Graduation Ceremony of the HCSC 2018 and JCGSC 2017/2018

On 21st of June, the Baltic Defence College (BALTDEFCOL) held a Graduation Ceremony at the Estonian National Museum. The ceremony was opened by the Commandant of the BALTDEFCOL Major General Andis Dilāns. In his speech, MG Dilāns highlighted the quality of leadership as the most important quality of an officer and also of a civil servant. He encouraged the students to be ready to be in charge as this is what the College has been preparing them – to be the future leaders of their nations. He also stressed the importance of the connections the students have established during their studies as these will be of priceless value in their future careers. MG Dilāns expressed gratitude to BALTDEFCOL’s staff, thanked the Course Directors and showed appreciation to all the family members for their support throughout the academic year.


The graduation ceremony was honoured by the attendance of H.E. Mr Raimundas Karoblis, Minister of National Defence of the Republic of Lithuania, General Riho Terras, Chief of Defence of the Republic of Estonia, and Mr Jānis Garisons, State Secretary of Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Latvia as well as Ambassadors, Defence Attachés and other high-level officials. In their graduation speeches, the high-level guests highlighted the role of the BALTDEFCOL in educating and training officers and civil servants from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. They congratulated the students on successfully completing their studies and stated that they are certain the students will become great future leaders.


This year, 21 students representing 13 different nations from the Higher Command Studies Course (HCSC) 2018 and 53 students from 11 countries from the Joint Command and General Staff Course (JCGSC) 2017/2018, altogether 74 officers from the Baltic states and allied and partner nations received their diplomas. This is a result of students’ hard work and dedication throughout their studies.


As a tradition, the best students were recognised for their outstanding performance and presented their awards during the graduation ceremony.

Best Student Award - LTC Arūnas Dzidzevičius
Academic Writing Award - LTC Aleksander Andric.

Commandant’s Award - MAJ Michael D. Hoffman
Joint Operations Award - MAJ Adam Solowiej, Maj Pavelas Jelkinas
Academic Writing Award - MAJ Jeffrey Allen
Class Leader Recognition - MAJ Anneli Kajamaa
Best Course Mate Award - MAJ Parnaoz Svanidze

LTC Arūnas Dzidzevičius from the HCSC 2018 and MAJ Anneli Kajamaa from the JCGSC 2017/2018 delivered speeches on behalf of their courses. In their speeches, both students stated that they are proud to be graduates of the Baltic Defence College. They emphasised that they highly value high academic standards, extremely warm atmosphere, excellent lectures and top-level lecturers and guest speakers BALTDEFCOL has provided them. As part of the JCGSC's speech, the Best Lecturer Award was given to Mrs Triinu Soomere.


During the ceremony, the Baltic Defence College Medal of Merit Silver was awarded for long-standing contribution of the United States of America to the Baltic Defence College, especially in providing Faculty members, students, high-level visitors and experts, as well as guest lecturers; facilitating the cooperation of the Baltic Defence College with alike professional military education institutions in the United States of America; promotion and ensuring high visibility of the Baltic Defence College in Europe and beyond; personal involvement in education process by delivering highly valuable lectures to courses of the Baltic Defence College to H.E. Mr. James D. Melville Jr, Ambassador of U.S. to Estonia.

BALTDEFCOL wishes a nice summer to all the staff and students. All the best to our recent graduates for their future endeavours!

Pictures of the graduation ceremony will be available on BALTDEFCOL’s website /?id=1229.


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