Thousands in Czech military to suffer demotion in rank
The Czech Army, which went fully professional five years ago, is preparing major changes in military rank, which will mainly affect lower-level officers. Under an amendment passed last year, on January 1 the army will reintroduce ranks from private to sergeant, mirroring armies in fellow NATO countries. But the changes mean that some 14,000 Czech soldiers will suffer demotion.
“I am going to drop in rank to where I started 22 years ago. Okay, this is the army and orders have to be followed. All the same, most of my colleagues and I see this as a dirty trick.”
“Of course some soldiers will be unhappy over rank, but more will be more interested in salaries they receive in the future.”
Those, however, are also likely to be hit, for another reason than a drop in rank: soldiers - like others in the public sector - are likely to suffer likely pay cuts as part of the government’s planned austerity measures. Those require individual ministries, including that of defence, to slash their budgets by 10 percent.