The President of the Republic and Commander in Chief of the Croatian Armed Forces Zoran Milanović decorated U.S. Lieutenant General Jon A. Jensen, who currently serves as the Director of the Army National Guard. For extraordinary contributions to the international reputation of the Republic of Croatia and the development of bilateral relations between the Republic of Croatia and the United States of America and the successful cooperation between the Croatian Armed Forces and the Minnesota National Guard, Lieutenant General Jon A. Jensen was decorated with the Order of Duke Trpimir with Ribbon and Star.
Presenting the decoration to Lieutenant General Jensen in Split, President Milanović explained who Duke Trpimir was, pointing out that his seat was in the immediate vicinity of Split and that the first Croatian ancient navy was founded in his time. “We know the history of our relations with the Minnesota National Guard. From the Croatian perspective, this cooperation is much more than a formality. I see how much it means to our people and we want it to stay that way. I am confident that it will continue,” said President Milanović.
“Accept this decoration, this major Croatian order, as a token of appreciation and respect for everything you have done in building our relations,” said President Milanović, bestowing the Order of Duke Trpimir with Ribbon and Star upon Lieutenant General Jon Jensen.
As he accepted the medal, Lieutenant General Jensen thanked President Milanović, telling him he was very pleased to be among friends with whom he had the privilege of working. “You are right, this year marks the 25th anniversary of our relations and indeed it means a lot to me to receive such an award on that anniversary. On behalf of the Governor of Minnesota and the generals, I humbly accept this award and thank you once again,” said Lieutenant General Jensen.
The following individuals were alongside President Milanović at the award presentation ceremony: Minister of Defense of the Republic of Croatia Mario Banožić, Chief of the General Staff of the Croatian Armed Forces Admiral Robert Hranj, Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Croatian Armed Forces Lieutenant General Siniša Jurković, Commander of the Croatian Army Lieutenant General Boris Šerić, Commander of the Support Command Lieutenant General Mladen Fuzul, Commander of the Croatian Defense Academy Lieutenant General Mate Pađen, Commander of the Croatian Navy Rear Admiral Ivo Raffanelli, Commander of the Croatian Air Force Brigadier General Michael Križanec and Special Adviser to the President of the Republic for Homeland War Veterans Marijan Mareković.