The Croatian Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Damir Krstičević delivered a lecture titled “Croatian Armed Forces – the Past, Present and Future“ for the young generations of Croatian diaspora within the project titled Summer School “Homeland“ (Domovina)
As part of the Project Summer School “Domovina“ of the Central State Office for Croatians outside the Republic of Croatia, the Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Damir Krstičević delivered a lecture “The Croatian Armed Forces – the past, the present and the future“ in the Knin Fortress on 17 July 2019.
The Summer School gathers more than 30 attendees, the descendents of the Croatian emigrants to the United States, Canada, Australia, Peru, South Africa and Argentina.
Minister Krstičević praised the opportunity to meet with the descendants of Croatian emigrants in the Knin Fortress: “Testifying about the victorious Croatian Army in the Knin Fortress evokes the pride of the glortious days; our duty is to spread the truth about the Homeland War”.
The Minister emphasised that the Homeland War was the foundation of the modern state of Croatia, and that the sacrifice of the Croatian defenders state and that the victim of Croatian war veterans was not in vain: “The sacrifice of the Croatian defenders obliges us to continue building Croatia for the future generations”.
The Minister also stressed that the Croatian Army was established during the Homeland War, manned by Croatian people and protecting it proudly to this day. “We had scarce means but we were ready to give everything, and many gave their lives too and we owe them gratitude. We had learned to think outside the , we educated young and capable commanders and invincible unity“.
Underlying the Operation “Storm“ as the crowning victorious operation in the Homeland War, the minister quoted the Marine General and former U.S Secretary of Defense James Mattis “The Operation Storm showed that the well-led, well-trained, equipped and following good political guidelines can change the course of history. ”
The Minister also reminded that then Croatian Army , under the leadership of the first Croatian President Dr. Franjo Tuđman, the Defence Minister Gojko Šušak and General Janko Bobetko, undertook transition into a modern military organisation, entailing the adoption of the Western doctrine, the introduction of a new leadership style under which commanders led all actions and which welcomed the initiative by young commanders .
Presenting the new achievements of the Croatian Army, the Minister stressed that the Croatian Armed Forces were a respectable force, and that Croatian soldiers were recognised as true professionals and promoters of Croatia worldwide“.
“Croatia is free and sovereign and a member of NATO and of the European Union, and the deployments of its soldiers in peace- support missions and operations worldwide have presented it as a guarantor of security and a regional force in southeast Europe”. The Minister underlined the members of the Croatian Armed Forces as the essential component, in both war and peace.
Presenting the new projects for armed forces development the Minister announced that as of the following academic year cadets of the Croatian Armed Forces would take their oaths in the Knin Fortress – the symbol of the Homeland War.
The attendees of the Summer School were also addressed by the Mayor of Knin Marko Jelić.
The Minister accompanied the Summer School attendees visiting the Museum “ Storm 95“, the highest plateau of the Knin Fortress, the monument to the first Croatian President Dr. Franjo Tuđman and the spot where the Croatian national flag was hoisted following the end of the Operation “Storm“ .
The programme of “Summer School“ in the Knin Fortress also featured a performance by the Croatian Navy’s Vocal Ensemble “Sveti Juraj”.