Today in the Ilinden barracks in Skopje, with military honours, the members of the Special Operations Regiment celebrated the day when the unit was formed 24 years ago, an event that has been defined as the day of this most elite unit of the ARM.
In addition to the Minister of Defence of the Republic of Macedonia, Radmila Shekerinska, and the Chief of General Staff of the Army of the Republic of Macedonia, Lt Gen Metodija Velichkovski, the ceremony was also attended by the Deputy Chief of General Staff, Major General Muhamet Racaj, the State Secretary in the MoD, Dragan Nikolic, ARM generals, commanders of ARM units, former commanders of the regiment and other guests from the MOD of the Republic of Macedonia and the General Staff of the ARM.
In her address, Minister Shekerinska said that Macedonia has defined its strategic goal, NATO membership and thanked the members of the Regiment for everything they had done to represent Macedonia in a true light, and to help their country solve its challenges in difficult times. “Every step forward towards the NATO – Alliance will be a step forward for Macedonia’s strategic interests, its progress and its stability. It will be a step forward for the strength of the Army of the Republic of Macedonia, but also a step forward for the standard and conditions of work for all members of the Army”, Shekerinska said.
The minister stressed that the soldiers deserve a better life and better working conditions and therefore, despite the difficult financial situation, a 15 per cent increase in the defence budget has been provided. “We have provided 90 million denars, which will be allocated for basic uniforms and boots, and a total of 120 million denars for better quartermaster equipment. In the last 8 months we also invested 16 million denars in the neglected physical infrastructure to improve the working conditions. In this year’s budget we provided funds for reconstruction, precisely on the facilities of the Rangers and the Signals Battalion here in the Ilinden barracks. We will invest 62 million denars from the defence budget to improve the infrastructure, and this will be just the beginning”, the minister said.
In the context of regional cooperation, the minister announced that members of the regiment will be part of a military exercise in Bulgaria in October of this year, which will also be participated by a larger number of countries from the region.
In his speech to the guests, the Commander of the SOR, Brigadier General Orce Jordev, emphasized the historical significance of this day for the unit, as well as the contribution of the special units in the building of the modern ARM training system and capacity building to combat modern threats. He also instructed the members of the regiment to continue further to be an example of commitment and responsibility and to remain consistent in meeting the values of the recognizable motto of the regiment – “more than possible”.
Despite the exceptionally high selection criteria for admission in this attractive unit, the candidates for the latest recruitment applications for professional soldiers have been showing a huge interest precisely because of its proven reputation among the public in the Republic of Macedonia and beyond.
On the ceremony, on the occasion of the day of the unit, stimulating measures were read out for members of the SOR for the achieved results, and promotions were also awarded.
By decision of the President of the Republic of Macedonia for determining days of units of the Army of the Republic of Macedonia, March 1 was determined as the Day of the SOR, the date when for the first time in the Army of the Republic of Macedonia, a Special Task Unit was established under the name “Wolves”, and since November 2006 the unit has been restructured into the Special Operations Regiment, which includes the Special Task Battalion and the Ranger Battalion.