States which appreciate their own awareness pay special attention to tradition and values. Montenegrin Ministry of Defense cares a lot about tradition, image and identity of the Armed Forces, said Professor Srđa Martinović, the youngest PHD with university engagement and winner of the highest state recognition, “Miroslavljevo jevanđelje” for 2018, Author of numerous books, scientific and expert papers on the history of Montenegro, Mr Martinović says that there are some similarities between Montenegrin warrior before and a Montenegrin warrior nowadays, the key similarity being – patriotism.
Maturity of a society or community reflects in the past-future relation. One of the most fundamental postulates of the mature society is tradition.
“Past, as part of the identity, is the basis that should represent the value which all other domains of human activities are built upon. Just look at great civilizations and how they treat past. What are London, Paris, Saint Petersburg or Rome without past? Past is often main, dominant determiner of political processes”, says Professor.
The connection between a soldier and history is unbreakable. Soldier finds himself in history, adopts previous knowledge and experience and builds himself.
“Military tradition as a subject, and history with increased number of lessons have been introduced at all levels of military education. Young soldiers, lieutenants, and officers get acquainted with the military history of Montenegro. They visit museums and other important places and at the end of studying, reconstructions of some important battles and military operations are carried out”, explained Mr Martinović.
Professor Martinović adds that military vocation has been popularized thanks to the introduction of voluntary military service.
“There are presentations of the history of military units and stages of their development. A great number of military facilities were named after great historical figures. Apart from that, Ministry of Defense and the Armed Forces have shown how to contribute to the glorious tradition and how to use the heritage of the past centuries”, points out Mr Martinović.
In his monograph, Mr Martinović describes in detail the life of Montenegrin army. He found the inspiration in the milieu where he grew up.
Seems like he is in the past more than he is in the present.
“In addition, historical and family duty, and the sense that we must save important events and persons from oblivion, urged me to acquaint general public with such Montenegro, through my academic and professional paper”, said Mr Martinović.
There’s no greater satisfaction than in telling young generations the story about the country of their ancestors, arousing their interest and desire to learn something new.
The idea of getting deeper into history came into Professor’s mind earlier. However, it matured when he was at his first year of studies.
Lack of resources, poorly organized and incomplete documentation made his work so much harder.
“With the aim of collecting credible and complete data, I carried out over 200 interviews. It required detailed preparations which were usually followed by difficulties. It required persistence and a lot of time. I had to wait several years to have a conversation”, recalls Mr Martinović.
His two monographs, “Generals of the Principality and Kingdom of Montenegro” and “Montenegrin generals in the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes”, were some sort of preparation for a voluminous monograph about Montenegrin army that attracted attention of a wide public.
“This 800-page monograph was presented in 2018. A book about Montenegrin lieutenants should be published soon. Apart from monographs, more than 40 scientific and expert papers have been published in domestic and foreign magazines. I also worked on the realization of monumental complexes, film, identity and other projects relevant to the army and its history”, said Mr Martinović.
Although it would be ungrateful to talk about Montenegrin soldier before and Montenegrin soldier today, after hundred years of state and other discontinuity, there is some similarity says Mr Martinović.
“Professional army in 1907 had one brigade only, which equates to the number of soldiers today. Economic and demographic satiation in a state dictates the shape of the armed forces before and now, and, therefore, there cannot be great discrepancies”, says Mr Martinović.
According to Mr Martinović, Montenegrin soldier is today able to develop just like his European counterparts.
“The key thing is that patriotism should exist in a soldier’s essence”, said Mr Martinović.
Societies that do not know how to treat past, won’t be able to reflect on the vision of future.
“No country should give up on its historical vertical”, points out Mr Martinović.
Last year, Professor Martinović had many lectures in Argentina, Uruguay and Chile, where he was struck by a wave of emotions.
A Montenegrin man was armed in war and in peace, because the weapon was a constituent part of his costume. A Montenegrin soldier was used to the difficulties of poor and cruel mountain life from a very young age. However, he was healthy and vivacious, not prone to diseases and, thus, he could easily cope with wars.
“He was characterized by optimism , pride, the presence of the cult of ancestors that he was trying to preserve in his undertakings”, said Mr Martinović.