In an effort to rejuvenate the Serbian Armed Forces, a recently introduced regulation has mandated that all members of Serbia’s passive army reserve between the ages of 30 and 32 who have not undergone basic military training will be obligated to receive said training.
The passive reserve comprises all male Serbian citizens aged 18 to 60 who are not members of one of the Army’s other two segments: the permanent (professional) forces or the active reserve.
According to the Balkan Security Network, the Oct. 10 regulation received little public attention although it has brought a significant change to the current army recruitment system by introducing an age limit for training untrained passive reservists.
While the country’s passive reserve initially comprised only individuals who had undergone basic training – which had been mandatory for all adult males until 2011 – a regulation issued in 2019 mandated that, as of age 30, even untrained males were introduced into the passive reserve and assigned where needed according to their level of education, profession, knowledge and skillset.
The new rule stipulates that untrained passive reservists receive a maximum of 25 days of basic training and, if needed, another 25 days maximum of specialist training per year.
Ever since Serbia abolished mandatory military service in 2011, the country’s passive reserve – which supplies personnel in times of war – has been steadily aging. Its ranks have so far been replenished by individuals who volunteered for basic training but, as the Balkan Security Network points out, interest has been low, leading to the government’s most recent measures.