Graduation Ceremony

Graduation Ceremony

On 17th June 2015, the Graduation Ceremony for students of Higher Command Staff Course (HCSC), Joint Command and General Staff Course (JCGSC) and Civil Servants Course (CSC) took place at the Baltic Defence College.  For the first time in the history of the Baltic Defence College, the graduations of the three courses were held at the same time.

Almost two hundred distinguished guests, family members and friends attended the ceremony to share the success of our graduates. The main speakers at this year’s graduation event, besides Major General Vitalijus Vaikšnoras, the Commandant of the Baltic Defence College, were Mr Sven Mikser, Estonian Minister of Defence, Mr Raimonds Vejonis, Latvian Minister of Defence and Mr Tomas Gražiūnas, Chancellor of Lithuanian Ministry of National Defence.

In his speech to our graduates, the Commandant emphasized the importance of learning by quoting a famous saying that "we cannot predict the future but we can engage with it in a smart way." He thanked all the students, faculty and staff members for a great academic year 2014/2015 and expressed his gratitude for the valuable work and support to the families, who serve alongside with our team members with determination and unshakable resolve.

During the graduation ceremony, certificates were awarded altogether to 76 officers and civil servants from 20 countries, both from Baltic States and our partners all over the world. This academic year 16 students from HCSC, 55 students from JCGSC and five students from CSC graduated. The graduates’ commencement was performed by the Commandant of Baltic Defence College as well as representatives from respective countries. The graduates were granted diplomas to mark the successful completion of their studies at the Baltic Defence College. In the time of the ceremony individual students were also recognized for their outstanding overall academic performance: Mr Mārtiņš Nilsons (LVA, HCSC) was awarded with the winner of the Academic writing award for writing the most engaging Cunningham paper in Strategic studies; CDR Gary Brooks (UK, HCSC) with the winner of the Best Student award for his outstanding academic achievements, exceptional leadership and comradeship; MAJ Fariz Fadžan (BIH, JCGSC) was awarded with a Joint Operations Award; LTC Goran Topalović (SRB, JCGSC) with the Academic Writing Award; Mr Janter Saar (EST, CSC) with the Best Civil Servants Award, MAJ Vidas Grunda with the Best Coursemate Award (LTU, JCGSC), and LCDR Mati Terve (EST, JCGSC) was recognized with the Class Leader Award for serving as a Class Leader for both JCGSC and CSC.

During the recognition ceremony after the musical interlude by the Military Orchestra of the Estonian Defence Forces, several staff members were awarded for their significant contribution to the development of the education process of the Baltic Defence College. The Baltic Defence College’s highest award – Medal of Merit Gold was given to COL Remigijus Baltrėnas (LTU, Director of Joint Command and General Staff Course and Director of Civil Servants Course); the Medal of Merit Silver -to LTC Valts Āboliņš (LVA, Instructor, NATO Land Component / Syndicate Guiding Officer) and Mr Geoffrey Derek Yapp (UK, Instructor, NATO Joint Operations); the Medal of Merit Bronze to COL Marek Stobnicky (Instructor, NATO Joint Operations) and LTC Rimantas Česlovas Černiauskas (Instructor, NATO Land Component - Combat Engineer).

As Baltic Defence College values the work and support of their families, the members of Baltgirls were also acknowledged for their significant contributions and commitment to the common goal. The management and staff of the College would like to use this opportunity to wish all our graduates success in their future careers, and congratulate them on their academic achievements and successful graduation from the Baltic Defence College.


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