It is a decisive part of the Armed Forces of the Czech Republic (ACR), which, according to the Czech Law No. 219/1999 Coll., referred to as the Defence Law, is comprised also of the Military Office of President of the Republic and the Castle Guard.
The primary mission of ACR is to ensure the military defence of the country against aggression and to meet commitments derived from international obligations and treaties of the Czech Republic on collective defence. It is also set to fulfil tasks within peacekeeping operations in regions of instability or conflicts, and to implement rescue and humanitarian missions both on the national territory and abroad.
In its effort to become a NATO member country, the Czech Republic joined in 1994 the Partnership for Peace Programme. It enabled the Czech military to absorb NATO procedures in defence planning and implementation of force build-up, tailored to Alliance standards and overall goals. The Czech Republic successfully completed its accession talks and began a NATO member country, together with Hungary and Poland, on 12 March 1999, the day, which has been observed as the Day of Accession to NATO in the Czech Republic since.
The Czech military is engaged in the integrated NATO military structure, contributing to defence, operations and civil crisis management planning. It takes part in the procedural and organisational aspects of nuclear consultations, participates in joint exercises, and actively commits its troops for NATO-led multinational operations.
The ACR is also engaged in the EU military structure, as the Czech Republic became a EU member country on 1 May 2004. The Czech military participates in joint exercises and operations.
The supreme commander of the Armed Forces of the Czech Republic is President of the Republic Milos Zeman, while the highest military commander is Chief of the General Staff of ACR Lieutenant General Josef Becvar.
According to NATO categories, the ACR structure is:
- NATO Assigned Forces
- NATO Earmarked Forces;
- National Forces for Defence of NATO Area;
- Other National Forces.
2005 - First year of fully professional Armed Forces of the Czech Republic
After 140 years of conscription service system being exercised in the historical Czech lands, the country abandoned this practice. From the beginning of 2005 it has been building a career soldier system. It is part of a fundamental reform of the Czech military that was launched in 2002 which also involved downsizing, organisational changes, modernisation of equipment and reshaping the locations of garrisons and sites within the republic. In 2006, the military achieved initial operational capabilities and stabilisation of forces. The full operational capabilities are set to be reached before 2020.
January 8, 2016