History and Objectives

History and Objectives
The Association “Traditia Militara” (“Military Tradition” or ATM), first Romanian member of the European Union of Military Historical Groups, is the oldest such group officially registered in Romania, focusing on 19th and 20th centuries. The group was awarded the Commemorative Medal “Centenary of the War for the Unification of the Nation” by the President of Romania for the way in which it carried on “the historical traditions of those who did their duty to the Fatherland”,  the Royal Medal for Loyalty by the Romanian Royal Household for, as written in the document, “the dignified, historically and technically correct way” in which it carries out “generous public activity”, and the Emblem of Honour by the General Staff of the Romanian Army for “promoting military values and traditions”. The Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church granted ATM the Medal “Commemorative Year – Founders of the Great Union”. ATM has participated in numerous events, ceremonies, demonstrations and battle reenactments, in Romania and Moldova, but also in France, Italy, Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Ukraine and Russia, starting with the year 2004. ATM is the only reenactment group ever to be invited by the General Staff of the Romanian Army to participate in the official military parade at the Triumph Arch on the National Holiday, on December 1st, every year since 2009. ATM aims at bring to life the military history for the benefit of the public and also in order to experience it first hand.

The purpose of ATM is bringing to life to Romania’s military history, to relive it first hand and to present it to the public, in tribute to previous generations, their efforts and sacrifice. ATM wants to be a bridge between past and present, between soldiers and civilians, between Romanians and foreigners.

The main objectives of ATM are:

  • Promotion of Romanian military traditions and rendering homage to Romania’s and other countries’ heroes by participating in historical military uniforms at parades, honor guards, festive or commemorative ceremonies, demonstrations of arms drills, tactical exercises, reenactments of battles and maintenance of monuments and heroes’ graves;
  • educating the public, especially the younger generation, in the spirit of respect for military traditions, of the knowledge of the important moments of the national and universal history, of respect for the military, even those of formerly allied or enemy armies, who served their respective countries in dramatic moments of history;
  • training its own members in order to credibly represent the Romanian soldier of the past, to form characters, to promote and cultivate values ​​and principles in accordance with the motto ATM: Honor and Tradition, Seriousness and Effort, Camaraderie and Respect; to impart attitudes and skills compatible with the principle of congruence between thought, word and deed; to create readiness for a freely consensual discipline, based on regulations, procedures and norms;
  • stimulating research in the field of military history, safe-keeping and restoration of material and immaterial military-historical heritage (documents, uniforms, decorations, equipment, weapons, techniques, works of art, constructions and historical-military sites, but also specific jargon, skills, customs, methods and procedures);
  • developing cooperation with similar or related organizations from abroad and making the Romanian military traditions known to the world;

The members of the association are civilians with “military hearts”, who come from the most different fields of activity: technique, medicine, architecture, history, justice, etc.

The members of the group have inherited or bought original items or have had uniforms and gear replicas manufactured, rigorously congruent with the original ones, based on a thorough study of the archives, including edged weapons and fire arms replicas, congruent with the original historical items, for each of the different time periods to be commemorated. All equipment was purchased at the expense of the group’s members.

ATM covers the historical period starting with the year 1806 by cultivating the traditions of 12 prestigious Romanian military units: Regiment 2 Vânatori Gardă “Regina Elisabeta” (chasseurs), Batalion 1 Vânători de Munte “Regele Carol II.” (mountain troops), Regiment 1 Grăniceri Gardă (Border Guards), Regiment 4 Dorobanţi “Argeş” (territorial troops), Regiment IV Linie 21 Infanterie “Ilfov”, Batalion 4 Paraşutişti, Batalion de Gardă Regală, Compania de Pompieri Militari Bucuresti (1848), Marine Infantry Regiment, Regiment 2 Romanische Grenzer Nasaud (K.u.K. Romanian border guards), 4th Roşiori (Cavalry) Guards Regiment “Queen Mary” and the Mounted Royal Guards Regiment.

Training is a central element of the group’s activity; ATM conducts almost weekly military drills and tactical training, according to the regulations and customs of past times, according to 7 different regulations, in order to ensure that their appearance at events is a correct reflection of military history.

Most activities, at home or abroad, are fruit of cooperation based on official, signed and sealed documents, with the General Staff of the Romanian Army, the Romanian Gendarmerie, the National Military Museum in Bucharest, the National Office for Heroe’s Cult, the Bucharest City Hall, other military institutions and museums, war veterans, local authorities in several regions, groups similar to ours throughout the world. With these groups friendly relationships were established, in the pursuit of the same noble ideals.

Most ATM events include a combination of several types of activities: demonstrations of historical-military reenactment, ceremonies, parades, honor guard, commemorative marches, presentations of historical military effects (the battle flag is shown and explained, the different uniforms, equipment, weaponry and accessories, e.g. machine guns, submachine guns, mortars, etc.), demonstrations of military history (historical drills, military ceremonies e.g. Military Oath, Prayer, changing of the guard; tactical exercises e.g. fencing with various weapons; short dramatizations, etc.), maintenance of monuments or historical sites, reenactments of battles, filming for artistic or documentary films.

ATM does not glorify war, but entices to learning the lessons of history, freed of any propaganda. The weapons that ATM members carry, defend only against oblivion. Preserving traditions is essential to taking the step from the status of population to the status of nation. Knowing the past helps understanding the present and building a better future. ATM passes the torch of memory from generation to generation, to shed light on the path towards the future. The heroes of the past, regardless of the army they fought in, sacrificed themselves thinking of the generations to follow – in return, the new generations have the duty to live, while thinking of the fallen heroes. Those living close the eyes of the dead, but sometimes those who died open the eyes of those who are living.

Please contact us at cartiergeneral@traditia-militara.ro for further details regarding our association; we would be honoured should you, sharing our passion for military history, wish to cooperate with us.