Joint Graduation of Higher Command Studies Course 2022 and Joint Command and
General Staff Course 2021/2022
On 16th June, the Baltic Defence College (BALTDEFCOL) celebrated the end of
Academic Year 2021/2022 with the Graduation Ceremony.
The ceremonial event was honoured by the attendance of Mr Žilvinas Tomkus,
Vice Minister of National Defence of the Republic of Lithuania, Brigadier
General Enno Mõts, Chief of Staff of Estonian Defence Forces Headquarters and
Lieutenant General (ret) Raimonds Graube, Military Advisor to the Minister of
Defence as well as Ambassadors, Defence Attachés, heads of partner
Professional Military Education institutions and other high-level officials.
The graduation ceremony was inaugurated by the speech of Brigadier General
Ilmar Tamm, the BALTDEFCOL Commandant, who discussed Russia’s war against
Ukraine during his speech. He stressed that it has affected the College not
only academically but also personally. Six Ukrainian students returned to
their homeland to defend it. Commandant also thanked all BALTDEFCOL family
members for their contribution via multiple donations and other activities
offering help to Ukrainian students’ family members.
He continued to recognize the combined effort of the College faculty and
students to achieve the desired quality of education. He finished by wishing
determination and good luck to all students in their endeavours.
The Commandant's speech was followed by the speeches delivered by
representatives of the College Framework Nations, Mr. Tomkus, BG Mõts and LTG
(ret) Graube. All high-level guests drew attention to the events in Ukraine
and stressed the impact on regional security and the military personnel. LTG
Graube (ret) said: “The peace is fragile. It is not a promised destination; it
is a more never-ending way. The way in which we must make the right choices,
decisions, maintain high morale.” He continued, “And in this way cooperation
of allies and partners is utmost important.” He linked the quote with the
essence of the College mission stating that students’ greatest benefit is
learning from each other. As BALTDEFCOL brings together different
nationalities, different views, and individual approaches, LTG Graube
recommended to the students to preserve friendship and stay united across the
The Baltic states' representatives recognized the College for its consistently
good work and congratulated the students on passing this important
This year, 23 students of the Higher Command Studies Course (HCSC) and 63
students of the Joint Command and General Staff Course (JCGSC), altogether 86
students from 20 nations received their diplomas.
During the ceremony individual students were also recognised for their
outstanding overall academic performance:
Best Student Award – CDR Michael Raimund Sichler (DEU)
Academic Writing Award – LTC Darius Meilūnas (LTU)
Class Leader Recognition - COL Viesturs Masulis (LVA)
Commandant’s Award – MAJ Deividas Jasinevičius (LTU)
Joint Operations Award - MAJ Donatas Zakarka (LTU)
Academic Writing Award – MAJ William Minior (USA)
Class Leader Recognition - MAJ Ēriks Keisters (LVA)
The Course Leader COL Viesturs Masulis delivered the graduation speech on
behalf of the HCSC 2022. Colonel Masulis supported LTG (ret) Graube’s words by
saying that all his classmates showed themselves as unique personalities with
their own experiences and backgrounds, which strengthened and supplemented the
course curriculum. He gave a strong recommendation to maintain and continue
the communication, mutual understanding, and sense of humour.
During his speech, he recognised Dr Lukaš Dyčka as a Best Faculty Member by
HCSC 2022. Congratulations!
In addition to the previous speech, MAJ Ēriks Keisters, the Class Leader of
JCGSC delivered the graduation speech on behalf of JCGSC 2021/2022. Major
Keisters said that the greatest lesson during the last 11 months was given to
the course by their fellow Ukrainian students. “They demonstrated that the
will to fight is the single most important attribute in any military conflict.
It is very connected to the achievement of military goals,” he said.
The Joint Command and General Staff Course 2021/2022 also recognized the Best
Faculty Member – LTC Darius Bernotas (LTU). Congratulations! In addition, they
also recognized one of the students with the Best Classmate Award – Ms Līva
Both speeches were concluded with appreciation and gratitude to all BALTDEFCOL
faculty and staff members for their support and dedication.
The programme was concluded with the reception for all invited guests, staff
and faculty members and students together with their families.
Baltic Defence College family wishes good luck to all graduates of the Higher
Command Studies Course 2022 and Joint Command and General Staff Course
2021/2022 in their future endeavours! Stay in touch with each other and with
the College as you are the members of the BALTDEFCOL Family!