Montenegro - Military Personnel
Given the small size of the armed forces (projected to be 2,400) and the limited population base (approximately 680,000 people) from which they draw, the importance of leveraging personnel (officers, NCOs, & civilians) was stressed. With independence came the end to conscription so the development of both a solid non-commissioned officer (NCO) corps and an officer development system are areas of emphasis.
In the beginning of 2006, there were 2,529 military personnel and 1,303 civilians employed in the defense institutions. After independence, the process of resettlement of surplus personnel in the defense sector became the number one priority of the MoD. Out of 324 civilians employed by the former Directorate for Defense, 104 have been employed by the MoD, and 93 were transferred to the Sector for Emergency Situations and Civil Safety within the Ministry of Interior and public administration. The employment of the remaining 124 personnel stopped at the end of October 2007 and they received a severance payment of one year’s salary, which was provided from the state budget. The state budget also finances 50% of the interest on loans those former employees may take from banks to start small businesses.
Conscription was terminated in September 2006 and the armed forces are now an all volunteer force. The authorized peacetime strength of the armed forces, excluding the Ministry of Defense, is 2,090 military personnel and 310 civilians. In December 2007, 1,628 military positions (329 officers, 921 NCOs and 378 professional soldiers) and all civilian posts were actually manned. Additionally, 28 military personnel were employed by the MoD. The average age of employed military personnel was 34 years.
After the independence, the process of resettlement of surplus personnel in the defence sector became the number one priority in Montenegro. The reduction has progressed through termination of service by pensioning individuals meeting established criteria, and with severance payments to individuals whose positions were eliminated from the structure (24 average monthly salaries for military personnel and 12 gross monthly salaries for civilians). Accordingly, there was a reduction of 597 individuals (108 officers, 303 non-commissioned officers (NCOs) and 186 civilians: Of these, 248 were pensioned (104 officers, 133 NCOs, and 11 civilians), and 349 were released with severance pay (4 officers, 170 NCOs, and 175 civilians).
Due to the elimination of positions and corrections related to personnel imbalances, in the first half of 2007 social care programs accomplished the retraining of 47 individuals (NCOs and civilians). The retraining was organized at the Mediteran University in Podgorica, and was financed by Denmark, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.
Establishment of a modern human resources management system in the Ministry of Defence and armed forces is a priority. The project “Defense and Security Sector Reform”, which will be implemented based on the Agreement on cooperation with the Ministry of the Kingdom of Norway, on behalf of Nordic and Baltic countries, and within whose project goals and activities is also “Support for the Ministry of Defense in developing and managing human resources”, will certainly contribute to building of the human resources management system in the Ministry of Defense.
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