The Graduation Ceremony

On the 17th of June 2006 the Graduation Ceremony of the Joint Command and General Staff Course and Civil Servants Course 2005/2006 took place at the Baltic Defence College. Chiefs of Defence and representatives from Ministries of Defence from all three Baltic states honored the event with their presence. Several distinguished guests from different European countries came to congratulate graduates of Baltic Defence College from Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Republic of Moldavia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Serbia-Montenegro, Sweden and Ukraine on this special occasion.

The Ceremony was opened by Brigadier General Algis Vaičeliunas, the Commandant of the Baltic Defence College who in his Graduation Speech stated that "This day is yet another milestone on the academic landscape of the Baltic Defence College. For that, my deepest gratitude goes to those 66 students from 19 countries who are about to graduate from the Joint Command and General Staff Course and Civil Servants Course today. Their exceptionally hard-working natures, eagerness to learn and solid determination are important factors which have paved the way to their professional development as well as the success of the whole College. Education and self-development is an endless journey, and I sincerely hope Baltic Defence College has been a worthy stop." The Official Graduation Ceremony of the Joint Command and General Staff Course and Civil Servants Course students followed after speeches of Senior National representatives from all three Baltic states. Students received their Diplomas and Graduation Badges. 7 Baltic Defence College Directing staff members finishing their service at the College were awarded with the Baltic Defence College Service Cross and plaque. Some of them were also awarded by the Military Command of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. The Graduation Ceremony was crowned by the Celebratory Concert. The Musical episode was preformed by Lithuanian opera solists Ms Asta Krikščiūnaitė and Mr Vytautas Juozapaitis who have received numerous awards during their out-standing music careers. The singers were accompanied by Ms Audronė Kisieliūtė with the piano and Mr Giedrius Gelgotas with the flute. After a breath-taking performance artists received a great applause by the audience.

Text by 1st Lt Mindaugas Maštavičius Photos by Rain Sirendi

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