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May 29 2020

1st Lieutenant Ivan Horvat

30, Born in Zagreb, Croatia

How would you describe yourself in three words?

Curious - Reliable - Poised

Acquiring new knowledge and skills is definitely a part of my personality. I constantly keep questioning Why? How? How to do it better? This curiosity pushes me further to develop, bringing me new knowledge and wisdom every day.

I have always shown reliability to my superior officers. Whenever there is an unprecedented task or there is no known way to solve a problem, I always come up with a product that satisfies the request, even if it is on short notice. Even when it’s on a weekend or in the middle of the night, you can always rely on me.

Sometimes I have my own thoughts and expressions about topics, I always try to keep calm and poised to see the interactions and the general desired outcome of the superiors and the group. Once I grab the full picture of what’s going on, I try to produce something useful, applicable and meaningful. I’m not the one to come up right away with a quick opinion, I’m more of an information gatherer.

What makes your home country special to you?

Landscape - People - Way of Life

One of the main traits of Croatia is being such a diverse geographical landscape. You have the seaside, you have the mountains, you have the plains, and you have the islands. All in just one country. There is a warm climate down south, a nice mild weather up front; you can enjoy all aspects of all seasons. The people of Croatia have their specific traits, their specific ways and specific cultures, related to that geographical bandwidth. Although we’re just one nation, every little micro-geography developed it’s own micro-culture, it’s own distinct way of life. There is so much, many little traditions, many little cultural things going on that you can discover and explore. I find that one of the most amazing things about my home country, especially being a native, to explore all of that broad diversity.

What is your impression of Ulm in three words?

Historical - Cultural - Academic

The city of Ulm is historical. There is the old Münster, the cathedral, a lot of history resonating from the city, of its developments, of its cultural heritage and its historical heritage, which in essence again brings up the cultural aspect of this beautiful city. It’s a special place to reside in, with its own atmosphere, its own little celebrations and festivities like the Schwörmontag. That’s something I really enjoy. Ulm is the birthplace of Albert Einstein and it has a long academic tradition. An old city with old traditions, but crowded with young people, and with young culture. It is quite unusual, normally you either have a new city that’s big and broad, or you have an old city with old people. Ulm is an old city with young people, that’s a nice combination.

How would you describe JSEC in three words?

Developing - Visionary - Crucial

There is a lot of working progress, JSEC is still standing up, it’s still establishing all the necessary interactions with our partners, be it the nations, be it the other entities inside NATO. We’re on a good road, on a good path, but it’ll still take some time. As we know, Rome was not built in a day, in that respect nor was any NATO Force Structure entity. 
JSEC also brings a paradigm shift in thinking on collective defense, on how to protect the borders. We’re moving from constant military presence on the ground to being a rapidly deployable alliance and that requires a lot more coordination between the nations, between other entities and stakeholders in the area. A lot less resources, be it on-the-ground-resources, but a lot more coordination. That’s why I deem JSEC as visionary, because it initiates a new way of thinking, a new way of doing things. It will play a crucial role in the Alliance, being the centerfold for future defense scenarios in Europe.

What makes JSEC special to you?

Talent - Camaraderie - Unity

JSEC is my first deployment. When I arrived here in the support Division, I met many very talented and smart people. That gives me the opportunity to learn from them and try to catch up, or even surpass them. There is a constant competition, but in a very positive way. It’s more in the spirit of progress and not in the spirit of showing off. There is a lot of unity, many formal and informal engagements between the members of JSEC, on duty and off duty. It’s building up a good spirit that is needed, especially in times of crises, where you have to trust each other. Camaraderie is the way to build it. In addition, there is a great unity of effort; everybody is working towards the same goal. Each one of us is like a little cogwheel inside of a huge machinery, bringing their own little contribution inside their domain to keep the big things going.

There is a great Unity of effort! 

Story by Joint Support and Enabling Command Public Affairs Office

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