Have you ever thought of a construction site as a theatre of military operations? How many soldiers do you need, how many officers? What weapons, that is, fighting equipment! Ioan Buta is a career officer. Distinguished with Order of “Military Virtue” in the rank of Commander of War – 2004, offered by the President of Romania for special merits during the mission in the theatre of operations Afghanistan, 2003, Ioan Buta coordinates the Patrimony Administration Department within Conest. A different kind of struggle, but also for the good of the community. He speaks of Conest as a family and says modestly that: “he learned that the same principles that apply in a military institution, discipline – respect – dedication, are also the basis in a private company, to achieve the proposed objectives”.
Who is Ioan Buta? In 1989 he became a graduate officer of the Military School of Active Tank and Automobile Officers. In 1997 he graduated in Road Vehicle Engineering, Faculty of Mechanics, “Gheorghe Asachi” University. He has different specializations within the Ministry of National Defence. Master’s Degree at the National Defence College, “Carol I” National Defence University. He began his military career as a platoon commander and rose through the ranks. Head of logistics on two missions to Afghanistan. He received many distinctions, but the most important is the Order of “Military Virtue” in the rank of Commander of War – 2004, offered by the President of Romania for special merits during the mission in the theatre of operations Afghanistan, 2003. Since 2019 he is part of the Conest team.
What is the common ground between organizing a military mission and managing CONEST’s patrimony?
Ioan Buta: All of them are related to the realization of the logistic support for the development of some actions and activities. In the case of the army of military actions, in the case of Conest the execution of basic missions: road construction, civil construction and related activities. All these activities, whether military or civilian, must have logistical support. The success, their quality also depends on the degree of training and logistical support.
How did the young Ioan Buta get to the Military School of Active Tank and Automobile Officers?
Ioan Buta: By loving, extremely much, the military coat and wanting to follow in the footsteps of my older brother, who was an officer in the Romanian army.
What memories does Ioan Buta have from school?
Ioan Buta: Lots of memories. Leaving the family, the exam, entering another totally unknown world. You don’t have time to listen to how many memories I have to tell you.
Some: the military oath, which was also attended by my parents; training camps; the ceremony of advancement to the rank of lieutenant. The rogueries can’t be said here.
Did he have a model at the Military School of Active Tank and Automobile Officers? Who was the mentor or mentors and what did he learn from him/her/they?
Ioan Buta: I had a lot of models. I tried to take what was best and what I thought suited me, from everyone I interacted with, and here I am referring to lectors, teachers, commanders, older colleagues. So I learned or stole something from several.
What is Ioan Buta’s model? Or the models?
Ioan Buta: I didn’t have a single model. Several people have been or are role models for me:
– in the military activity, he was the older brother, whom I tried to have as a model at the beginning of my career, and then an exceptional military man, who now represents the Romanian army at the highest international military structures and who was one of my most appreciated commanders. This is the current lieutenant general Dumitru Scarlat;
– in everyday life, the model were my parents, two simple people from the country with a chosen education.
You graduated at the time of the Revolution. A grey area for information. What memories do you have?
Ioan Buta: I will answer you here with a memory. At the end of military school, the Russian language teacher, a person with great experience, a little difficult and through whose hands passed hundreds, thousands of students (she was on the verge of retirement), wished me as goodbye “Never put into practice what I learned”. Then, I was very disappointed by the teacher’s wish. After about four months, I lived the moments of the revolution of December 1989, as a young officer, in Iași. From the first moments, from the first shots, from the first emotions of using the weapon outside the training ground, I remembered the teacher’s wish. The rest is history.
What does it mean to be the head of logistics on a mission to Afghanistan?
Ioan Buta: The head of logistics coordinates the provision of the entire logistical support of the mission, both for the training period in the country, during the deployment and during the mission in the theatre of operations. This means planning and organizing the influx, providing individual equipment, food, quartering, combat equipment, technical maintenance, supply, taking over the patrimony at the deployment in the theatre of operations, its management and delivery at the end of the mission, etc.
What can you tell us about your experiences in the theatres of foreign operations in which you participated?
Ioan Buta: I can tell you a lot. First of all, it is a special experience to participate, as a soldier, in an international mission, in a theatre of operations, together with other armies of the world. There you have the opportunity to put into practice all the knowledge, theoretical and practical, accumulated. Secondly, you have the opportunity to learn new things, to see the capabilities and procedures of the coalition partners and last but not least to bump into danger and the unforeseen, for which you have to find solutions. For me, these unforeseen moments consisted of the loss of two colleagues from the mission (11 November 2003).
Three essential things you learned while you were active in your military career
Ioan Buta: Discipline, respect, devotion.
The moment you were decorated with the Order of “Military Virtue” in the rank of Commander of War – 2004. What does it mean to you?
Ioan Buta: A unique and uplifting moment. I appreciate that I was extremely honoured, as a sign of appreciation for the activity carried out during the mission, to be received by the head of state, at the Cotroceni Palace, where I was decorated with one of the most prestigious orders of the Romanian state.
The transition from military career to CONEST. How was it done?
Ioan Buta: Following an invitation from the major shareholder and the company’s management team.
How would you describe your duties?
Ioan Buta: In a nutshell, a complex and diverse activity in which the correct and efficient management of all material resources is at the forefront.
What did the Conest team learn from you? What about you from the Conest team?
Ioan Buta: I can’t answer that first question. Please ask the Conest team. What did I learn? Although I have only been in this family for a year and a month (that is what I like to call it) I have learned that the same principles that apply in a military institution, discipline – respect – dedication, are also the basis in a private company, to achieve the proposed objectives.
What are the most emotional memories?
Ioan Buta: Plenty! Childhood memories (somewhere in beautiful Bukovina), those of high school, military school, departure and arrival in and out of the theatre of operations (separation and reunion of the family), receiving the battle flag (symbol of a military unit) as commander, the separation from the military system, the marriage of Cosmin (the only son) and the birth of the nephew Horia.
Favourite movie and book?
Ioan Buta: Game of Thrones. The Revenge of Geography, by Robert Kaplan.
Favourite music? What does the ideal vacation look like?
Ioan Buta: I like almost everything that is sung, including the song of the waves and the rustle of the forest. Ideal holiday? The one with my family and those close to my soul. At sea, in the mountains and on any continent.
A message for Conest partners.
Ioan Buta: Conest is a company that represents a family of professionals, honest and responsible, with whom it is worth collaborating and in whom you can trust.
A message for the people of Iași.
Ioan Buta: Be proud that in Iași we have a company, with Romanian capital, of the Conest level.
What does CONEST mean?
As a resident of Iași, I often had the opportunity to admire the beauty of the city in which the company Conest has invested time and work through many projects. I would describe the collaboration with Conest as a happy combination of opportunity, challenge and confirmation.
Changing the field of activity after 30 years of military career should have been a demanding step. All the more so as Conest holds an important place among construction companies. A team of real, reliable people, working with respect for quality, respect for the rule of law, in a word professionalism, but without forgetting to mention an extremely important thing encountered in the company of Conest – the care for people.
The people of Conest, the company’s most valuable resource.