Monday, October 23, 2006

Abolish the Army

My “soldierly” life continues. I’ve just received my belated first paycheck for services so far rendered to our fatherland, of which Kosovo is an integral part (is the last bit obligatory now?).
Extravagant as I am, I’ve spent it all in a matter of minutes.
The whole 4 Euros and 50 cents of it.
Seriously, are people in civilian service supposed to be in an equal position as those recruits with guns? I was lucky, I keep saying that. But what about those people who have too many obligations in the civil service to continue working? How do you survive for a month in Belgrade on 4 and a half Euros? Any suggestions?
The guys in the regular army at least have a bed and three meals a day. Isn’t this discrimination based on the rejection of violence as a way of life?
Despite this, less and less people choose to do their duty in the actual armed forces.
Why doesn’t the army deal with these problems, one might enquire? Is it because it’s busy defending the “sovereignty and territorial integrity” of our shrinking homeland? No, it’s too busy blowing up small towns in central Serbia.
I’ll spend much of next month on regular leave. At least, they were kind enough to give me a permit to leave the country during that period.

I say abolish the whole thing. Now!


Viktor said...

i have to give you something to be happy about, we are getting a raise from next month, a whopping 450 dinars instead of 360! Hurray!

ps. while i'm here, just to let you know we have a new blog and a new address: instead of, so please update it when you find the time, thanks!

Marko said...

Woo-hoo, the easy life!
Oh, and I saw you changed your location, but I forgot to update my links. Thanx.

John1975 said...

I do not understand what this civil-service is. Can you explain please.

Civil Service in America is like Law Enforcment, working in Jails or prisons and are paid ok in some areas of America, but poorly in others. Still much more than 4 euros though.

What is the pay of a Serbian soldier if you know and don't mind me asking?

Marko said...

Well, John I’m not really an expert on the matter, but here goes: Serbia’s army consists of both professionals and conscripts. Professionals are employed full time and their wages are, I guess, similar to other public sector workers, like police or teachers, about average for the country. Conscripts are all male citizens of Serbia. At one point in life, at 27 at latest, you have to spend 6 months (currently, it used to be a year, than 9 months) in the armed forces. Now, if you have a problem with that, for moral, religious or other reasons, you have a right to submit “an objection of conscience” and in case you don’t have a criminal record and do not have a permit for firearms you can fulfill your army duty in the civil (or civilian) service. That means that you are assigned to some public institution (hospitals, universities, theatres, museums, sports centers, municipal institutions…) where you work for 9 months, for 4.50 Euros a month (Ok, to be fair you may also get a monthly ticket for public transportation). The tricky part is that in some institutions, your superiors are normal people who understand that you have a life and let you come in only when they really need you, or afternoons, or for a few hours a day, or a few times a week, while in others you actually have to work every day from nine to five. If you are employed, during this time, your working status is “frozen” and officially you cannot get paid by your employer. Fortunately there are loopholes. Now what I actually mean by abolish the army is – abolish conscription and let’s have a normal, professional and capable army.

John1975 said...

Interesting! Thanks for the explanation.

I agree with doing away with conscription.

Take it easy,


vladimirfv said...

I got paid for doing my part of the duty only after 8 months, and I did it at our city hospital "Zvezdara" which is by the way in a very bad shape. All I can say that civil service sucked, and that there are lot of civil soldiers suck ups who are having easier jobs, just because they have had pulled strings or have big tongues (for licking of course).