On 19th of June 2013 the Baltic Defence College (BALTDEFCOL) graduated the students of the Joint Command and General Staff Course (JCGSC) 2012/2013 and the Civil Servants Course (CSC) 2013. The Graduation Ceremony, held in BALTDEFCOL Main Hall was honored with the presence of representatives of the Baltic States as well as many honorable guests from partner countries who came to congratulate the graduates on this very special occasion.
Graduation speeches were delivered by the Commandant of BALTDEFCOL Major General Vitalijus Vaikšnoras, and by the highest representatives of the Baltic States present at the ceremony Permanent Undersecretary of Estonian Ministry of Defence Mr Mikk Marran, Chief of Joint Staff of Latvian Armed Forces Brigadier General Juris Zeibarts, and Commander of Lithuanian Land Forces Major General Almantas Leika.
The Ceremony was opened by Major General Vitalijus Vaikšnoras who in his speech to the graduates emphasized the paramount importance of leadership. He said that “You will face complex – political world – a world full of economic challenges, environmental catastrophes, uncertainty, and new challenges and threats. And it will be you who will prepare operational plans and make very important decisions will move units and organizations forward and will have responsibility for the success or failure of your organizations and subordinates. My point is that the leadership makes the real difference it was important at the tactical level, it will be important at the operational and for some of you at strategic level very soon.”
The two courses were attended by officers and civil servants from 16 different nations. More precisely 49 students from the JCGSC and 5 students from the CSC graduated BALTDEFCOL in school year 2012/2013.
The Graduation Ceremony of the students of the JCGSC and the CSC was followed by ceremonial handover of Diplomas and Graduation Badges, and student speech given by Major Julius Gečas (LTU A).
The official program continued with an awarding ceremony during which the BALTDEFCOL Directing Staff members finishing or having finished their reliable service at the College were awarded with BALTDEFCOL medals.
Baltic Defence College Medal of Merit Gold was awarded for outstanding contributions to the enhancement of the reputation of the Baltic Defence College through the Baltic States and beyond to the Baltic Defence College Commandant serving in 2010-2012 Brigadier General Meelis Kiili (EST A).
Baltic Defence College Medal of Merit Silver was awarded for outstanding contribution to the development of education and research process of the Baltic Defence College Colonel Andrej Boičišin who served as Course Director of Higher Command Studies Course in 2010-2013.
Baltic Defence College Service Cross was awarded to Lieutenant Colonel Artur Lillenurm (EST A), Commander Annes Vainamäe (EST N), Lieutenant Colonel Ainars Azacis (LVA A) and to Mr Didzis Nimants for their outstanding service as members of College staff.
Baltic Defence College Service Cross for an additional period of service recognized with small bronze colored star to be affixed to the ribbon of the Service Cross was awarded to Lieutenant Colonel Raul Öpik (EST A).
The program of the Graduation Ceremony was followed by a reception where the graduates and their family members, honorable guests and the College staff could engage in informal discussions and conversations.
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