President Milanović presents officer’s daggers and commendations to retired Croatian Army officers: This is an acknowledgment to successful, honest and accomplished individuals
“This is a debt of honour and an acknowledgment to a group of successful, honest and accomplished individuals, fathers, officers, military representatives and commanders at the end of their professional path”, the President of the Republic and Commander in Chief of the Croatian Armed Forces Zoran Milanović told retired colonels and captains (N), 19 of them in total, at a special reception held on the occasion of their retirement.
“There is still strength and ardour, ambition, interest and desire in you. Don’t suppress this, continue to live successfully, not in the way you have lived until now. Your job was a vocation, not your ordinary job, and it’s not accidentally called an officer’s job”, stated President Milanović in his address, adding that they are called officers because “honour goes along with a soldier, a duty despite the fact that there’s a hierarchy to follow and obey legal commands, it includes personal freedom that must never be lost”. “An officer is an individual who thinks and leads his people”, the President explained.
“An honour and a duty to serve the homeland – that’s done in a special way. Devote your time to what you like and desire. While we worked together, Croatia’s interest and seeing that interest was not a guiding principle but our foundation. We were not unsuccessful in that, it was a success story and path”, President Milanović said, concluding his address.
Also attending the ceremony in the Office of the President was Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Ivan Anušić who told the retired Croatian Army senior officers that they said all they had to say and showed all they had to show in their professional career because they are members of the victorious Croatian Army. “That is what’s specific to our Armed Forces, our Army and ultimately our Croatian state. You are the winners in the Homeland War, you belonged to the victorious Croatian Army and today you deserve to retire”, the Defence Minister said, and thanked them for all they did when it was most needed, putting themselves to the disposition of the Croatian state and the Croatian people.
He added that even today when they are retiring and tomorrow when they will enjoy their deserved retirement, they will remain members of the Armed Forces and the victorious Croatian Army. “Let us never forget that. You have to be proud of that and carry that name proudly, and transmit it to future generations”, Minister Anušić noted, and invited the retired officers to continue transferring their patriotism to the generations coming after them.
In his address the Chief of the General Staff of the Croatian Armed Forces Admiral Robert Hranj thanked the retired Croatian Army senior officers for having served the homeland, and all those who participated in the Homeland War and for defending the homeland. “You are turning a new page in your lives, you are opening a new chapter, a different kind of challenge, I hope less stressful and less demanding. I hope that in the new chapter of your lives you will have more time to enjoy than you had the opportunity when carrying out the difficult task of serving the homeland. Regardless of the fact that you are no longer on active duty, I call upon all of you to continue to be loyal to the homeland”, Admiral Robert Hranj noted.
The President of the Republic and Commander in Chief of the Croatian Armed Forces presented officer’s daggers and commendations to retired senior officers of the Croatian Armed Forces for honourable and exemplary service, dedicated service, successful cooperation, joint work and personal contribution to the creation and development of the Croatian Armed Forces. An officer’s dagger was presented to retired colonels: Željko Akrap, Zoran Bakula, Edita Balun, Stanislav Blažeković, Marijan Cikuš, Boris Dukarić, Goran Gombar, Željko Javor, Darko Jurić, Darko Marković, Ivo Martinić, Vjeran Matišin, Marjo Milinović, Predrag Palac, Đuro Pažin, Darko Podrug, Alen Vukman, Željko Žeželj and retired captain (N) Milenko Crljen.
Colonel Željko Akrap spoke on behalf of the retired senior officers of the Croatian Armed Forces.
Also in attendance at the ceremony held on the occasion of the retirement of colonels and captains (N) besides Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Ivan Anušić and the Chief of the General Staff of the Croatian Armed Forces Admiral Robert Hranj, were the Deputy Chief of the GS of the CAF Lieutenant General Siniša Jurković, the Commander of Support Command Lieutenant General Mladen Fuzul, the Commander of the Croatian Defence Academy Major General Slaven Zdilar, the Chief of the Operations Directorate in the GS Major General Denis Tretinjak, the Commander of the Croatian Air Force and Air Defense Brigadier General Michael Križanec, the Commander of the Croatian Navy Commodore Damir Dojkić, the Commander of the Special Forces Command Colonel Ivan Miloš, the Deputy Head of Personnel Administration of the GS of the CAF Colonel Damir Šlat, and the vicar general of the Military Ordinariate Rev. Marko Medo.
Alongside President Milanović were the Adviser to the President for Defence Ivica Olujić, the Adviser to the President for National Security Dragan Lozančić, the Special Adviser to the President for Homeland War Veterans Marijan Mareković, the Head of the Military Office in the Cabinet for Defence and National Security of the Office of the President Brigadier General Ivica Kranjčević, the Aide-de-camp to the President Colonel Vlado Čulina, the Staff officer for Operational Support in the Military Office of the Cabinet for Defence and National Security Colonel Siniša Marić, and the Staff NCO for IT Support in the Military Office of the Cabinet for Defence and National Security Sergeant Major Hrvoje Krajačić.
PHOTO: Office of the President of the Republic Croatia / Tomislav Bušljeta, Dario Andrišek