Graduation Ceremony of the Joint Command and General Staff Course and the Civil Servants Course 2013/2014

Graduation Ceremony of the Joint Command and General Staff Course and the Civil Servants Course 2013/2014

On June 18th the Baltic Defence College celebrated the Joint Command and General Staff Course and the Civil Servants Course graduation. Forty-nine students from the Joint Command and General Staff Course and eight students from the Civil Servants Course graduated.


The Graduation Ceremony was honoured with the presence of representatives of the three Baltic States as well as many honoured guests from allied and partner nations as well as family members and relatives of students.

Estonian Minister of Defence Mr Sven Mikser, Latvian Minister of defence Mr Raimonds Vejonis, Lithuanian Minister of Defence Mr Juozas Olekas, Lithuanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr Linas Linkevicius and the Baltic Defence College Commandant Major General Vitalijus Vaikšnoras all addressed the 2013/2014 graduates and their guests.

The graduation ceremony was opened by Major General Vitalijus Vaikšnoras. In his speech Major General Vaikšnoras emphasized, that the Baltic Defence College, is at its best when providing an appropriate environment and conditions for students to learn and develop, and the students are honestly committed to use that unique opportunity for themselves and for the benefit of their defence and security establishments. Moreover, the Commandant thanked all the Baltic Defence College students, faculty, and staff members for a great year, especially those who are leaving college this year.

The Deputy Commandant/Chief of Staff Colonel Ingemar Gustafsson was singled out for special commendation by the Baltic Defence College and the Baltic states. Colonel Gustaffson was awarded the Cross of Merit of the Estonian Ministry of Defence, second class, the Baltic Defence College Medal of Merit, Gold and also received gifts of appreciation from the Lithuanian and Latvian Ministries of Defence for his hard work and dedication during his time at the Baltic Defence College.

Major Taivo Rõkk, the Joint Operations Award runner-up gave the response on behalf of the students. Major Rõkk declared, “we, graduated and are confident that the Baltic Defence College will be a modern, progressive, attractive and competitive institution of professional military education. We are proud of ourselves and we are proud of the College!”

Five students received awards for their outstanding performance in various areas of study: LTC Reinhard Schröder was recognized for the best argumentative essay on “The Role of Air Power: Russia in WWII vs. NATO’s Contemporary Perspective;” Ms. Kristi Purtsak from the Estonian Ministry of Defence was recognized as the best civil servant student; LTC Linas Kubilius was recognized as the Class Leader 2013-2014, for leading 57 officers and civil servants; LtCdr Sergej Dregval was awarded the joint operations award for demonstrating superior knowledge, academic aptitude and creative thought relating of the joint operation; LtCdr Giuseppe Lai was recognized as the best course mate in the Joint Command and General Staff Course. Mr Raivo Upenieks from Latvia was the Baltic Defence College’s 1000th graduate.

The Baltgirls were also awarded a certificate of appreciation for promoting the Baltic Defence College cultural links, sharing knowledge and friendship between nations.

The next Joint Command and General Staff course begins in August.


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