In 1988, Sasa was conscripted to the former Yugoslavian Army at the age of 18. There he served a year in a reconnaissance unit doing his National Service. On leaving the army, Sasa worked for several months as a horticultural technician in the area of Dubrovnik in Croatia.
During 1990 he relocated to Belgium where he worked as a landscaper and as a storeman until the middle of that year. Disillusioned with life as a civilian, Sasa chose to move to France and there join the French Foreign Legion. He started his service as a legionnaire (Private). During the period 1992 to 1994 he trained and was deployed as an infantryman and sniper. In 1994 he was promoted to Infantry Squad Leader. Undergoing continuous training, Sasa was again promoted in 1997 to lead his own infantry team and as leader of a sniper team specialising in 7.62mm and 12.77mm weapons.
In 2000, Sasa, now a non-commissioned officer, changed branch and began processing intelligence data relating to security and counter intelligence. In recognition of his ability, Sasa was redeployed in 2001 the Headquarters of the French Foreign Legion to manage the security screening of Legionnaire personnel.
In 2003, Sasa received the coveted award of Brevet de Technicien supérieur for Infantry Battle, at the French National Infantry School. This award led to his promotion to Senior NCO and thereafter, leader of an Infantry Combat Platoon and a Military Police unit overseas. Sasa was placed in command of the FFL’s Military Police unit stationed in the Republic of Djibouti. In this role he was responsible for the security of a battalion of personnel, military facilities and strategic national key points. Sasa also performed as the liaison with the local Police Force during collaborative operations. At times he commanded up to 70 local policemen along with reinforcements to his own force.
Sasa’s successful tour of duty in Djibouti ended in 2005, whereupon he was recalled to France. As an Infantry Platoon Leader, he was placed in charge of the French Foreign Legion’s security vetting program. This role encompassed the creation and updating of personnel disciplinary records, training, implementing disciplinary measures and enforcement of Military Law. In this post, and leveraging his strong sense of organisation, he was often engaged in commanding security operations for large public and military events.
In 2007, Sasa’s reputation in the “Organization of the Protection of the Legion” earned him a further promotion and a porting as an Intelligence Officer overseas. The value placed on Sasa’s honour and his keen sense of justice led to his appointment as advisor to the General Commanding the operational territory in 2009.
Sasa chose to leave the Legion in 2010, after an illustrious career, having risen through the ranks during his time in the Legion to reach the rank of Warrant Officer (Sergeant 1st Class). Sasa’s honorable and dedicated service in the FFL drew many favourable mentions from Division and Battalion Headquarters over the years. He has vast experience working in multi-ethnic communities in a team or as an individual operating in sensitive and often dangerous areas. His compassion for people and an ability to forge strong relationships with local authorities and population served him well during his many missions throughout Africa and the Eastern Europe.
During his time in the Legion Sasa delivered specialist training as an instructor to groups or individual Legionnaires and to members of the French Army. He has expert knowledge in combat specialties as well as military intelligence. His areas of expertise extend to snipers, team leaders, NCO’s, group leaders and scouts, operating in a combat or survival role in desserts, jungles or mountains, in any weather.
It was this pedigree that brought him to the attention of Downrange. Particularly, his knowledge and experience in French speaking Africa. Sasa joined Downrange as a military police instructor for a project in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). This role later expanded into Civil Military Operations for Congolese army students (FARDC) at the DRC’s Superior Military College in Kinshasa. Sasa’s training and leadership skills quickly emerged. Within a short time he was promoted to Team Leader and his training team went mobile to cover other FARDC bases throughout the country. His effort and those of his team brought great credit to the program.
Sasa Dervisevic speaks French, English, Serbian, Russian, Bulgarian and Polish. In his current role, Sasa has engaged in various site surveys and training projects in African countries and in Eastern Europe.
Sasa joined Downrange in 2011 as a military instructor. Since 2012, Sasa holds the position of Downrange’s Director of Training.