Svetozar Borojević was born in 1856 in the village of Umetići near Kostajnica. His family had a long tradition of serving in the military, which prompted him to choose the military profession. He finished Military Academy in Graz and after some additional training worked asa tutor at the Theresian Military Academy in Wiener Neustadt. He became Colonel (Oberstleutnant) in 1895 and Brigadier (Oberst) in 1807. In 1904 he was promoted to the rank of Major-general and became a commander in the Croatian Home Guard. In 1905 he received the Hungarian title von Bojna. In 1908 he was promoted to the rank of Colonel-General (Feldmarschalleutnant) and to General (General de Infanterie) in 1913.
At the start of World War One he was mostly engaged in successful military operations on the Eastern front. In 1915 he was transferred to the Italian front and organised a successful defence there, which secured him the commanding position on the Soča frontline. He received the highest general rank, that of General Colonel (Generaloberst), in 1916 for heroism in battle. The following year he took over command of the entire south-western frontline. In 1918 he became field marshal and was awarded numerous medals. He was ultimately forced to retire due to the generally chaotic situation in the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
Borojević stepped down in December and applied for citizenship of the newly created State of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes. But as a highly ranked Austro-Hungarian officer, he was deemed undesirable in the Yugoslav state and his request was denied. He died in Klagenfurt in 1820.
Svetozar Borojević von Bojna was doubtlessly one of the most successful Austro-Hungarian military commanders of World War One, as evidenced by his rank of the field marshal. The significance of this recognition is even greater considering that he was the first and only field marshal not of German descent.