Bulgaria - Military Personnel

As of 01 January 2008 the military of Bulgaria disbanded its compulsory military service. After the country became a NATO member in April 2004, the Bulgarian Ministry of Defense began a new downsizing, modernization, and reform program (known as PLAN 2004) that would result in the adoption of a smaller force structure of around 50,000 personnel, based upon a rapid reaction force and two additional corps headquarters, all with subordinate brigades.

The total personnel of the Armed Forces as of 31/12/2010 was 44,100 people, of which: 34,700 were military personnel; and 9,400 were civilian personnel. Following the Armed Forces’ transformation by 31/12/2014, the total personnel of the MoD, the structures directly subordinate to the Minister of Defence, and the Bulgarian Army, would be no less than 37,100 people and 3,400 reservists. The personnel will be categorised as follows: military personnel - no less than 29,000; Civilian personnel - up to 8100; Reservists - up to 3400.

The Bulgarian Army – the core of the Armed Forces – needs to be comprised of no less than 26,000 total military and civilian personnel on active duty. To that number are added 2,700 reservists. The share of military personnel on active duty is to be 82%, of reservists 10% and of civilian personnel 8%. With these proportions the efficiency in carrying out tasks with limited available financial resources is expected to be significantly improved. The personnel of the Bulgarian Army is to be allocated to branch structures as follows: Joint Forces Command and its directly subordinated personnel and units – 9%; Land Forces – 53%; Air Force – 25%; Navy – 13%.

People are the main potential and guarantee for the success in any defence matter. Through modern approaches, clear rules and mechanisms for effective and efficient management of human resources, Bulgaria would provide the defence system and the Armed Forces with trained and motivated staff. For that purpose, the attraction, recruitment and selection are planned and carried out based on the overall assessment of the risks and competition in the labor market.

The Bulgarian Armed Forces are professional. A strong driving force in the human resource management policy is our membership in NATO and the European Union. Bulgarian military and civilian personnel are together day-to-day with colleagues from allied command structures, headquarters, operations, exercises and training. They work with them under significant burdens and risks, and high standards of professionalism and dedication. They thus provide an important contribution to Allied efforts in addressing common security challenges. Respectively the aim is for the recruitment, training, qualification, preparation, social status and all-round security of military personnel and their families to meet their standards and requirements.

The new policy and system for managing human resources are directed towards the professionalisation of the army by realising its personnel’s full potential, thus rendering a motivated staff with effective qualities. The preparation of leaders capable of committing to their objectives and the management of human potential is of key importance.

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