President Milanović Meets with “Goranski risovi” 138th Croatian Army Brigade Club Delegation

12. October 2021.

The President of the Republic Zoran Milanović received in his Office a delegation of the “Goranski risovi” 138th Croatian Army Brigade Club from Delnice, on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the brigade’s formation. The “Goranski risovi” [Lynxes of Gorski Kotar] Brigade was established in Delnice on 28 October 1991 and was initially composed of Croatian National Guard units from the municipalities of Delnice, Čabar and Vrbovsko.

The 138th Croatian Army Brigade Club has upheld the tradition of the brigade and celebrated its service in the Homeland War. The delegation told President Milanović that the Club’s goal is to continue to uphold the brigade’s tradition and honour its wartime service. As they presented to the President the brigade’s service in the Homeland War, the members of the delegation pointed out that more than 5,000 defenders passed through its ranks, mostly from the region of Gorski Kotar, but also from the Croatian Littoral, Krk Island, Rijeka and Opatija. Fifteen members of the brigade were killed and 220 were wounded.

The delegation emphasized that thanks to the brigade’s first combat engagement in early November 1991, namely the liberation of all Yugoslav National Army military facilities in Delnice, the Croatian Army had obtained a great deal of weapons and ammunition needed for defense. From its inception until November 1995, the brigade spent four years on the battlefield, primarily in the region of Lika, the delegation said, and the “Goranski risovi” Brigade also contributed to the liberating Operation Storm, in which they fought alongside the “Tigrovi” 1st Guards Brigade.

Although a glorious path of service is behind them, the members of the delegation told President Milanović that they regretted they were all but forgotten as a brigade and that very little is known about them in the public. In order to keep alive the memory of the unit, the 138th Croatian Army Brigade Club published two books that examine exhaustively and in great detail the days of the brigade’s formation and its subsequent service on the battlefields of Lika. President Milanović thanked the members of the brigade for everything they have done for Croatia.

The following individuals attended the meeting with President Milanović: President of the 138th Croatian Army Brigade Club Željko Sokol; wartime Commander of the 138th Croatian Army Brigade Miljenko Balen; Chief of Staff of the 138th Croatian Army Brigade Goran Niković; Political Activities Chief Dragutin Vrus; Communications Chief Tomo Vučić; Commander of the 1st Battalion Miljenko Kauzlarić; Logistics Officer Damir Rački; Commander of the 1st Battalion Company Darko Kolenc; Commander of the Counterterrorism Platoon Milivoj Diklić; Logistics Officer – Combat Cameraman Valentin Ivančić; war veteran Josip Lisac. Special Adviser to the President for Homeland War Veterans Marijan Mareković was alongside President Milanović.

PHOTO: Office of the President of the Republic of Croatia / Filip Glas