The Croatian Armed Forces will be back to the heroic town of Vukovar – an…
The Memorial Centre of the Homeland War in Vukovar on 21 June 20’18 hosted the formal graduation ceremony for the 153 students of the military schools of the Croatian Defence Academy “Dr. Franjo Tuđman”.
The ceremony was attended by President of the Republic of Croatia as Supreme Commander of the Croatian Armed Forces Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, by the Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Damir Krstičević, by the Chief of the General Staff of the Croatian Armed Forces General Mirko Šundov; by the Deputy Commander of the Croatian Defence Academy “Dr. Franjo Tuđman”, Colonel Željko Dadić, the Prefect of the Vukovar- Srijem County Božo Galić and the Mayor of Vukovar Ivan Penava. President Grabar-Kitarović said that it was precisely the symbol of the promotion of military schools in Vukovar, a strong and clear message to all members of the Croatian Armed Forces.
“The sacrifice of this town and the heroism of its defenders must oblige and encourage all of you to permanently and obediently remain loyal to the Homeland through exemplary military service, and to have a willingness to sacrifice for Croatia”. The President also told the graduates “that nurturing a memory of the Homeland War was an inspiration to have courage, determination and persistence in facing all future challenges and overcoming obstacles that you are bound to encounter in your future career“. The Defence Minister extended congratulations to the members of the partner and allied countries who chose the Croatian Defence Academy for their education. The Croatian Defence Minister Damir Krstičević stated: “I am proud that this important ceremony has returned to our beloved Vukovar, as the place of honour for the graduation of the Croatian soldiers. Vukovar is the sacred place for the Croatian Army and a symbol of the struggle for the freedom of Croatia. The Homeland War is the foundation of modern Croatia. Take Vukovar and the feats of the Croatian defenders committed to the sacred goal as your inspiration.
The Minister extended congratulations to members of the partner and allied armed forces who had chosen the Croatian Defence Academy as a place of excellence for their military training “We are developing the capabilities of the Croatian Armed Forces for the sake of our freedom, peace and future“, said Minister Krstičević. The Chief of the General Staff, General Šundov emphasised that the young graduates were the future of the Croatian Armed Forces and of the defence system.
“I hope that we have identified the future leaders among them. Leadership is about the character – a combination of human and and ethical virtues such as courage, moderation, righteousness , prudence and wisdom, and the character is about a lifelong striving for excellence“. The graduation ceremony is our message of recognition of the effort and hard workl invested into your development and thus to the development of the Croatian Armed FOoces too“, said the Deputy Commander of the Croatian Defence Academy Colonel Dadić, who also said that the education system would continue to rest on expert qualities complemented with the experiences from the Homeland War, the patriotic education, character qualities and readiness of officers and NCOs assume responsibility to lead the units, commands and systems.
The Mayor of Vukovar Ivan Penava reiterated the appreciation to Minister Krstičević and the Croatian Government for their commitment to the return of the Croatian Armed Forces to Vukovar.“The return of the Croatian units to Vukovar is of absolute importance and of strategic interest; the town government will now provide the accomodation and other amenities to ensure quality life for the young soldiers and thus crown the overall process of the return of the Croatian military to Vukovar. 2nd Lt. Ana Antolović, a military psychologist from Vukovar and one of the best performing students, shared her satisfaction, honour and awareness of the great responsibility of belonging to the Croatian Armed Forces and holding the key to the future of the Croatian defence system, quoted the words of her father, a Croatian defender and a member of the 204th Vukovar Brigade. She quoted the words of her father: “I am here to serve my country, to learn and to achieve competence to contribute to the victorious Croatian Army the best way I can.
“It is a great pride to have been proclaimed the best performing student of the 21st generation of the Basic Officer Training in the Croatian Air Force. Other students were great too, true professionals and it was the details that decided. Flying an aircraft is the most beautiful experience , which cannot be expressed with words. I am looking forward to the future challenges in my career“, said 2nd Lt. Ćurkovič. The return of the graduation ceremony of the military schools to Vukovar is a symbolic tribute for the heroic town, paying the hardest sacrifice for the freedom of Croatia . The ceremony had been held in Vukovar from 2004 – 2011, after which it was hosted by the Croatian Defence Academy in Zagreb and in 2017 returned to Vukovar. In 2017 too a unit of the Croatian Armed Forces returned to Vukovar on the eve of the marking of the 26th anniversary of the Vukovar Remembrance Day.