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25 Years in a Strong Alliance

Text: HDF General Staff Strategic Communication Directorate |  12:13 March 19, 2024

Twenty-five years ago, on 12 March 1999 the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland officially joined NATO, which was a historic moment for these nations and the Alliance. This accession not only made NATO stronger but also renewed European unity and cooperation.


On 15 March 2024, the Hungarian soldiers lined up in the parade square of the Norfolk-based NATO Allied Command Transformation (ACT) celebrated more than the progressive spirit and will of the youth of the 1848 Hungarian revolution.

The Hungarian flag symbolizing Hungary’s accession to NATO was hoisted for the first time at the same place twenty-five years ago. “More than twenty-five years ago, we, Hungarians firmly believed that Hungary’s place is within the Euro-Atlantic defence system. This anniversary is of unique importance to me, so let me share a personal memory with you. Twenty-five years ago, I had first-hand experience of a partner country becoming a full-fledged member of NATO while I was serving right here, in Norfolk” – said Lieutenant General Ferenc Kajári, Deputy Chief of HDF General Staff in his ceremonial speech.


“In a world where our opponents seek only chaos, NATO has kept the peace for 75 years” – said Supreme Allied Commander Transformation General Philippe Lavigne in his speech.

Since their accession to NATO twenty-five years ago, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland have been active and recognized members of the organization. They have significantly contributed to NATO missions and operations, thus proving their commitment to the collective security of the Alliance.

The event was attended by Brigadier General Tamás Zsiga, National Liaison Representative of Hungary at the NATO ACT, Czech National Liaison Representative Colonel Josef Nejedly and Polish National Liaison Representative Colonel Maciej Dyżlą. The event marking the anniversary was also honoured by the presence of His Excellency Szabolcs Takács, Hungary’s Ambassador to Washington; Lieutenant General Krzysztof Król, Deputy Chief of General Staff of the Polish Armed Forces; Major General Miroslav Lafek, Deputy Chief of General Staff of the Czech Armed Forces and Brigadier General László Szegő, Hungarian military attaché in Washington.