A SHORT HISTORY OF THE ROMANIAN RESERVE OFFICERS ASSOCIATION (A.O.R.R.) (Syntesis)
The Romanian Reserve Officers Association (AORR) was set up on July 2, 2004, in accordance with the Constitutive Act, and became a full member of the Interallied Confederation of Reserve Officers (CIOR), affiliated to NATO, on 29 July 2004, during the session of the CIOR Summer Congress, which took place in Vienna, Austria. Taking into consideration of these important chronological references, the historical process of setting up and continuous functioning of the AORR has been covering seven main phases, harmoniously and temporally correlated.
After Romania has signed the NATO Partenership for Peace (PfP) Programme, the development of cooperative relations with the Romanian military reserve officers was carried out through the CIOR’s Partnership for Peace (PfP) Committee within the annual Seminar with partners, an activity meant to contribute to the knowledge of the mechanisms and procedures NATO, in particular by achieving a better understanding of the structure and organization of the reserve forces and NATO-related associations.
During this period, representatives from the existing National Union of Reserve and Retiring Military Personnel (UNCMRR) have been taken part, since 1997, in several activities organized by CIOR and some national associations of reserve officers from NATO member states Also, the status of the UNCMRR was an “invited” one.
After Romania was invited to join NATO, the exchange of information regarding the role, organisation and missions of CIOR has increased, as well as the necessity for Romania to become a CIOR full member. In this respect, the Chairman of the PfP&O Committee, lt. col.(r) Jaques DEVEZE, FRA-A and the USA VP, Vice-Admiral (r) Stephen YUSEM, USA-N, asked the HUN VP, Maj.Gen. (r) Tivadar BORSZEKI, HUN-A, to address the Romanian military leadership and aske them to consider joining the CIOR.
The CIOR President during that respective period, Lt. Cder (r) Giuseppe Filipo IMBOLZANO, ITA-N, sent a request to the Romanian MoD and GS to particiapte at the 2003 PfP Workshop that took place in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, between 13-16 November 2003. The GS and UNCMRR sent a delegation of three members to atend the Waorkshop and negociate the possibility for Romanian to join the CIOR.
On 29 March 2004, Romania joined NATO by sending her ratification instruments to the US State Department, which is the depositary state of the North Atlantic Treaty, followed, on April 2, 2004, by the ceremony of the official rising of the Romanian flag at the NATO Headquarters in Brussels.
The setting up of the AORR was an act of historical necessity, after Romania’s accession to NATO, between March 30, 2004 and July 2, 2004, both at the pressing request of the CIOR leaders and at the will of the Romanian civil and military leaders, defense, military and legal policy-makers.
The Ministry of National Defense (MoD) has agreed to meet the decisions of joining NATO and officially recognized AORR as the single military reserve association to represent the MoD and CHOD at the international level. At the same time, the CHOD decided to initially set up the AORR as a component of the UNCMRR as the only possibility to represent the Romanian Resreve Officers to CIOR, in accordance with the requirements of this Confederation. In this respect, the Legislation and Legal Assistance Division of the MoD sent a letter to the AORR proposed President, Maj (r) Ionel Mârzac, no. 2 of 02.07.2004, also drafted in English, stating that the MoD agreed AORR to become a member of CIOR.
Therefore, on July 2, 2004, the first Constitutive General Assembly took place, in which the Constitutive Act of the AORR was voted by the participants at that historic meeting: Vasile Palcau, Ion Niculae Pascu, Ionel Mirzac, Florentiu Cioc, all of them living in Bucharest, according to the Government Ordinance no. 26/2000 on Associations and Foundations, as subsequently amended and completed and legally recognized by the End of Authentication no. 502 of July 2, 2004, pursuant to art. 8, lit. b) of Law no. 36/1995.
Moreover, between 3-6 June 2004, the CIOR President, Lt Cder (r) Giuseppe Filippo IMBALZANO and the Chairman of the PfP Committee, Lt. Col. (r) Jacques DEVEZE, conducted an official visit in Romania, being invited by the ROU CHOD. The two CIOR officials met the UNCMRR President, Lt. Gen. (r) Iulian TOPLICEANU and its Secretary General, Maj. Gen.(r) Coman AGAPIE to discuss the importance of Romania becoming a CIOR permenent member and invited an AORR delegation to atend the CIOR Summer Congress in Vienna, that will take place between 25-31 July, same year, in order to present all necesary documents to be voted as a permanent member of the CIOR.
The procedures for AORR to become full member of CIOR took place in July 2004, culminating with the work of the CIOR Summer Congress in Vienna (25-31 July 2004). The MoD agreed to support the participation of three Romanian representatives (Maj Gen (r) Coman AGAPIE from UNCMRR, Eng. Col. Eugen PETICARU, Reservists expert in the GS and Col. (r) Neculai PĂȘCUȚ, AORR Vice-President) at the respective Congress and to pay the first membership fee for 2005 – 1,500 Euros.
Through the CIOR official letter no 1130/04/29 July 2004, Lt Cder (r) Giuseppe Filippo IMBALZANO officially communicated to the AORR President, Maj (r) Ionel MIRZAC that, following the CIOR Council Meeting in Vienna on July 29, 2004, the AORR full membership status was unanimously voted and he personaly considered that the AORR will make a major contribution to the CIOR.
Although the UNCMRR leadership played a key role in establishing and promoting the AORR through the MoD and CHOD, the managerial autonomy of the AORR was necessarily imposed following the guidance and recommendations made by the agreed Minute of 27.07.2004, concluded between the CIOR Legal Committee and the Romanian Delegation at the Vienna Congress (25-31 July 2004), on some statutory provisions. Thus, according to this Minute, the AORR is to adapt its Constitution and By Law in order to meet CIOR decisions adopted at Lillehamer, in 1996 and to submit a copy of the new document, in English, clearly stating that the independence position of the AORR is guaranteed.
According to the Decision no. 99 of July 29, 2004, issued by the District Court of Sector 2 and its own Constitution and By Law AORR retained its autonomy, structures and legal personality, having the official location in Bucharest. The MoD has endorsed the AORR Constitution, mentioning that the AORR relationships with MoD. is based on the principle of mutual collaboration and support, and the AORR will receive funding on projects for the benefit of the MoD. In addition, AORR will provide its financial funds through contributions, donations, sponsorships. For current relations with the MoD and CHOD, has been appointed a senior General Staff officer to ensure the effectiveness of communication with the respective institutions.
The strenghtening phase of the AORR was based on CHOD Order no. B2 / 528 of 02.03.2005 on the establishment of AORR, signed by the Deputy CHOD, Lt. Gen. Florian PINTA, GS Director; Maj Gen. Laurenţiu MAFTEI, Head J1, Bg. Gen. Ioan GRECU and Deputy Head J1, Bg. Gen. Vasile BĂEŢELU.
Being, at the beginig, established at the central level, the UNCMRR rexceived the order to continue supporting the AORR, by tasking the UNCMRR County Presidents to start attracting reserve officers, who should become the core nuclei of the AORR. The respective AORR subsidiaries would be supported also by each garrison commander and/or County Military Centers (CMJ) by providing the necessary spaces and facilities, according to the Order of the MoD no. 42/1991.
It is also worthy mentioning some aspects of collaboration between AORR and CIOR during this period, like: the conduct of courses organized by CIOR Languages Academy (CLA), at the Bucegi Mountain Training Center, in Predeal, from 7-18 August 2006; organization of a Partnership Partnership (PfP & O) Seminar at the National Defense University “Carol I”, (UNAp.), Bucharest, in July 2011; CIOR Language Academy (CLA) courses were supported by the participation of Professor Nicolae Cuncea, AORR member, at numerous sessions; or the participation of AORR President, Lt. Gen. (r) Virgil BĂLĂCEANU, at the CIOR Summer Congress held in Prague, from 31.07. – 04.08.2017. On this occasion, a clarification of the AORR status was discussed and an official letter from the ROU MoD was requested.
The AORR decided to increase its presence at the international level, by strenghtening its relations with Polish scientific institutions. In this respect, between November 17-18, 2016, a delegation of the AORR, composed of Maj Gen. (r) Dr. Dan-Florin GRECU, Lt. Gen. (r) Dan PLĂVIŢU and Col. (r) Puiu FURNICA, participated in the International Scientific Conference on “The Territorial Defense and Its Role in Contemporary Security Systems”, organized by the Department for Security Studies of the College for Business and Entrepreneurship in Ostrowiec Świętokrzyski, patronage of the head of the Polish National Security Office. Moreover, starting with the Autumn of 2017, AORR became partner of the Central Institute for Strategic Research and Analysis for Central Europe (CIRSA), organized by the Polish politicians and former militaries as an independent think tank to promote and support scientific research on various topics of interest to the state, as well as for international relations. From AORR, Lt. Gen. (r) Virgil BĂLĂCEANU is a member of the CIRSA Scientific Council and 5 Reserve Officers have been accepted as international experts on certain topical subjects – Lt. Gen. (r) Dan PLĂVIŢU, Maj Gen. (r) Dr. Dan-Florin GRECU, Col. (r.) Pascu FURNICA and Col. (r.) Crăişor-Constantin IONIŢĂ. CIRSA has its own scientific journal – Ante-Portas – which appears bi-monthly, and in which AORR members have published several articles.
The AORR Consolidation Phase, both in CIOR and in the Resreve Military Associative Forum started in January 2018 and continues at this moment.
Regarding the bringing back of its permenent status in CIOR, a delegation of the AORR, led by its Presidentt, Lt. Gen. (r) Virgil BĂLĂCEANU and comprising Maj Gen. (r) Dr. Dan-Florin GRECU and Col. (r.) Crăişor-Constantin IONIŢĂ, participated in Mid-Winter Meeting (MWM), held at the NATO Headquarters in Brussels, on 08-10.02.2018, during which it was celebrated the 70 years since the foundation of the Confederation. On this occasion, the Romanian delegation presented the developments that have taken place within the association lately and argued with solid arguments the need to regain the full membership of the AORR in relation to CIOR, a move that convinced CIOR leadership of good intentions, which made the Association of Reserve Officers of Romania (AORR) reconfirmed, by unanimity in the CIOR Executive Council, as a full member of the Confederation. On this occasion, AORR was asked to: support CIOMR by assuring the participation of one Romanian reserve medical officers association starting with 2018, contacting the Association of Reserve Officers of the Republic of Moldova for reviewing their status in the CIOR, the AORR participation with a representative in the CIMIC Committee, starting with 2018, the possibility of organizing CLA courses in Romania in 2020, as well as supporting the DEFSEC attitude. Moreover, in June 2018 was nominated Col. (r). Catalin STOIAN as AORR PoC at the DEFSEC Cyber Defense Session. AORR obtained the NDU “Carol I” nomination in the list of educational institutions in the e-Learning project of CIOR and nominated Col. (r) Stelian RĂDULESCU as AORR PoC in the CIOR CIMIC Committee.
Between 21-26 May 2018, AORR strengthened its collaboration with Ostrowiec Świętokrzyski College of Business and Entrepreneurship and the Central European Research and Strategic Analysis Institute (CIRSA), participating with a delegation composed of Lt. Gen. (r) Dan PLĂVIŢU, Col. (r) Crăişor-Constantin IONIŢĂ and Mrs. Alba Iulia Catrinel POPESCU at the International Conference of Experts on “Asymmetric Conflicts and Hybris Wars in the 21st Century”. On this occasion, two Protocols for collaboration between the AORR and the College for Business and Entrepreneurship in Ostrowiec Świętokrzyski and CIRSA respectively were signed.
The Partnership between the AORR and the Reserve Military Associative Forum was carried out in the spirit of the Protocol of Collaboration between the Associative Structures in Reserve of the Defense System, Public Order and National Security, dated 5 June 2018.
In order to celebrate the Centenary of the Great Union on 1 December 1918, the Romanian Reserve Officers Association (AORR), in partnership with the European Association “Dimitrie Cantemir”, the National Office for Heroes’ Cult, the Union of Romanian Film Makers (UCIN) and the World Security Forum headquartered in Bern, Switzerland, and with the support of CEC BANK, the National Military Museum “Ferdinand I” and the National Office for Heroes’ Cult, have developed a very important project – the traveling exhibition “Glory of the ROMANIAN MILITARY PERSONNEL”, financed by the Ministry of Culture and National Identity. The Project Offciers was Bg. Gen. (rtr) Mihail TAPARLEA, one of the AORR Vice-Presidents.
With the support of the City Hall of Alba Iulia, the Complex was installed between November 30 and December 10, 2018 in the Alba Carolina-amphitheater fortress, with continuity in Bucharest, George Enescu Square (20 December 2018 – 10 January 2019), Chisinau, Brussels Headquarters of the European Union), France, Germany and Italy. At the end of the celebrations dedicated to the Centenary of the Great Union, the “GLORIA OSTAŞILOR ROMÂNI” expo-Memorial Complex will be donated to the Ferdinand I National Military Museum.
At present (01.12.2018), AORR is being led by Lt Gen. (r) Virgil BĂLĂCEANU since 2016, the first president being Lt. Col. (r) Ionel MÎRZAC (02.07.2004 – 2005), followed by Maj Gen. (r) Constantin SĂVOIU (2006-2015).
The Executive Council (CD) consists of 17 members, namely: Chairman, First Vice-President, 3 Vice-Presidents, Secretary-General, Deputy Secretary-General, 10 members. AORR has 5 County subsidiaries (Buzău, Constanţa, Dâmboviţa, Dolj, Prahova), with a total of 500 members.