United States Army Lieutenant General Frederick B. Hodges, Commander, Allied Land Command, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in Izmir, Turkey, visited the Baltic Defence College on 30 October 2013.


During his visit, he presented an exceptional lecture to the Officers of the Joint Command and General Staff Course concerning Land Command’s roles and missions and NATO joint operations. 

Bosnian Major Zoran Batarilo stated ‘LTG Hodges convinced us that in today’s complicated world it would be impossible to conceive that any nation could act alone in combat’.

LTG Hodges also discussed many facets of combat in today’s security environment. He outlined NATO’s recent structural changes and emphasized that NATO will continue to evolve as time goes on due to national budget constraints and mission requirements. Estonian Major Meelis Pernits remarked, ‘The most interesting topic of the presentation was the implementation of the Connected Forces Initiative in NATO going on at the moment’. 

Perhaps the most important message stated by LTG Hodges was the idea that as mid-level officers, the Officers of the JCGSC are obligated to be ‘change agents’ in their respective organizations. On this note, Lithuanian Major Aušrius Buikus stated that he liked LTG Hodges’ emphasis that Officers should not listen to the voices in the crowd who seek to maintain the status quo rather than implement much needed change.

In closing, LTG Hodges challenged the Officers to diligently continue in their professional education, take full advantage of the opportunities afforded in a staff college, and develop meaningful relationships amongst themselves. 


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