Bulgarian Armed Forces

The Bulgarian Army (Bulgarian: Българска армия, romanized: Bŭlgarska armiya) is the military of Bulgaria. The commander-in-chief is the president of Bulgaria, who since January 2017 is Rumen Radev. The Ministry of Defense is in charge of political leadership while overall military command remains in the hands of the Defence Staff, headed by the Chief of the Defense (formerly called the Chief of the General Staff). There are three main branches of the Bulgarian military, named literally the Land Forces, the Air Forces and the Naval Forces (the term "Bulgarian Army" refers to them encompassed all together).

Bulgarian Army
Българска армия
Founded1878
Current form2002
Service branches Bulgarian Land Forces
Bulgarian Air Force
Bulgarian Navy
HeadquartersSofia
Leadership
Commander-in-ChiefPresident Rumen Radev
Minister of DefenceGeorgi Panayotov[1]
Chief of the DefenceAdmiral Emil Eftimov
Manpower
ConscriptionAbolished in 2008
Active personnel24,400 (2018)[2]
Reserve personnel3,000[3]
Deployed personnelSee below
Expenditures
Budget$1.195 billion (2020)[2]
Percent of GDP1.93% (2020)[2]
Industry
Domestic suppliersTEREM
Arsenal AD
VMZ Sopot
Samel 90
Foreign suppliers Germany
 Israel
 Poland
 China
 Russia
 United States
 France
 United Kingdom
Former:
 Soviet Union
 Austria-Hungary
Annual exports$1.4 billion (2017)[4]
Related articles
HistoryRusso-Turkish War (1877–1878)
Serbo-Bulgarian War
First Balkan War
Second Balkan War
World War I
War of the Stray Dog
World War II
Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia
Iraq War
War in Afghanistan
2011 military intervention in Libya
RanksMilitary ranks of Bulgaria

Throughout history, the Army has played a major role in defending the country's sovereignty. Only several years after its inception in 1878, Bulgaria became a regional military power and was involved in several major wars – Serbo-Bulgarian War (1885), First Balkan War (1912–13), Second Balkan War (1913), First World War (1915–1918) and Second World War (1941–1945), during which the Army gained significant combat experience. During the Cold War the People's Republic of Bulgaria maintained one of the largest militaries in the Warsaw Pact, numbering an estimated 152,000 troops in 1988.[5] Since the Fall of Communism, the political leadership has decided to pursue a pro-NATO policy, thus reducing military personnel and weaponry. Bulgaria joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation on 29 March 2004 and currently [when?] maintains a total 776 deployed troops in three countries.

The patron saint of the Bulgarian Army is St. George. The Armed Forces Day or St. George's Day (6 May) is an official holiday in Bulgaria.