in South Ossetia. The Russian Airborne Troops are reported to have established an active military base outside of Java, South Ossetia and are reported to have trained SOA recruits since the summer of 2009.
All uniforms are donated by the Russian Ground Forces, the tri-coloured Flora pattern is standard issue throughout the SOA. But when the organization of the SOA is completed by the South Ossetic Defence Ministry in 2012. It is planned that the SOA will be wearing a variant of the Ukrainian BDU camouflage.
It is rumored[by whom?] that the SOA has established a small company-sized group of specially trained SOA Spetsnaz based out of 4 Air Mobile Brigade HQ in Java. The SOA Spetsnaz is reported to have been training in Russia since late 2009, and has a strength of approximately 65 personnel. If existent, the SOA Spetsnaz would be highly trained in Direct Action, Special Reconnaissance, Search and Destroy, and personnel recovery missions. The SOA Spetsnaz would be distinguishable by their scarlet berets.