Interallied Confederation of Reserve Officers
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Message from the CIOR President

Chers amis officiers de la CIOR et de la CIOMR, Mesdames et Messieurs. Je suis particulièrement heureux de l’opportunité qui m’est offerte de vous tenir informé ce matin sur cette initiative de l’Alliance dite des « forces interconnectées », qui est parfaitement cohérente avec un des engagements que j’avais pris devant vous lors de mon discours d’investiture au Congrès de Copenhague.

Indeed I committed to perform our role as advisors / contributors to NATO on reserve matters, leveraging our capabilities and networks which make our Confederations a unique object in the world of defense.

Our Memorandum 28/11/2012 on Reserve and Connected Forces for Allied Command Transformation is to be seen as much more than just another paper out there. It is in many ways the strategic line for CIOR (and potentially CIOMR) for the 18 months to come. Indeed, this will cover my mandate and, I believe, the mandate of our successors.

I did a similar update during the CIOR Seminar in Wesseling, in presence of senior researchers, academics and distinguished advisors of the International Staff, and can confirm this approach did resonate. Of course the participants of the Seminar present today will hear some aspects for the second time, and I apologize for that. Mind you, I have added a “Committee spin” this time, so that CIOR Committees have proper orientations – liaison officers to these committees will of course act as facilitators for the implementation of these orientations in cooperation with Committee and working group chairs of CIOR.

We are living interesting times. In the next half hour, in addition to overcoming the challenge of keeping you all awake I will successively do the following:
1. Look at the outcomes from the Chicago Summit, and main strategic line of NATO, the so-called Connected Forces Initiative. From a reserve perspective. You will see that NATO ACT is leading the charge here, and CIOR is well positioned to play a significant role. As you know, CIOR has been kindly asked to contribute to CFI, through an ACT request which has been channeled to CIOR by the Chairman of NRFC.
2. In will then look into what CIOR (and potentially CIOMR – to be assessed by my colleague from CIOMR) should do in this context in relation with CFI. Potentially this is of interest to CIOMR – to be assessed by my colleague president of CIOMR and his staff. During my speech, I will also make inroads into Smart defence projects and NATO Centers of Excellence, which are definitely also key objects of interest. Indeed CIOR’s aim is to align (or at least synchronize) its professional development roadmap for reservists, with priorities and assets of NATO, and ACT in particular.

Connected Forces Initiative

Although it sounds a little high tech, the so-called Connected Force Initiative is originates from a political will. It has been brought forward by the NATO secretary general (this is really the SecGen’s baby) with the strategic intent to promote better interoperability in terms of procedures, education, training & exercising (ETE) in equal terms with systems / equipment or technology. This was the intent from the start, as part of an aggressive NATO transformation roadmap which has been agreed in Chicago by the heads of state members of NATO.

The NATO Chicago Summit, in the spring of 2012, endorsed existing initiatives, such as “Smart Defence”, and essentially came up with the so-called “Connected Forces Initiative” (CFI). While it has always been NATO’s “raison d’être” to enable and promote interoperability among nations, this time the aim is to boost the effectiveness and efficiency of how national forces actually train and perform operations as well as exercise within NATO.

In a July 2012 letter to the Military Committee and NRFC, SACT has asked for advice on how the Reserve can contribute to this key NATO initiative. In accordance with the MC documents describing the respective missions and mutual cooperation of CIOR and NFRC, the Chairman of the latter has asked CIOR for advice.

As a result, a work process has been initiated, facilitated by the French Presidency of CIOR, and operated from the Defense and Security Committee of CIOR. All CIOR nations have been asked to contribute in October and November 2012, and more than 15 actually did so, which is an outstanding achievement in just a few weeks. The CIOR so-called “in-between meeting” in Paris, which gathered over 60 CIOR heads of delegation, committee chairs and delegates mid-November 2012, has helped to move forward what has become the CIOR Memorandum 28/11/2012 on “Reserve and Connected Forces”. This Memorandum can be downloaded on This Memo has been discussed last week during a two-hour face to face meeting in Norfolk, and I can tell you it did resonate with SACT, who did value the importance of reserve, and the value that a unique set of Confederations of Reserve Officers like ours bring to the table. Very productive meetings have followed on e-learning, employer support, communications, on which I will come back in the second part of my address to you.

So, what does this CIOR Memorandum on Reserve & Connected Forces contain?

In essence, the CIOR Memorandum starts from the assumption that in a time of uncertainty, a new focus on Reserve forces has become mandatory. How to implement the professionalization of the Reservist, being “twice a citizen” and able to cope with both his civilian life and his military duty, has proven a key issue. 

Actually, CIOR advocates that a way to foster interoperability is to help Reservists be better educated, trained and exercised. The CIOR Memorandum focuses on the following specific domains:

• Improve language skills: NATO should encourage Member States to support their military personnel – esp. the Reservists – to develop these vital skills, by either funding or supporting the faculty and operational means of the CIOR Language Academy. This key recommendation was well understood by SACT;
• Increase the possibility for Reservists to attend NATO schools or Education centers. In addition, CIOR has developed or promoted a range of common education and training concepts, most of them linked to the CIOR Summer Congress, such as the civil-military (CIMIC) Concentration, the Summer Symposium or the very popular Young Reserve Officers’ Workshop. These training and exercising opportunities need to be supported by nations in order to be continued and further developed;
• Promote Reserve positions within national and international e.g. NATO Staffs and widen the possibility to access to, and share “specialists” from the Reserve: the NATO Response Force (NRF), Joint Headquarters (JHQs) activities, European Union Battle Groups (EUBGs) exercises, just to name a few. Reservists “augmentees” should always train with the Regular staff to learn from both sides. NATO, whether at SHAPE or ACT (both in Norfolk and in Europe) could look into the development of international pools of reservists in support of the conduct of the main NATO exercises and experiments.

Last but not least, one of the key missions of the Reserve is to bridge the gap between society and defense. Being not only twice a citizen, but also often a volunteer in a lot of other associations (religious, sports, economic, trade unions, local or national politics), the Reservist represents a large social network, also on-line on the Internet. This is exactly what we are doing day-in, day-out at CIOR and CIOMR in our capacity as Confederations of reserve associations.

So, what is the way forward?

I know there will be a North Atlantic Council meeting in ministers of defense format in February 2013. After getting the support of the CIOR Council during this winter session, I see a clear way forward paving the way for strategic lines for an operationalized CIOR Reserve for the years to come:

• Put the focus this Summer, during our Congress and Symposium, on Employer Support (CIOR/CIOMR Symposium expected to be on this subject – for the first time jointly with NRFC). This is part of bridging a key aspect of the gap between defense an society;
• As a key item, support the Language Academy, as a key enabler of interoperability and access to both CIOR/CIOMR and NATO work. Already in the official partnership catalogue of NATO, this outstanding language assets will be supported (as we will propose in Council) by additional scholarships for reservists;
• Create a link between the multinational reserve component of ACT, in particular the “academic strategic foresight” initiative, and CIOR. This can (and will) be operated through our CIOR Strategic Seminar. This would allow ACT to interact with much more academic institutions that what they currently have, and position CIOR’s Strategic Seminar as a value added broker;
• Promoting e-learning (in liaison with nations and with ACT). Strong links have been established during my visit to ACT, with the operators of the ITEP (“individual training and education program), running all NATO e-learning programs. As part of this, I would like 2 key courses for reserve currently done at the NATO School to be accessible on-line, which brings obvious advantages, in terms of cost and access. I will ask the YRO Committee to go after this with the NSO and NRFC, looking primarily at the Reserve Forces Integration Course (RFIC). This is indeed part of our effort to make the content of these valuable course available to reserve officers that for various reasons cannot easily afford a stay at the NATO School; This Presidency will then put this information on line, and broker through our liaisons with ACT, any connection issue you would experience, at least for access to NATO on-line courses from your home;
• Better use of the NATO training infrastructure: of course NSO (Oberammergau), NDC (Rome), JFTC (Bygdoszcz), JWC (Stavanger), JALLC – joint analysis and lessons learned center (Lisbon). No to forget, the METTs (mobile education & training teams) from the NSO, which we will try to mobilize together with the YROW and the NRFC. Beyond that, this includes promoting high-level education of reservists, from senior-strategic levels (war academies, well-known bodies such as the NATO defence college or the George Marshall Institute in Garmisch-Partenkirchen); I will ask DefSec to explore the catalogue of the NSO and select training programs of interest, which can be listed on This also applies to other training opportunities. If you have a good training, share it with DefSec and we will be glad to add it to our list on; to perform well and interoperate in a connected NATO, it takes a well-trained reservist – in particular NATO acronyms, organization, procedures, etc. This is was education and training is about;
• Promote the participation of reservists in exercises, by developing international pools of reservists at ACT level, operating in Europe, from Europe, leveraging the network of training & exercising facilities of NATO. These reservists should systematically participate in multinational exercises and experiments such as the upcoming Steadfast Trident or Viking 14 in SWE early 2014. This Presidency will start exploring, with the help of its liaisons to ACT, ways to start off this pool of reservist. This will of course start with a review, through our liaison within the International Military Staff here in Brussels, on key requirements for specialists. This is what we need in the first place, rather than endless list of names and skills – remember by the way that management of reserves are a national prerogative and will stay so in a foreseeable future.
• Increase the interaction on Smart defence projects, as well as on COEs of NATO. This can take the form of VP’s from respective lead nations to arrange presentations to Council or committee, or even better, cooperation workshops on relevant themes.
o For smart defence I see ITEP (e-learning, which I mentioned before), MN HQ in Ulm, or even female leaders – a key leadership issue on which Bulgaria is in the driving seat, just to name a few;
o For COEs I see CIMIC COE in Enschede (NLD), Humint in Oradea (ROM), MILMED (HUN) – certainly of interest to our friends of CIOMR.
All liaison officers of the Presidency to all Committees and working groups will be given the list of Smart Defence projects, as well as a description of the centers of excellence. More details on contact persons, etc. will then be worked out through our liaison with ACT. This applies potentially to all Committees, from CIMIC to Legal – in brief, all 10 CIOR Committees.

Among these committees, I would like to single out, as I did with SACT, 2 of them. One is the Military Competition. Interoperating in operations required being fit, mentally and physically ready, knowing the basics of first aid and law of armed conflicts. This is precisely what MILCOMP is about, let’s never forget it.

The other is the legal committee. Almost declared dead for god knows what strange reason, I would like to tell you that this has been a key contributor to the Alliance in terms of LOAC, and various legal aspects in support of other Committees of CIOR and CIOMR. It needs to resume its work, and produce an updated version of its booklet on LOAC. I expect this to happen during my term, so we can offer this to the defence community and . I am glad the new chairman and other key members and beating the drum so that the dream team we once had in Legal is now quickly reassembling to deliver again to notch advice – not on our Constitution, which – thank you, is doing well and does not require constant reengineering.

Acting as a bridge between defence and civilian societies is a key role that our Confederation of reserve associations is best placed to play. This has resonated much with SACT.

• A review of best practices of CIOR’ ROAs will start this session with 2 associations who volunteered, FROF (Finland) and VdRBw (Germany). This will be continued throughout future meetings of this Presidency. These key data and best practices / lessons learned from these briefings will be posted on the website on a special section on reserve associations, with a link to their website, and contact info. We need to start interoperating among ourselves, because this is actually what the Alliance expects from us. They know very well the value added of associations, sometimes better that we do ourselves, in terms of returning back to civilian life, motivating young officers to join and stay in the reserve, etc.;
• Our CIOR website will continue its life with the same intense pace of 15 articles in 5 months, reaching out to 15 000 returning users. Same with the LinkedIn-based discussion group on CIOR.
• SACT has also welcomed our plan as French presidency to heavily promote participation of reserve officers to the upcoming Security Jam, to be organized jointly by NATO, UNO and EU, with the support and facilitation of leading worldwide thinktanks. Based on the pilot experiment we did last year with the incoming French Pcy team, I would like to see the participation of over 500 reserve officers to the next edition of the Security Jam early 2014.
This concludes my update and presentations of strategic lines. I am ready to take questions now or or later, and now had it over to the SeGen of CIOR and the Permanent Representative of CIOR for admin remarks on the next steps.


© 2012 Interallied Confederation of Reserve Officers