The HCSC was created in 2004 to educate senior military officers and government officials on the wide range of challenges regarding the adaptation of the defense institutions at the national, Allied and European levels, such that they become better able to participate in the full spectrum of twenty-first century operations. The core rationale for the course is to ensure that the Baltic states’ armed forces will be able to make an effective contribution to meet today’s and tomorrow’s strategic challenges, and their respective leaderships will understand the requirement for, and will be ready to lead, major defense development programs. Over 160 students, representing more than thirty countries, have graduated from these courses. Many have since received important and demanding postings in their home countries or international organizations.
The aim of the HCSC is to educate military officers and government officials from the Baltic states, their allies and partners, for executive responsibilities at the strategic level. It will enable comprehension of the multifaceted actions necessary for the accomplishment of national and Allied strategic objectives, within an uncertain international environment. It will produce creative, proactive and agile commanders, policymakers and managers, capable of making sound, decisive and future-oriented strategic decisions.
The Supreme Allied Command Transformation (SACT) accredited the HCSC as a NATO course and included it in the NATO Course Catalogue in 2008. The SACT document states that the HCSC ‘is considered to be a very effective tool for the education and individual training of our alliance and partners (in particular, the multinational nature of the course)’. As a NATO-approved course, the HCSC has established its position alongside other courses at a similar level and is able to deliver added-value education to military and civilian students from the Baltic states, as well as their allies and partners. The BALTDEFCOL went through the process again in 2015 and now the HCSC is included into Education and Training Opportunities Catalogue (NATO).
The HCSC comprises six discrete and sequential core modules containing variety of curriculum activities. These activities are optimized for residential delivery and are designed to attain the desired level of learning in the applicable subject.
The delivery of education through the HCSC is organised around six key learning outcomes. By the end of the course, students should be able to:
Educational Approach – Stimulating Creative and Critical Thinking
The HCSC’s educational philosophy is predicated on a combined educational approach, including lectures, seminars and small group (syndicate) activities, to facilitate adult learning. Consequently, the primary responsibility for learning and achieving the specified learning outcomes is placed on the student. To help facilitate this, the HCSC – and the wider Baltic Defense College – aims to provide the best possible educational environment for learning to take place. Thus, active learning and the full participation and contribution of all students is heavily encouraged; this allows students to share their knowledge, experience and learning with others in an open and positive environment.
Prospective students should be Lieutenant Colonels / Colonels (Navy Commanders / Captains) who are considered at the time of their selection to possess the potential for promotion to the rank of General (Admiral), government officials from MoDs (or MFAs) with equivalent rank and potential, or academics with a demonstrated potential for promotion to high-level civil servant posts.
Military students should have graduated from a Joint Command and General Staff Course, or equivalent Course at officer education level 3. Civil servants and academics must have an appropriate academic profile (at minimum Master level or NDC, GCSP, etc.).
English language level should - as an absolute minimum - be 3333 according to NATO STANAG 6001. Students from NATO countries should hold a NATO Confidential security clearance; other students should hold a national confidential security clearance.
Students should also possess routine computer skills (Internet, MS Windows, MS Word, MS PowerPoint and MS Excel).
The college has so far conducted ten HCSCs. A total of 168 students, representing thirty-two states, have graduated from these courses. Many have since received important and demanding postings in their home countries or international organizations. Click here
Colonel, Lithuanian Army
Course Director HCSC