As of today, there are 125 new professional soldiers in the ranks of the Army of the Republic of North Macedonia, the first of the two planned classes for this year after the intake of the last 375 professional soldiers in 2018.
The ceremony in the Veles Barracks “Aleksa Demnievski – Bauman”,” Defence Minister Radmila Shekerinska stressed that the intake of these 125 professional soldiers will rejuvenate the army and create future army generations who will represent our country as part of the most powerful military-political alliance of today, a strategic goal that our country will attain after three long decades.
“The past two years, on the one hand, we managed to reach the NATO membership, but on the other hand, we have not forgotten our Army, therefore we managed to secure a bigger budget, we managed to secure an increase of the salaries two years in a row and we managed to create conditions for the intake of new members of the Army, both this year, and last year”, said Minister Shekerinska.
With respect to the future steps, Minister Shekerinska stressed that the focus was on improving the legislation, which, as she said, will soon enter the parliamentary procedure, and the phase of priority modernization projects.
“After 16 years the army received new engineering machinery that is very important for us, both for the military needs and the needs of the citizens. The focus in the second part of 2019 is on the procurement of combat vehicles and protective equipment for all soldiers”, she added. Minister Shekerinska concluded that the Government and the Ministry showed that we should not choose between membership in NATO and the existence of a strong army and that in the past two years we have simultaneously invested in attaining both goals, and the results are evident with respect these two important issues.
The Minister told the newly accepted professional soldiers that the army environment was one of the best environments for continuous growth and development, learning, education and training.
“This is an environment in which the doors to training and specializing, both at home and abroad in the capacities of our partners and allies, are truly open wide. During the training, and in the first couple of days as professional soldiers you will be able to see that some of your colleagues are sent to trainings in the US or the UK, some of the officers are attending senior schools in Turkey, Italy, Bulgaria, Germany, some of them are taking part in the exercises conducted in Montenegro, Germany, Slovenia, Croatia, and some are deployed to our missions in Afghanistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Lebanon. We will do everything in our power, to open the doors to the world even wider”, she added.
At the ceremony, in addition to Minister Shekerinska, the newly accepted professional soldiers received their employment contracts from the Chief of the General Staff, General Vasco Gjurchinovski, Deputy Minister Bekim Maksuti, Director of the General Staff, General Zoran Milevski, and the Commander of the Joint Operational Command, General Pavle Arsoski.