Army of the Republic of North Macedonia
Армија на Република Северна Македонија
Emblem of the Army
Founded21 February 1992
Current form27 March 1992
Service branches
1st MIB
Air Force
Special Forces
HeadquartersSkopje, North Macedonia
Commander-in-ChiefPresident Stevo Pendarovski
Minister of DefenseRadmila Šekerinska
Chief of the General StaffLieutenant General Vasko Gjurchinovski
Active personnel6,100[1]
Reserve personnel4,850[2]
Budget$151 million (2020)[1]
Percent of GDP1.27% (2020)[1]
Domestic suppliersEurokompozit Prilep
Foreign suppliers Russia
Ukraine Ukraine
 United States
Related articles
HistoryMilitary history of North Macedonia
RanksMilitary ranks of North Macedonia

The Army of the Republic of North Macedonia (Macedonian: Армија на Република Северна Македонија) is a defense force consisting of an army and air force; it is responsible for defending the sovereignty and territorial integrity of North Macedonia.[3] Since 2005, it is a fully professional defense force compatible with NATO standards.

Defence structure

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Basis of the National Defence Policy and Doctrine

The national defence policy and doctrine are determined and based upon the following basic security policy goals of North Macedonia:

Its security policy aims to accomplish the following goals:

Starting out from the security policy provisions and goals, the defence policy of North Macedonia is based upon the following principles:

The political defence strategy of North Macedonia is based upon:

Macedonian soldiers in 2013 wearing the pixel camouflage uniform introduced in 2010
Macedonian soldiers in 2013 wearing the pixel camouflage uniform introduced in 2010

North Macedonia maintains a defensive potential and combat readiness of its Armed Forces which function as a deterring factor in case of a potential aggression in accordance with its capabilities and international arrangements.

In accordance with the Article 123 of the Constitution of North Macedonia, no one in the state has the right to declare capitulation. Therefore, the defence system of North Macedonia is based on the determination to give resistance by use of an armed force against any possible aggression and for a defensive combat on the whole territory. For that purpose, the defence system is responsible to provide conditions so that all of the state authorities and institutions function and conditions for joining the collective defence and security systems as a protection of the independence and sovereignty are provided.

North Macedonia could maintain all the guarantees for its security through the collective defence and security systems. That is why North Macedonia supports the reinforcement of these collective systems and determines itself to actively participate in these systems and to cooperate with regard to the construction of the new European security architecture based upon NATO, OSCE and WEU.

To fulfill these principles and strategic goals, the defence system of North Macedonia is a completed with the peacetime and warfare organisation, the basic development goals, the preparations and the use of the Armed Forces as well as the full civilian control over the Armed Forces. The defence system comprises the whole defence potential of the country: civilians, state authorities, civil protection forces, local self-management, public institutions and services and enterprises of special significance for the defence.

The preparations for a successful defence are conducted during peacetime. These include preparations of the state authorities; preparations and training of the Armed Forces and their deployment on the territory of North Macedonia; preparation of the public institutions and the local self-management; preparations of the civil population and participation in joint exercises and other forms of co-operation with the PfP and NATO member countries.

National Command Management

The management and the procedures in the field of defence of North Macedonia are defined by the Constitution, the Defence Law and by the responsibilities of the executive and judicial authorities.

The commanding with the Armed Forces is based upon the uniformity in command when using the forces and the resources, and the responsibility to execute the decisions and the orders of the one that is superior in command.

The President passes the defence plan and strategy, the decisions for readiness conducting, organisation and formation structure of the Army, passes documents on development, decision on mobilization etc.

The President at the same time is the Chairman of the Security Council of North Macedonia. The Security Council considers all the defence and security related issues of North Macedonia and makes recommendations to the Parliament and to the Government.

The Parliament of North Macedonia supervises the competence of the Government with regard to the defence, it passes decisions on the existing of a direct threat from a war, declares warfare situation and peace and passes the defence budget.

The Parliamentary Interior Policy and Defence Commission has similar responsibilities.

The Government of North Macedonia has the following responsibilities: proposes the defence plan, the defence budget etc.

The Ministry of Defence develops the defence strategy and works out the assessment of the possible threats and risks. The MOD is also responsible for the defence system, training, readiness of the Armed Forces, the equipment and the development and it proposes the defence budget, etc.


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In 2008, the Macedonian army had roughly 8,000 soldiers.

War in Afghanistan

ISAF logo
ISAF logo
Macedonian soldiers in Kabul
Macedonian soldiers in Kabul

The then-Republic of Macedonia began its participation in the NATO-led ISAF operation in August 2002, with the allocation of two officers to the Turkish contingent. On 8 September, independence day of the Republic of Macedonia, the Macedonian flag was flown for the first time in Kabul. In March 2003, the Army of the Republic of Macedonia increased its contribution in the ISAF mission by sending one section from the 2nd Infantry Brigade as part of the German contingent. As a result of the successful execution of the mission and the high marks received for participation in ISAF, from August 2004 until the end of 2006, the ARM participated with one mechanized infantry platoon from the Leopard unit. At the same time, in August 2005 medical personnel was sent in ISAF as part of the Combined Medical Team in the A3 format (Macedonia, Albania, Croatia), which successfully carried out tasks at the Kabul airport, firstly in the composition of the Greek Field Hospital, and later in the composition of the Czech Field Hospital.

Based on the assessments of the Alliance in the part of the declared units from the ARM, which achieved the required strict standards in the field of training and operational procedures, and in line with the Operational Capabilities Concept (OCC), the ARM in June 2006 sent also one mechanized infantry company, part of the first mechanized infantry brigade, in the composition of the British contingent in ISAF. The trust shown from the United Kingdom towards the ninety "Scorpions" from the first infantry brigade, was justified in full.

The high marks from the highest command structures for the work of the unit as well as the learned lessons are only an imperative for continuing the successful mission. In the second rotation of the company for securing the ISAF command, the Republic of Macedonia increased the participation from ninety to one hundred and twenty seven participants, and from January 2008 it sent three staff officers in the ISAF Command in Kabul.

As a support to the efforts for self-sustainability of the Afghanistan National Army (ANA), beginning from March 2008, the Republic of Macedonia sent two soldiers (one officer and one NCO) as part of the Combined Multinational Operational Mentoring and Liaison Team (OMLT) in Mazar-i-Sharif while, beginning from December 2008, in cooperation with the Kingdom of Norway, a Macedonian medical team is included through one Surgical team in the organizational structure of the surgical unit of the Norwegian Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) in Meymanah, Afghanistan.

EUFOR Althea

Macedonian Mi-8 in EUFOR Althea Mission in BiH
Macedonian Mi-8 in EUFOR Althea Mission in BiH

North Macedonia has reaffirmed its strategic commitment for attaining membership to the EU by its resolute political commitment to support the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CSFP) and by declaring a concrete contribution to the civilian and military operations in the framework of the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP). The participation of the then-Republic of Macedonia in the EU crisis management military operation Althea in Bosnia and Herzegovina marked the first in the series of concrete and substantial contributions that the country provided in the framework of the civilian and military CSDP operations aimed at enhancing the EU capacities. The Agreement with the EU for its participation in Althea was signed on 3 July 2006, in Brussels. The contribution of the Republic of Macedonia to the EU operation Althea has confirmed its progress from a consumer of the first EU military operation (Concordia 2003) into an active contributor to the CSDP (Althea 2006). The country's first contribution to an EU-led operation began in July 2006, by declaring a helicopter detachment, consisting of two Mi-8/17 helicopters and 21crew. In November 2006, the Republic of Macedonia enhanced its own contribution to the EU operation Althea in Bosnia and Herzegovina by declaring a medical team composed of 10 personnel for providing Role 1 medical support in Camp Butmir.

Iraq War

Macedonian soldiers in 2008 during the Iraq War
Macedonian soldiers in 2008 during the Iraq War
A Macedonian soldier saluting on behalf of his men during a performance of the Macedonian national anthem in 2008
A Macedonian soldier saluting on behalf of his men during a performance of the Macedonian national anthem in 2008

With the political consensus of all political entities in the RM as well as the overall Macedonian public in terms of the support of the Coalition in the "fight against terrorism", the Republic of Macedonia took active participation by sending its units in the Iraqi Freedom Mission. Based on all legal authorizations, the Assembly of the Republic of Macedonia adopted decisions for sending its units to the Iraqi Freedom Mission in the period between June 2003 and December 2008 for each mission separately every 6 months during the term of the mission. The Mission started by sending two officers in the US Central Command in Tampa, in March 2003. Upon the completion of the major combat operations, the toppling of Saddam Hussein's regime, and the adoption of Resolution 1546 of the United Nations Security Council, in June 2003 on sending a special task platoon that executed the tasks as part of the 4th infantry division of the Multi-National Force Iraq. In 2008, participation in the Iraqi Freedom Mission was increased by an additional platoon. A total of 11 rotations were conducted between June 2003 and December 2008. The eleventh rotation was the last, which completed participation in the Iraqi Mission. The overall number of personnel that participated in this mission is 490.

Support for KFOR

Having in mind the priorities in the part of logistics not only in national terms, but even more in proportion with the requirements and requests of the Alliance, the Host Nation Support Coordination Centre began to work in April 2005 as part of the NATO HQ in Skopje, a project implemented for the first time with a member nation from the Partnership for Peace. The project at the beginning was implemented on proposal of General Blease, who at that time was the Commander of NATO forces in Skopje. At the beginning, the project included 11 officers from the ARM, who successfully completed the training for the obligations related to giving support from the host nation. Promoting the personal professionalism and achievements, in 2006 these officers became the basis of the Coordination Centre, which gradually began the preparations for undertaking the tasks for support to KFOR.

In June 2007, having in mind the large meaning and the projected goals, the Coordination Centre was included in the formation of the Logistics Support Command in the General Staff of the ARM. In this manner as an addition to the participation in the mission in Iraq, Afghanistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Lebanon, the ARM participates also in the mission for support to Kosovo.


Macedonia participated in the peacekeeping mission of the United Nations in Lebanon, UNIFIL.

The security and prosperity in global terms depend more and more on the effective multilateral system. The strategic partnership with the Organization of the United Nations, whose Treaty represents the fundamental framework of the international relations, are the priority of the European Union and NATO on the international security scene. Hence, the contribution of the Republic of Macedonia in the military part with respect to the missions led by the Organization of the United National is a confirmation of the effective membership of the Republic of Macedonia in the Organization and its strategic determinations.


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The primary arm of the military in North Macedonia is the Army of the Republic of North Macedonia; it is commanded by the Minister of Defense through the Chief of the General Staff (CGS). Two Deputy CGS positions include the Deputy CGS for planning, operations and readiness, under whom operates the General Staff of the ARM, and the Deputy CGS for civil-military cooperation.

Joint Operations Command

Controls and co-ordinates the Mechanized Infantry, Aviation and Logistics Support Brigades

Mechanized Infantry Brigade of North Macedonia

It plays the key role in securing the safety and unity of the territory of the country. The army is divided into the rapid reaction force and strategic reserve forces. The rapid reaction forces represent the main active combat capability of the military and consist of the 1st Mechanized Infantry Brigade. The strategic reserve forces provide reserve brigades that can be called up in times of emergency.

Aviation Brigade of North Macedonia

Air Warfare and Air Defence of North Macedonia has an important role as air support element of ground forces and in enhancing flight safety. One of the main goals of the Aviation Brigade is to build up an air surveillance system, which will be the cornerstone of the air traffic safety and airspace control. The air component is made up by the Aviation and the Air Defense Forces. It is located in Skopje International Airport (near Skopje)

Special Operations Regiment

Special Operations Regiment, is the main command for Special Units of the Army of Republic of North Macedonia. Under the command of the Special Operations Regiment are, The Special Forces Battalion "Wolves" and The Rangers Battalion as well as a Regimental Headquarters Company and Logistical Support Company.

Special Forces Battalion "Wolves" was formed in 1994. It consists of a Headquarters and an undisclosed number of Special Forces detachments and specializes in covert actions, Foreign Internal Defence assistance, Special Reconnaissance, Counter Terrorist operations, and Drug interdiction tasks. Its members wear the Maroon Beret.

The Rangers Battalion was formed in 2004. It consists of a Headquarters and 3 Reconnaissance and Direct Action Companies, its members wear the Ranger Green Beret. The Rangers Battalion is well respected by its allies and is continually preparing for success in conducting its missions. Since 2004 the unit has gone through an intensive development period and has put maximum effort into improving its operative ability and its readiness to manage all challenges of modern time conflicts.

The Mission of Special Operations Regiment is to provide fully organized, trained and equipped units to perform special operations and conventional specific operations, independently or in cooperation with other units of the Army and other coalition forces, in all weather and land conditions during peace, crisis and war and to support peace and conflict prevention as part of overall efforts to support internal security and foreign policy of the Republic of North Macedonia.

Missions outside the Republic of North Macedonia

Decorations awarded

Logistics Support Brigade

Formed in 2001, the Logistics Command oversees all combat service support operations, and controls the Land Forces Logistic Base and the Military Hospital. Mission: Planning, organizing, coordinating and executing logistical support to commands and units of the Army of the Republic of North Macedonia, of level II and III.


Organization of the Military of the Republic of North Macedonia
Organization of the Military of the Republic of North Macedonia

1. Planning, organizing, coordinating and executing logistical support in the following functional areas:

2. Management with materials of all classes of supply for the commands and units of the Army

3. Storage and maintenance of material supplies for ARM according to specified criteria

4. Strengthening the logistics capacity of the Army in conducting training, work in field conditions, combat engagement and participation in missions

5. Coordinating support of allied forces in transit or maintain in the territory of the Republic of North Macedonia

6. Execution of logistical support for the administrative bodies and bodies of local self-governments, organizations, associations, etc. (in special circumstances and for special orders and instructions)

Other commands

Chief of General Staff include ELINT Center and the Honor Guard Unit.

Command for Training and Doctrines

Command for Training and Doctrines Organization, coordination and dimensional task of training the individual soldiers, cadets, NCOs and officers of the active and reserve forces, support collective training commands and units of the Army of the Republic and the development of doctrine and lessons learned in the Army of Republic of North Macedonia.In particular for meeting NATO requirements.

In order to improve the quality of training of the Army in 1996, were established several centers for basic and specialized training of individual soldiers, and collective training was done in the units. Centers were established to train: infantry, artillery, logistics, border guards, military police and reconnaissance.


Vehicle Photo Origin Type In service Notes
Main battle tanks
 Soviet Union Main battle tank 31[4]
Armoured fighting vehicles
 Soviet Union Infantry fighting vehicle 10[4]
 Soviet Union Armored personnel carrier 10[4]
 Soviet Union Armored personnel carrier 12[4] Used by Special Forces
 Soviet Union Armored personnel carrier 60[4] Some modified with diesel engine
TM-170 "Hermelin"
 West Germany Armored personnel carrier 115[4] Modernized by Eurokompozit
ELBO Leonidas-2
 Greece Armored personnel carrier 10[4]
 United States Armored personnel carrier 30[4] In reserve
 United States Armored personnel carrier (0) 56 The LTDCP 2019–28, which was approved by parliament on 26 August, foresees acquisition of 56 infantry carrier vehicles and 96 joint light tactical vehicles. For the price of $150 million, $30 million US donation[5]
Light military vehicles
 United States MRAP (0) 96 The Army will retire most of its Soviet-era armoured vehicles under the US European Recapitalization Incentive Program (ERIP).
 United States Light armored vehicle 80[4] Variants:
  • Armoured
  • Semi Armored
  • Communications system
  • Тransport variant
Otokar Cobra
 Turkey Light armored vehicle 2[4] Donation from Turkey used by Military Police
Land Rover
 Turkey Light high mobility vehicle [4] Turkish variant of Land Rover Engerek by Otokar
Logistics and utility vehicles
Land Rover Defender
 United Kingdom Light utility vehicle 100+[4]
Mercedes G
 West Germany Light utility vehicle [4]
Military trucks
Oshkosh FMTV
 United States Medium utility truck [4]
 Italy Medium utility truck 44[4]
 Netherlands Medium utility truck 126[4]
 Turkey Medium utility truck [4]
M35/44 truck
 United States Medium utility truck 150[4] In reserve


Artillery Photo Origin Type In service
BM-21 Grad
 Soviet Union Multiple rocket launcher 12[4]
M-63 "Plamen"
 Yugoslavia Multiple rocket launcher 12[4]
 United States Howitzer 36[4]
 Soviet Union Howitzer 108[4]
M57 60mm  Yugoslavia Light mortars [4]
M69 82mm  Yugoslavia Infantry mortar [4]
82-BM-37  Soviet Union Infantry mortar [4]
M43 120mm  Soviet Union Heavy mortars [4]
M52UB 120mm  Yugoslavia Heavy mortars [4]

Small arms

Name Type Origin Notes
CZ 75 Pistol  Czech Republic 9×19mm
CZ-99/999 Pistol  Yugoslavia 9×19mm
Daewoo DP-51 Pistol  South Korea 9×19mm
HS2000[6] Pistol  Croatia 9×19mm
Submachine guns
H&K MP5 Submachine gun  West Germany 9×19mm
Assault rifles
M4 Assault rifle  United States 5.56×45mm
H&K G3 Assault rifle  West Germany
Zastava M21 Assault rifle  Serbia and Montenegro 5.56×45mm
Zastava M90 Assault rifle  Yugoslavia 5.56×45mm
Zastava M70 Assault rifle  Yugoslavia 7.62×39mm
Zastava M92 Assault rifle  Yugoslavia 7.62×39mm
Sniper rifles
Zvi Falcon Sniper rifle  Czechoslovakia 12.7×108mm
Zastava M93 Sniper rifle  Yugoslavia 12.7×108mm
Sako TRG-42 Sniper rifle  Finland 12.7×57mm
SVD Dragunov Sniper rifle  Soviet Union 7.62×54mm
Zastava M76 Sniper rifle  Yugoslavia 7.92×57mm
Machine guns
M2 Browning Heavy machine gun  United States 12.7×99mm
NSV Heavy machine gun  Soviet Union 12.7×108mm
M240 Machine gun  United States 7.62×51mm
M249 SAW Machine gun  United States 5.56×45mm
PKM Machine gun  Soviet Union 7.62×54mm
Zastava M84 Machine gun  Yugoslavia 7.62×54mm
MG3 Machine gun  West Germany 7.62×51mm
Protecta Shotgun  South Africa 12 gauge
Benelli Nova Shotgun  Italy 12 gauge
Grenade launchers
Zastava BGA 30 Grenade launcher  Serbia and Montenegro 30mm
RBG-6 Grenade launcher  Croatia 40mm
M203 Grenade launcher  United States 40mm
GP-25 Grenade launcher  Soviet Union 40mm
Milan ATGM ATGM  France 115mm
M80 Zolja Man-portable missile  Yugoslavia 64mm
M79 Osa Man-portable missile  Yugoslavia 90mm
M90 Stršljen Man-portable missile  Yugoslavia

Air Force

Aircraft Photo Origin Type In service Notes
Mil Mi-24
 Soviet Union /  Ukraine Attack 6[7] Supplied by Ukraine,

modernized by Elbit.

Mil Mi-17
 Soviet Union /  Ukraine Transport / Attack [4] 4 Supplied by Ukraine,

4 modernized by Elbit.

Bell UH-1
 United States Transport [4] 2 In reserve
Trainer aircraft
Bell 206
 United States Trainer [4] 4

Air defense

System Photo Origin Type In service Notes
Surface-to-air missiles
9K35 Strela-10
 Soviet Union SAM [4] 8
9K38 Igla
 Soviet Union MANPADS [4]
9K32 Strela-2
 Soviet Union MANPADS [4]
Anti aircraft guns
Zastava M55 20mm  Yugoslavia Autocannon [4]
Bofors 40mm  Sweden Autocannon [4] In reserve

Retired equipment

See also


  • Mihailo Apostolski
    Mihailo Apostolski
  • License plate of the former ARM
    License plate of the former ARM
  • Roundel of North Macedonia's air force
    Roundel of North Macedonia's air force


  1. ^ a b c "Defence Expenditure of NATO Countries (2013-2020)" (PDF). NATO Public Diplomacy Division. 21 October 2020. Retrieved 27 December 2020.
  2. ^ IISS 2020, p. 126.
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 4 July 2019. Retrieved 4 July 2019.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai "Macedonian Army". ARM. Archived from the original on 3 August 2013.
  5. ^ "US Funds North Macedonian Replacement of Soviet-Era Armour > Association of the United States Army > USA". Retrieved 28 August 2019.
  6. ^ "HS Produkt" (PDF). Hrvatski vojnik (in Croatian) (337/338): 20. 28 March 2011. Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 October 2012. Retrieved 11 May 2013.
  7. ^ Missing or empty |title= (help)


  • IISS (2020). The Military Balance 2020. Routledge. ISBN 978-0367466398.CS1 maint: ref duplicates default (link)

Further reading