Serbian Armed Forces

Serbian Armed Forces
Bojcka Србије
Vojska Srbije
Grb 1.svg
Emblem of the Serbian Armed Forces
Founded 6 May 1830; 191 years ago (1830-05-06)
Current form 2006
Service branches  Serbian Army
 Serbian Air Force and Air Defence
Headquarters Ministry of Defence, Belgrade
Commander-in-Chief President Aleksandar Vučić
Minister of Defence Deputy Prime Minister Nebojša Stefanović
Chief of the General Staff General Milan Mojsilović
Military age 18 years of age for voluntary military service
Fit for
military service
3,573,091 ([1] source does not point out to this number) males, age 16–49 (2010 est.),
3,537,415 (source doesn't point out to this number) females, age 16–49 (2010 est.)
Reaching military
age annually
43,945 males (2010 est.),
41,080 females (2010 est.)
Active personnel 28,150 (2021)[2]
Deployed personnel 336[3]
Budget $1.51 billion (2021)[4]
Percent of GDP 2.49% (2021)
Domestic suppliers Yugoimport 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
History Military history of Serbia
Ranks Military ranks of Serbia

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

The highest authority in the Armed Forces as well as in the defence 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 Serbia acts as commander-in-chief of the armed forces. The Serbian Armed Forces are a professional- and volunteer military. Serbia exercises civilian control of the military through the Ministry of Defence.

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


Serbia has a long military tradition dating to early medieval period. The Serbian Revolution of 1804 started with the First Serbian Uprising against the Ottoman occupation of Serbia. The victories in the battles of Ivankovac (1805), Mišar (August 1806), Deligrad (December 1806) and Belgrade (November–December 1806), led to the establishment of the Principality of Serbia in 1817. The subsequent Second Serbian Uprising of 1815–1817 led to full independence and recognition of the Kingdom of Serbia and weakened the Ottoman dominance in the Balkans. In November 1885 the Serbo-Bulgarian War occurred following Bulgarian unification and resulted in a Bulgarian victory. In 1912 the First Balkan War (1912–1913) erupted between the Ottoman Empire and the Balkan League (Serbia, Greece, Montenegro and Bulgaria). Balkan League victories in the Battle of Kumanovo (October 1912), the Battle of Prilep (November 1912), the Battle of Monastir (November 1912), the Battle of Adrianople (November 1912 to March 1913), and the Siege of Scutari (October 1912 to April 1913) resulted in the defeat of the Ottoman Empire, which lost most of its remaining Balkan territories per the Treaty of London (May 1913). Shortly after, the Second Balkan War (June to August, 1913) 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 1913 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, from 1901, all Serbian males between the ages of 21 to 46 became liable for general mobilization.[7] Following the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria in June 1914, Austria-Hungary implicated Serbians and declared war on Serbia (July 1914), which marked the beginning of the First World War of 1914–1918. Serbian forces repelled three consecutive invasions by Austria in 1914, securing the first major victories of the war for the Allies, but were eventually overwhelmed by the combined forces of the Central Powers (October–November 1915) and forced to retreat through Albania (1915–1916) to the Greek island of Corfu (1915–1916).

Serbian military activity after World War I took place in the context of various Yugoslav armies until the break-up of Yugoslavia in the 1990s and the restoration of the state of Serbia as a separate independent republic in 2006.


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 Milan Mojsilović.

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

Service branches

The armed forces consist of the following service branches:

Serbian Army

The Serbian Army (including a River Flotilla on the Danube, Sava and Tisza) 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

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

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

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

As General Staff comprises various sections there are specific units that directly subordinate to the Staff such as,[9][10]


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,[11] while the passive reserve totals about 1 million citizens with past military training or experience.[11]


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


  1. ^ "The World Factbook".
  2. ^ IISS 2021, p. 139.
  3. ^ a b "Министарство одбране Републике Србије - Актуелне мултинационалне операције".
  4. ^ "Posle rebalansa budžeta - 600 miliona evra za vojne nabavke". 21 April 2021.
  5. ^[bare URL]
  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. ^ "Vojska Srbije | Vojska Srbije".
  10. ^ "Ponovo postoje 63. Padobranska i 72. Specijalna brigada".
  11. ^ a b "Iz stroja pravo na posao" (in Serbian). Večernje novosti. 22 March 2013. Retrieved 24 May 2014.


External links