Today, on 10th January, the Baltic Defence College (BALTDEFCOL) welcomed new students of the Higher Command Studies Course (HCSC) and Civil Servants’ Course (CSC) 2022.
The Opening Ceremony was honoured by the presence of Mr Jānis Garisons, the State Secretary of the Ministry of Defence of Latvia.
This year, the HCSC has 23 students from 14 nations. The CSC consists of nine students representing five nations. It is worth mentioning that the first Higher Command Studies Course (named then as Colonel’s Course) and Civil Servant’s Course commenced 21 years ago in 2001.
During the opening speech, Brigadier General Ilmar Tamm, the Commandant of the BALTDEFCOL thanked the opportunity to welcome the students physically. In 2021, the Opening Ceremony was held online due to the COVID-19 restrictions. The Commandant said that although the College has adapted online teaching and learning as one of the standard modus of operandi, we had experienced vividly that it did not replace human interaction and team cohesion. COVID-19 is still unpredictable and we need to deal with the changing circumstances. “I recommend preparing the mindset for changes during your studies at the College. Capability to adapt to the situation helps to mitigate stress and uncertainty”, he added.
Brigadier General Tamm stressed that the success of the course is up to each individual. “Use time wisely and set reasonable goals for yourself to stick on. Learning and professional development is your responsibility, however, share your experience and knowledge with others and engage in debates applying critical thinking”, he said.
The Commandant also highlighted the diversity of the team and uniqueness in the College as the Professional Military Education institution. He encouraged the students to make social bonds and personal connections that will last beyond graduation day.
Mr Jānis Garisons delivered the opening speech, emphasizing the importance of sharing knowledge with each other and the value of education for students’ professional and personal development.
Following the speech, he delivered the inaugural lecture on “Geopolitical Landscape and National Response”. During the lecture, Mr Garisons pointed at the growing complexity of the security environment globally and regionally. Next, he offered insights in respect to Latvian security and current developments within the Latvian Armed Forces as credible NATO member respecting the provisions of Article 3 of the North Atlantic Treaty.