At the beginning of the Homeland War he joined the Croatian Armed Forces and in the period from 1991 to 2002, when he retired with the rank of Colonel, he had been appointed to different duties – 1991 to 1992 Company Commander in the Special Forces, 1992 to 1993 Battalion Commander in the Sinj Training Centre, 1993 to 1996 Commander of Sinj Operations Group and Commander of the 126th Sinj Brigade, 1996 to 2001 Commander of the 4th Guard Brigade Split, and 2001 to 2002 Chief of Staff of the Military District Dubrovnik.
Having obtained the diploma in journalism from the Faculty of Political Science of the University of Zagreb in 2011, he has worked as a columnist in the daily newspaper Večernji list from 2004 to 2005. Other engagements throughout his civilian career include the position of the director of the demining company Zdrug from 2005 to 2006 and a member of the board of managers of Urbaniko company from 2006 to 2007. In 2007 he became a member of the Parliament and served as the Chairman of the Veterans Committee. In December, 2011, he was appointed Minister of Defence.
During his service in the Armed Forces he completed many specialist courses in Croatia and abroad, like the Antiterrorist Combat Course, Management Course, and the SSTR Course at George C. Marshall European Centre for Security Studies. He graduated from the Command and Staff College in 1993, and War College in 2000. He is currently enrolled on the postgraduate master studies in Business Management – MBA at the Faculty of Economics, University of Zagreb.
For his outstanding service in the Armed Forces Kotromanović has been decorated with numerous Croatian military decorations such as the Order of Duke Domagoj, Order of Nikola Subic Zrinski, Order of Count Jelacic, Medal for Exceptional Ventures, Memorial of Homeland War, and the Memorial of Homeland Gratitude.
He speaks English and is the author of a series of articles on the military, veterans, terrorism and military-political topics.
He is married and has two daughters. In his free time he enjoys spending time with his family and keeping fit.
Former Defence Minister:
- Defence Minister of the Republic of Croatia Josip Buljević (22 January 2016 – 20 October 2016)
- Ante Kotromanovic (23 December 2011 22 January 2016)
- Davor Bozinovic (29. December 2010 – 23. December 2011)
- Branko Vukelic (12 January 2008-29 December 2010)
- Berislav Roncevic (23 December 2003 -12 January 2008)
- Zeljka Antunovic (30 July 2002 – 23 December 2003)
- Jozo Rados (28 January 2000-30 July 2002)
- Paul Miljavac (14October 1998 to 27 January 2000)
- Andrija Hebrang (14 May 1998 to 12 October 1998)
- Gojko Susak (18 September 1991 – 3 May 1998)
- Luka Bebic (31 July 1991 – 18 September 1991)
- Sime Djodan (02 July 1991 – 31 July 1991)
- Martin Spegelj (24 August 1990 – 02 July 1991)
- mr. Peter Kriste (31 May 1990 – 24 August 1990)