Of particular importance for the creation of the modern Serbian state and for the preservation of its independence was the establishment of the Army, which began with the establishment of the Guard, on St. George’s Day 1830, by the decree of the Supreme Prince of Serbia, Miloš Obrenović. In the then-thriving city of Požarevac, that act confirmed the “safeguarding of the right to bear arms”, which was won by the Serbian insurgent uprising against the Turks. That is why the Guard of Miloš, as the first unit of the Serbian Army, symbolically indicates the existence of the Serbian state. Marking the 190th anniversary of its existence this year, today’s Guard is an expression of that continuity, and as a professional military unit, contributes repeatedly to the Serbian Armed Forces as the institution the state trusts the most.
The Guard was a striking military and national symbol at the coronation of King Petar I Karađorđević in 1904, and during World War I his immediate protection and moral role model for the Serbian soldier. Barely recovered, the guardsmen were involved in decisive operations in the breakthrough of the Thessaloniki Front and, with their combat posture, were a role model to every Serbian soldier.
During World War II, part of the Guard officers joined the Yugoslav Army in the Homeland movement, and others joined the National Liberation Partisan Detachments. Then, from the supporting units of the Supreme Headquarters of the National Liberation Army, the JNA Guard was formed, which, over time, having transformed itself in accordance with the requirements and needs of the new state, also had naval units on the Adriatic and Danube since 1948, when it reached its highest number. Sharing the fate of the people and the state, the Guard was restructured and modified, and in November 2006 the former Guard Brigade was transformed into the Guard of the Serbian Armed Forces.
One of the characteristic symbols of the Guard is its representative military orchestra, which has existed since 1831. Today it also represents a kind of a cultural institution, whose recognizable symbol is the magnificent “Drina March”, composed by the head of the Royal Guard Orchestra, Stanislav Binički.
Motif on the cover: Cavalry Officer of the Royal Guard, watercolour by Georges Scott from 1929. (Royal Palace Foundation).
Expert collaboration: Serbian Armed Forces Guard.
Graphic realization of the issue: Nadežda Skočajić, MA graphic artist.