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BG Siniša Jurković appointed Commander of Croatian Army

Foto MORH/ J. Kopi
Foto MORH/ J. Kopi

On 19 December 2017, a formal Croatian Army Commander Handover ceremony was held in the Dom HV "Zrinski" in Karlovac, between the outgoing Commander, Lieutenant General Mate Ostović and Brigadier Gemeral Siniša Jurković.

The handover took place with the symbolic procedure of the transfer of the banner by the Chief of the General Staff of the Croatian Armed Forces, General Mirko Šundov from the outgoing commander, Lt. Gen. Mate Ostović to Brig. Gen. Jurković, who swore to exercise a honourable and dedicated duty for the benefit of Croatia and Its Armed Forces. The ceremony was attended by the Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Damir Krstičević, as Envoy of the Croatian Prime Minister,  the Chief of General Staff of the Croatian Armed Forces General Mirko Šundov, representatives of the Ministry of Defence and of the Croatian Armed Forces, of the Military Diplomatic Corps, of the local government and retired senior officers of the Croatian Armed Forces and others.

The Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Damir Krstičević reiterated that the Croatian Army was the core of the  Armed Forces, a guarantor of security and stability, and  the support to the citizens hit by natural disasters.
"It distinguishes  Croatin soldiers from others , because they always stand close to the citizens, ready to assist whenever necessary. Croatia's international  engagements in the peace support missions hold a significant place, but the saved lives and property in disasters are of paramount importance“. The Minister also stressed the important progress achieved in modernisation.

"New time brings new challenges, to which we have to be ready to respond; hence the personnel changes at the strategic positions in the Croatian Armed Forces; now manned by a new generation of  officers. The Minister called on Brig. Gen. Jurković to look towards the future, to motivate and lead the soldiers to contribute to the strength and reputation of the Republic of Croatia and and to keep in mind that they and their experience, knowledge and motivation constitute the most valuable segment of the system.
The Chief of the General Staff, General Mirko Šundov extended appreciation to Lt. Gen.  Ostović zfor the commitment over the past three years to develop and upgrade the Croatian Army, which has developed new and uprade the existing defence systems, infrastructure and the organisation itself and trains its personnel.  General Šundov also praised the competencies and professionalism of Brig. Gen. Jurković.

"Your duty will be to continue upgrading the system to enable it to protect the territorial integrity, sovereignty and national interests of the Republic of Croatia in its area of responsibility, and to continue providing support to the civilian institutiosn faced with various non-military risks and threats“, said General Šundov.
Brigadier General Siniša Jurković appreciated his family for the support and said they were his main motive to exercise the honourable and important duty.

"The Croatian Army is a living entity, which needs constant developing and upgrading. Our focus will be placed on its members, and we are going to assign young staff in the battalions of the guards brigades. We are also going to upgrade the living and working conditions of the Croatian soldiers, and the year 2018 will be dedicated to  the physical readiness and health of the members of the Croatian Armed Forces. We shall also continue equipping the reserve regiments and intensify our  international co-operation to achieve interoperability between the Croatian Army and the partner forces.

Lt. Gen. Mate Ostović used the opportunity to extend  appreciation to the staff for the support provided to him and enumerated the main events of 2017: “the largest military exercise - "UDAR 17"in the Training Range near Slunj,  the participation in exercises abroad  and the  line-up and training of reserve units; the introduction of PzH 2000 into the operational service, the deployment of the self-propelled MLR Battery to eFP in Lithuania, and the assistance provided to the citizens of Croatia during the fires and floods“.
Brigadier General Siniša Jurković, the fifth commander of the Croatian Army, was born in Nova Gradiška, Croatia in 1968; graduated from the Army Academy in 1991 and joined the Croatian National Guard in October 1991. In active service since 1993, as  chief of the armoured troops in the Staff and Command of the 123 Brigade of the Croatian Army. From 1999 – 2003  he exercised staff duties in the Command of the II Military District, where he was assigned with unit training officer and exercise planner.
From 2003 – 2007 he served in the 3rd Guard's Armoured Mechanised Brigade as battalion commander and head of the Operation Section of the Brigade's Staff. In 2007 he headed the Croatian OMLT team to ISAF.

Bg Jurković commanded the Armoured Mechanised Brigade from July  2011 to May 2015 and was appointed Chief of Staff-Deputy Commander of the Croatian Army in July 2016.
Bg Jurković was promoted to the rank of captain in 1992, major in 1996, lieutenant colonel in 2003, colonel in 2009 and to the rank of brigadier general in 2013. He is a holder of the  Order of Vice-roy Jelačić, the Order of the Croatian Trefoil, the Order of the Croatian Three-strand Pattern, the Memorial Medal of the Homeland War and of the Medal of Homeland's Gratitude and the “Lightning“ Medal and was repeatedly commended by the Commander of the Guard's Brigade, of the Military District, the Commander of the Croatian Army, the Chief of the General Staff of the Croatian Armed Forces, the Defence Minister and the President of the Republic.

Foto: MORH/ J. Kopi 

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