NATIONAL GUARDS UNIT
The National Guard is the successor to the personal guard of Prince Alexander I Battenberg established in 1979. It carried out its first official escort duties of the Bulgarian prince on July 12. This date is, for that reason, the official celebration of National Guard. Initially, the duties of the special guard service, as it was known, consisted of escorting the head of state, his family and all senior guests. Over the years, the Guards structure changed from an escort of the prince to a company, a regiment, and then in 1942, a division. Today it includes military units for displaying military honors and a brass band.
In 2001, the National Guard was established as a military unit representative of the Bulgarian Army and is a symbol of state power with the national flag, emblem and anthem. The mission of the National Guard, as a representative military unit, is to participate in ceremonial and military events and military ceremonies of national and state significance. It plays a role in the shaping and maintenance of patriotic spirit among the public and in recognition of Bulgarian national identity and statehood. It has a role in the cultural policy of the Ministry of Defence in military-patriotic, cultural, educational and concert activities.
The current of the National Guard, Colonel Boyan Stavrev, took office on June 1 2008.
The National Guard has its own flag, seal, badge and uniform. The National Guard received its battle flag on July 12 2003, conferred by the President of the Republic.
The uniform of the National Guard was first established in 1883 and includes elements of national symbols. Over the years the two characters have remained unchanged in the uniform: the eagle feather headdress and the Alexander Star.
The Alexander Star is a component of the Bulgarian "St. Alexander" Royal Order and was borne on the guard cap from 1883. Since 2002, the National Guard troops have had a badge which is a combination of the Alexander Star and new national symbols.