Ugrás a tartalomhozUgrás a menüpontokhozUgrás a lábléchez

Among Celebrities

Szöveg: Gábor Kálmánfi |  2018. augusztus 14. 8:06

The name and position of Major General Zoltán Mihócza was placed into the United States Air War College’s International Hall of Fame. Those former students are inducted into the Hall of Fame, who having returned home can demonstrate a distinguished career, thereby earning further reputation to the institution.

It was back in the spring of 2004, when Zoltán Mihócza was informed by his superiors, that he has the possibility to study at the United States Air War College in Montgomery, Alabama. As the acting Commander of the HDF Joint Force Command (JFC) said, the decision-makers thought that he can use the experiences acquired there in his later military service.

– How is education conducted in this university?

– Largely the same as in any other higher education institution. Then there studied 245 US students and 45 overseas, all from different countries. As for the Americans, it is interesting to note that in addition to the active and reserve soldiers also the members of the National Guard were studying there. We were placed into different seminar groups, I was grouped together with a Mexican colonel (today: a brigadier general) and an Israeli Lieutenant Colonel (also a Brigadier General). It is also worth noting that this school does not only place an emphasis on the military sciences, but also gives a broader political vision, and helps navigate in the things of the world. This was also reflected by the closing exercise, where we had to solve political and military conflicts in various regions of the world. I played the role of the UN Secretary General, and I am proud to say, that our group was the only one, where the military conflict between China and Vietnam did not escalate to the military level, we could peacefully settle the situation.

General Mihócza (second from the right), beginning his career as an air defence artilleryman, inspected the Tobruq Legacy 2018 exercise

– As an imaginary UN Secretary General it is no wonder that you were selected into the Hall of Fames…

– As a matter of fact it takes more than that. The minimum requirement for example is that the nominee should occupy at least the post of the chief of one of the branches of the service in his country. Although I began my military career as an air defence artilleryman, at the time of my nomination I was the Chief of Staff of the HDF JFC, and this level met the requirements. It was a great honour for me to get into the Hall of Fame; I am sincere when I say that I did not expect this, because Brigadier General Albert Sáfár, the Command’s current Air Force Chief is also a member of this famous hall, so it did not even occur to me. Together with the Air Forces Chiefs of Pakistan and Taiwan among others, we could attend a very nice ceremony, and it was a pleasure for me to get back to Alabama.

– You have taken quite a long road so far. Which were the most important stages of your military career?

– I graduated as an electrical engineer, then I was inaugurated as a lieutenant in 1986, and then for eleven years I served in the team service. All these are very decisive, and I believe that the basic capabilities are developed in this level, which can be improved in the subsequent career advancement.

I also treasure as a vital stage the period, when in 2006 for four years I was working at the Operations and Training Department of the Ministry of Defence, as Deputy Director of Department. In my opinion these are the two key subfields of the armed forces. In my career I had been engaged several times in missions and in permanent, non-armed tours of duty. I was enriched with many professional experiences for example in Brussels, when I led the Office of the Military Representative between 2011-2013, and I should mention the 2015 and 2016 years: when I had the post of the EUFOR Mission Chief of Staff (Deputy Comander).

– Now you direct the HDF Joint Force Command as acting Commander. What will guide the military organisation in the near future?

– I believe, and what is more important, according to the assessment of the superiors, the command moves in the right direction in the wake of the former Commanders’ activity. Following the motto of my immediate predecessor, our work should be guided by faith; we have to follow our national interests, and act in teamwork. We won’t change direction, as we must not change a winning team here, in Székesfehérvár, either. Turning to the concrete tasks, regarding the missions; elections will take place in Bosnia and Herzegovina in the fall, so we have to be prepared to guarantee the security situation, we may as well need the help of the reserve regiment, if required. From among the domestic duties, it is a priority task to prepare the forces offered for NATO, i.e. to bring them up to a proficient level. We have to do our best to ensure that the battalion level battle group facing an Alliance-level exercise in the fall, passes a successful evaluation. Last but not least, the Joint Resolve exercise is conducted along our Southern borders: our soldiers, together with the policemen are active in the defence of our country, and this will continue to be the case in the future.

Photo: Major Manuela Peters and the author