Today, in an official ceremony in the Ilinden barracks, the Minister of Defence, Radmila Shekerinska, handed over the work contracts to 125 new professional soldiers, a second group of soldiers which this year is rejuvenating the composition of the Army of the Republic of Macedonia.
Shekerinska welcomed the newly-admitted professional soldiers to the large family of the Army, where together with their older and more experienced colleagues, they will be the backbone of the statehood and the sovereignty of the homeland.
The Minister said that after this admission of 125 professional soldiers, the announcement of the third public competition will begin right away, which will complete the admission of a total of 375 soldiers in the ranks of the ARM this year.
“For many, politics and sincerity are two parallel lines that never touch, but I disagree. I think that without sincerity, openness to the problems, without transparency, there can be no success in resolving any of those problems, and this is why we are trying to deliver on what we announced to do from the beginning of the year. At the beginning of precisely this year, we vowed that 2018 will be the year of rejuvenation of the composition of the ARM and that during the year we will announce three competitions where the Army will strengthen with 375 new professional soldiers. We kept our word in terms of our strategic priorities”, the Minister said.
The invitation to join the Alliance is a fact and a reality and the accession talks with NATO have already begun, for which the Minister expressed expectation to complete quickly, efficiently and with quality.
“You are the first who will feel very directly in your daily work, the benefits of NATO membership. You will be able to create an even greater prestige for you personally as professionals, but also for the Army that you will represent, and you will do this with the world’s most powerful armies from the most developed countries in the world. You will be able to be proud that each of you with your work, persistence and professionalism, will be able to make a personal contribution to this integration process that will bring a new era for Macedonia, as the 30th member of the NATO Alliance”, the Minister stressed.
Shekerinska noted that the Army is an institution that enjoys the highest reputation among the citizens of Macedonia and that this is a reason to work more continuously on its development.
“The budget for the Army this year has grown by 15 percent, and will continue to grow at a precisely determined dynamics every next year. We will stick to this and therefore we have undertaken an obligation both before you and our allies. You are entering an Army where this year the employees, after many years of neglect, received a 10 percent wage increase for the first time … What we wanted this year to achieve is to show results in the elementary challenges that the Army must, regretfully have to deal with, such as uniforms and boots. This year for the first time we managed to sign a contract for the purchase of boots, which will solve this problem for each of our members. We continue with the purchase of new uniforms, which I am convinced that you will be among the first to wear. These are topics that should not have to take up much space in our present discussions, but are topics that have not been resolved for many years”, the Minister said and added that next year the Ministry will be able to focus on the main process – the modernization and equipping that will bring new and advanced technique and technology.
The Minister sent a message to the professional Soldiers that the Army they are entering is developing rapidly and called on them together and united to work for the Ministry and the ARM to be better, more efficient and more professional.
“I congratulate you on the choice, you have been among the best, and you managed to pass a difficult process of testing. Now you will need the same energy, the same power and the same commitment, to show how much you can offer to the Republic of Macedonia”, the Minister said.
In the second group of 125 professional soldiers admitted this year, there are 14 female members, as well as 23 citizens of Macedonia from Albanian, Turkish, Bosniak, Serbian and Roma nationality. The ceremony in the Ilinden barracks was also attended by the Chief of General Staff of the ARM, Major General Vasko Gjurchinovski, the Deputy Chief of General Staff of the ARM, Major General Azim Nuredin, and the State Secretary in the MOD, Dragan Nikolic.