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Renewed: 21.10.2013, 11:00

18 June 2013 10:54

Major General Terras to graduates: Defence Development Plan to require new way of thinking

Major General Terras to graduates: Defence Development Plan to require new way of thinking Major General Terras to graduates: Defence Development Plan to require new way of thinking

Speech by the Commander in Chief of the Estonian Defence Forces, Major General Riho Terras at the graduation ceremony in National Defence College in Tartu.

Respected officers, non-commissioned officers, guests, graduates.

This years graduating class of the National Defence College is the largest in its history. Estonia has now 34 new second lieutenants, who along with the junior officers course graduates has increased the Estonian Defence Forces of up to half a hundred new junior officers. Today there are also seven officers who have completed the masters degree program as well as 60 first class sergeants that have completed the senior non-commissioned officer program.

This absolutely confirms that continuing education is a way of life for members of the Defence Forces. To become a good senior non- commissioned officer or an officer you need to, aside from service experience, gain knowledge from the wealth of books, external exercises, staff exercises and not least of all, from each other.

The future of the Defence Forces will be shaped by the knowledge of the graduates of the staff college basic and intermediate courses receiving their diplomas today. We must recognize that nothing is a given in the world we live in. To be the master of your own destiny, knowledge and fortitude are primary.

Senior non-commissioned officers are the backbone of the Estonian Defence Forces. The skills, knowledge and experience  that has been gained by todays basic course graduates shall be put to effective use in their units.

It has taken 20 years to build up todays Estonian Defence Forces. A lot has been accomplished during this time, but still the Defence Forces are constantly evolving and changing their organization. This requires high standards from of all of you, high expectations in your service. Professionalism and a sense of responsibility are values that are expected from our military.

Dear guests,

The National Defence College has taken big steps in developing  a credible university  which allows serious development of military science. The college flag formally initiated last week is representative of the unity in military knowledge and the common commitment to the defence of Estonia.

Our Allies have recognized the high standard of the Estonian military educational system. Our foreign operations, during the last ten years have been led by officers who have graduated our staff military college.Their well weighed decisions in battle situations and commanding troops clearly shows that the preparedness taught in the Estonian staff college does not fall short of the military of any larger countries.

Officers and noncoms! You are now entering the service, some for the first time, some continuing your service. You will be leading platoons, companies, teaching conscripts, reservists, Defence League members. I want to assure you that the Defence Forces most important asset is its people. I desire that you are driven by that  principle in your service when you go on to your military sections and units.

As you are training the next generations, do not forget that the decision of youth to study at the military academy or select active duty service depends on experiences and lessons learned during compulsory service not with colorful advertising campaigns.

Realizations in the changes of the National Defence Development Plan at the beginning of the year will require a significant roll from all of you. Experienced officers and noncoms wealth of knowledge will be needed more than ever, in tasks involving the Defence League, introducing new weapons systems as well as restructuring changes and implementation of the troops’ infrastructure.

Education is not only knowledge and skills, it is worldliness, beliefs, friends and comrades for the rest of your life.

Education and knowledge are truthfully the keys to opening the world around you. The Estonian Defence Forces must be an open force, open to knowledge and new ideas. When we say open we mean that our national defence is open to those individuals that want to participate and contribute. The Estonian Defence Forces was created by the people and for the people, the Defence Forces are important to the nation. I would like for you to be open in your ideas, always upfront and in the interests of the nation.

I congratulate all of todays graduates upon the successful completion of your studies.

I wish you strength and success in your future service.

Headquarters of the Estonian Defence Forces, 717 1900, mil[at]mil.ee, Juhkentali 58, EE15007, Tallinn, Estonia.

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