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Slovenia Appoints Woman As Chief Of Armed Forces


Major General Alenka Ermenc began her military career in 1991, the year Slovenia declared independence from the former Yugoslavia.

Slovenia has become the only NATO country to appoint a woman as chief of its military.

Major General Alenka Ermenc will officially take up her post as the chief of the General Staff at a ceremony in Ljubljana on November 28.

The 55-year-old Ermenc previously served as the army's deputy head.

President Borut Pahor, Slovenia’s commander-in-chief, welcomed her appointment on November 27, and expressed hope she will improve the military’s performance.

"The global trend of a deteriorating security situation continues and even though Slovenia is not directly threatened military-wise, it must improve its military safety relatively quickly," Pahor said in a statement.

Prime Minister Marjan Sarec said that Ermenc’s appointment demonstrated the maturity of Slovenian society.

The British-educated Ermenc began her military career in 1991, the year Slovenia declared independence from the former Yugoslavia.

Slovenia was the first ex-Yugoslav republic to join NATO and the European Union, both in 2004.

The Alpine nation of some 2 million people has approximately 7,500 soldiers, including active and reserve forces.

Based on reporting by AFP and AP
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