On 28 November, France’s ambassador to Hungary Claire Legras decorated Colonel Dr. József András Balogh, Legal and Administrative Chief of the HDF General Staff with the Knight’s Cross of the National Order of Merit (Ordre national du Mérite) of France.
During the event held at the residency of the French Embassy, Colonel Balogh received the prestigious foreign recognition for his services made in the interest of the French–Hungarian relations. While praising his career path, the ambassador pointed out that through his service, the colonel has contributed to military-to-military relations both in the past and in the present. He emphasized that prior to his current position, the recipient – who is well versed in French culture and language – had made a lot of efforts to further this cause as the minister’s cabinet chief and as deputy state secretary.
Following the award ceremony, Dr. József András Balogh quoted from Hungarian writer Gyula Illyés: “the tree responds to the challenges of the wind with its roots”. Accordingly, in his speech he emphasized the common historical roots and the several points of connection between the two nations. He also said thanks to all those who had helped him in the development of his personality and career path, and thanked the French ambassador for the prestigious recognition, pointing out that he also serves his homeland through the promotion of the French–Hungarian relations.
MoD Parliamentary State Secretary Deputy Defence Minister Tamás Vargha was also present at the event.