July 11, 2019 —
On Tuesday, June 25th, National Defense University President Vice Admiral Fritz Roegge presided over the induction of four distinguished alumni into NDU’s International Fellows Hall of Fame:
Lieutenant Gabor Böröndi, Chief of Land Forces, Hungary, NWC 2017
Major General Siniša Jurković, Commander of the Croatian Army, NWC 2016
Major General Josef Kopecký, Commander of the Land Forces, Czech Republic, NWC 2009
Major General (Retired) Michael Beary, Head of Mission and Force Commander UNIFIL, NWC 2009.
The generals (all graduates of the National War College) were inducted during the Alumni Continuing Education Security Seminar in Tartu, Estonia, bringing NDU’s total Hall of Fame membership up to 70 members. All of our inductees have risen to positions of the highest importance and provided exceptional service in their respective countries.
General Böröndi, currently Deputy Commander of Hungarian Defense Forces, spoke about the importance of paying attention to “all the changes happening in the world,” including changes in Hungarian national security policy that he facilitated by using the knowledge he gained from his year at NDU. He emphasized the importance of knowledge, including “personal knowledge,” over rank.
General Jurković, Commander of the Croatian Army, expressed the value of NDU’s “focus on people.” He also mentioned that the “knowledge, skills, and values” he picked up while at NDU continue to be the main tenets of his philosophy while commanding the Croatian Land Forces.
General Kopecký, Commander of the Land Forces for the Czech Republic, reiterated the importance of the connections one can make at NDU, highlighting former classmates from the United States and other countries whom he reconnected with while deployed. He then went on to say that because of NDU “we have friends around the globe.”
General (Ret) Beary, former Head of Mission and Force Commander for UNIFIL, described how the “academic assumption” that placing students of different nationalities in the same classroom produces a security network that endures far beyond their time at NDU, was proven in his personal experience commanding peace-keeping forces in Lebanon. He emphasized the comfort of knowing fellow NDU graduates in both the Lebanese and Israeli armed forces, as well as in the U.S. Embassy.
All the inductees emphasized the value of personal relationships with their fellow international and U.S. students in their future leadership roles. They were unanimous in how important the year in the United States was to their family.
NDU is very proud of the accomplishments of these distinguished alumni. They are continuing the legacy of great service to international peace and stability. Their photos will be permanently displayed on the IHOF wall of fame in Marshall Hall.