On 14 May 2020, The Baltic Defence College (BALTDEFCOL) held a Virtual Graduation Ceremony of Joint Command and General Staff Course (JCGSC) 2019/ 2020 via Microsoft Teams with 129 participants in total. This extraordinary event will definitely make its mark to the history book of the College.
This year, BALTDEFCOL graduated 60 students from Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Czech Republic, Canada, Germany, Georgia, Italy, Norway, Switzerland, Ukraine and the United States.
The Commandant, Major General Andis Dilans, during his graduation speech recognized the Course participants effort to achieve desired end state of the JCGSC and thanked all the BALTDEFCOL family for their selfless contribution to delivering and supporting the education. „For graduates, despite all interferences regarding COVID-19, you have managed to study all required subjects. Although you were apart from your families and from each other, it has challenged you and made you stronger, allowing to discover yourself better and this tells a lot of your professional qualities. I am assured that you are ready and fully prepared for new challenges to meaningfully contribute for next service. I wish you success in your future careers and professional lives,“ said the Commandant within his address to the students and quoted Afro-American writer Jim Stovall „Education is a life long journey, whose destination expands as you travel”.
Graduation Ceremony was honoured by the representatives of Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian Defence Forces and also Defence Attaches of the contributing nations and other high level guests.
After the speeches, the Commandant of the BALTDEFCOL awarded some of the students for their individual achievements during JCGSC 2019/2020. The Commandant’s award was presented to Major Nicolas Magnin for his outstanding academic results and leadership skills during the course. Next, two students were recognized as eligible for the Joint Operations Award – Major Asso Treksler and Major Rivo Meimer. The Award is dedicated to students, who demonstrate superior application of the knowledge during the professional military studies modules. Major Rivo Meimer also received the Academic Writing Award for his exceptional research paper. Class Leader recognition was presented to Major Christopher Allen Mays for performing the class leader tasks with outstanding service.
Awarding ceremony was followed by the most important part – diplomas and supplements. As Ceremony took place via the hybrid platform, all students were named and their pictures were displayed to the screen. Diplomas and supplements were provided to their dormitories by contactless courier.
On behalf of the students, the Class Leader Major Mays thanked the College staff members for their leadership, mentorship and dedication over the last ten months. He stated “Your mission to prepare the future officers for our armies is a tough yet important one. I can confidently say that we are better prepared for the challenges that our armies and alliance will face in the future”. He also awarded Major Nicolas Magnin with the Best Coursemate Award for making a great impact and support for many classmates and even faculty as well as of his humour and dedication. Best Faculty award was given to Lieutenant Colonel Richard Towner, who has already moved on to his new position within U.S. Armed Forces.
Baltic Defence College family wishes good luck to all students of the Joint Command and General Staff Course 2019/2020 in their future endeavours! Stay in touch and hopefully we meet again in next year ‘Joint Resolve’ exercise!