President Petr Pavel Appoints 16 Generals, Emphasizes the Role of Sound Advice

In a formal ceremony at Prague Castle on October 28, 2023, President Petr Pavel conferred the esteemed rank of general upon 16 men, celebrating their dedication and accomplishments. This event, a time-honored tradition, was part of the festivities commemorating the Day of the Establishment of the Independent Czechoslovak State and culminated with the presentation of state honors later in the evening.

Among those appointed to the rank of general were individuals from diverse backgrounds and roles, including former chief of intelligence operations BIS Petr Špaček and David Chovanec, the first deputy director of the General Directorate of Prisons. The group also included Chief of the Military Police Jiří Roček, Director of Prague Police Petr Matějček, Deputy Director-General of the Fire Rescue Corps Petr Ošlejšek, and directors of two prisons, among others.

In his speech during the appointment ceremony, President Pavel, himself a former soldier, acknowledged the demanding journey these individuals had undertaken to reach this significant milestone. He highlighted the rigorous criteria and performance-based nature of achieving the rank of general. President Pavel underlined that this distinction is a testament to their commitment and dedication, stating, “The fact that you have fulfilled these conditions means that you are at the figurative peaks of your pyramids.”

However, President Pavel also placed substantial importance on the role of generals beyond their official duties. He emphasized the critical nature of generals being prepared to offer advice, even when it may not be sought or well-received. In doing so, he acknowledged that generals are not just recognized for their past achievements but for their ability to contribute insight and wisdom to complex decision-making processes.

Notably, Deputy Director-General of the Fire Brigade Petr Ošlejšek was among those promoted to the rank of brigadier general. He is responsible for the integrated rescue system and operational management, playing a pivotal role in international rescue operations, including the delivery of humanitarian aid to Iran in 2019.

The promotion to brigadier general was also conferred upon Ladislav Blahník, the director of the prison in Stráž pod Ralskem, and Dušan Gáča, the director of the Detention Prison and Secure Detention Facility in Brno. Other individuals elevated to the rank of brigadier general included David Chovanec, the first deputy director-general of the General Directorate of Prisons, Deputy Police President for Economics Jaromír Bischof, and Director of Prague Police Petr Matějček.

These promotions reflect the Czech Republic’s commitment to recognizing and honoring individuals who have exhibited exceptional dedication and achievement in their respective fields, while also emphasizing the importance of the advice and guidance they can provide in their new roles as generals.

Article by Prague Forum

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