Young Reserve Officer Outreach Seminar in Czech Republic in March

The Czech Republic is hosting this year’s Young Reserve Officer Outreach Seminar (YROS) 25 – 28 March. The seminar, which will take place in Brno, is titled «NATO and the cultural challenges on missions».

The seminar is open to all reserve and active duty officers up to the rank of Major. Organizers ask member nations to encourage junior reserve and active duty officers to participate.

The seminar will focus on introducing junior reserve officers from NATO and Partnership for Peace (PfP) countries to the basics of NATO, cultural aspects of missions and international leadership.

The seminar’s primary objective: To assist in integration of YROs from NATO/PfP nations into a coalition environment. The seminar contributes to development of knowledge of NATO/CIOR structure and mission as well as leadership skills. It provides initial international/coalition experience for participants and increases awareness of alliance security issues.

For official invitation with all relevant information, click here.

For agenda, click here.

Some impressions and group shots from last year’s YRO seminar:

CIOR President visits Nordic Presidium in Oslo

The President of CIOR, Colonel (R) Chris Argent, visited Oslo on 17 and 18 January to meet with both the Council of the Norwegian Reserve Officers Federation (NROF) and the Council of the Nordic Presidium.

By: Roy Thorvaldsen, Lt Col (R) Norwegian Army/ CIOR Public Affairs

Argent briefed on current progress in CIOR against the ‘President’s Scorecard’, which indicated that of the targets set by the Presidency in August 2018, approximately 75% have now been achieved. The target for new member nations has not yet been achieved, due to difficulties with the application process. The only new member that has been successfully admitted so far has been Portugal.

The President went on to report on progress with current key issues, including the joint programme with the National Reserve Forces Committee (NRFC) on Cyber, and CIOR digitalisation and e-learning.

SHAPE Reserves Advisor to be recruited this spring

Furthermore he briefed on the re-establishment of a SHAPE Reserves Advisor to be recruited this spring. Here he said he hoped the Nordic nations would play a part as a panel of expertise.

He also updated the Presidium about the pilot Reserve Officer Workshop planned for the Summer Congress 2020, and the revamp of the CIOR legal Structure and Constitution – which are set to be completed this spring; as well as the future routine re-accreditation of member associations. The latter is to be affirmed by Council at the upcoming Mid-Winter-Meeting (MWM) at NATO Headquarters.

– Will deliver on all objectives by conclusion of Summer Congress

Those present expressed their satisfaction with progress and the President said he was confident of delivering on all the objectives by the conclusion of the Summer Congress 2020.

– Still awaiting information on this year’s Summer Congress

Asked for planning details for this year’s Summer Congress, the President said he was as of yet unable to provide this information – as it was awaited from the congress organisers.

The President said he sincerely hoped the information would be readily available before the MWM, and recognised the difficulties it would cause members if this does not happen.

Regarding future years’ congresses, the President noted concerns about it being held at the height of the annual leave period, and suggested that the Council could reconsider the timing of the summer congresses for future years.

The President defends the military competition

Those present also expressed their concern to the President regarding the organisation of the CIOR Military Competition, which, it was felt, distorted planning and caused many nations not to host summer congresses. The President expressed his thoughts on this issue as being:

1) The Military Competition need not be co-located with the Congress.

2) Suggestions that the competition was an outdated format overlooked that it tests key military skills, albeit in a non-tactical scenario

3) The competition need not be looked upon as solely the pursuit of excellence, but rather a challenging experience for officers and soldiers, a social, cultural and military gathering at which the sole measure need not be the number of medals won.

4) That desirable as the NATO Assault Course might be, it is not essential provided all competitors are tested over a common challenging event.

The President urged all nations to see the competition in these terms and increase the number of participating teams, especially encouraging young and inexperienced reserve officers and soldiers to participate – provided they had undertaken a suitable period of familiarisation and work up training.

Finally the President thanked all present for their interest and support in the ongoing development of CIOR – to which he was committed during the UK and Estonian Joint Presidency.

CIOR President, Colonel (R) Chris Argent flanked by the members of the Nordic Presidium outside the Norwegian Reserve Officer Association (NROF) building at Akershus Fortress in Oslo, following last weekend’s meeting. (Photo: Jørgen Berggrav.)

CIOR winter meeting in Brussels 19-21 February

The CIOR Mid-Winter-Meeting (MWM) 2020 will be held at NATO Headquarters in Brussels from Wednesday 19 February to Friday 21 February. For invitation to eligible attendees, click here.

For more information, national member and associated delegations should refer to the ‘CIOR Connect’ portal.


Romanian Reserve Officer Association awarded by President of Romania

The Romanian Reserve Officers Association (AORR) has been awarded by the President of Romania with the Memorial Medal “Centenary of the War for National Unity”.

The Romanian Reserve Officers Association (AORR) was recently awarded the Memorial Medal “Centenary of the War for National Unity” by the President of Romania, HE Klaus Johannis, at the Cotroceni Palace. AORR was represented by its president, Lt. Gen. (R) dr. Virgil Bălăceanu, the current Secretary Geeneral, Brig. Gen. (R) Iulian Burticioiu and the former, Maj. Gen. (R) dr. Dan Grecu.

The event brought together several military and civilian institutions, supporters of the Romanian military tradition, which all received recognition for their merits.

– The gratitude of the State of Romania

– By awarding the medals “Centenary of the War for National Unity” I wish to express the gratitude of the State of Romania for the sacrifice enacted by the generation of the Great Union on the battlefield of the War for National Unity, stated the Romanian President in his speech.

Major project

One of the major projects of AORR, in the year of the Centenary of the Great Union (2018), was the development of the Mobile Expo-Memorial Complex

“Glory to the Romanian Soldier” is dedicated to those heroes who sacrificed themselves in World War I. Being materialised as an impressive structure, the Expo-Memorial complex serves as historic testimony, heroes memorial, homage to the Romanian Armed Forces and public history lesson.

The monument was inaugurated on November 30th, 2018 in the city of Alba Iulia and it measures 23 meters in height, same as the Monument of the National Union, unveiled at the same historic place and time. This ambitious project wouldn’t have been possible without the support of the Ministry of Culture and National Identity, as well as the European Association “Dimitrie Cantemir”.

An active player at the intersection of military life and society

At the same time, AORR has been an active player at the intersection of the military life and society, involved in several actions, including: a Workshop concerning National Defense readjustment, in cooperation with the Romanian Defence Staff and the National Defense University “Carol I”; a Public Debate in partnership with the Committee for Defence, Public Order and National Security from the Chamber of Deputies, regarding the status of the Romanian Armed Forces and the necessity of developing Reserve Forces/Territorial Forces; active involvement in the program for the recruitment and training of voluntary reservists.

International Eexperts’ conference

The most recent large-scale project of AORR was the International Experts’ Conference SECDEF19, in partnership with the Military Technical Academy “Ferdinand I”, the Romanian Business Association of the Military Technique Manufacturers – PATROMIL and academic institutions from Poland.

At the Cotroceni Palace, the Romanian Reserve Officers Association (AORR) was recently awarded the Memorial Medal “Centenary of the War for National Unity” by the President of Romania, HE Klaus Johannis. AORR was represented by its president, Lt. Gen. (R) dr. Virgil Bălăceanu, the current Secretary Geeneral, Brig. Gen. (R) Iulian Burticioiu and the former, Maj. Gen. (R) dr. Dan Grecu.

Link to Romanian Reserve Officer Association with a video of the above event at the bottom of the page here.

From the construction of the monument “Glory to the Romanian Soldier”.

The monument “Glory to the Romanian Soldier”.
From the construction of the monument “Glory to the Romanian Soldier”.

 Link to Romanian Reserve Officer Association with a video of the above event at the bottom of the page here.

Season’s Greetings to the CIOR Family!

The President of CIOR sends season’s greetings to our all Reserve and Regular colleagues, wherever they may be on duty or with their families, and wishes them a happy, safe and prosperous 2020.

Spanish Reserve Association with Parliament seminar on NATO Reserves

Spain’s Reserve Forces Association FORE (Federación de Organizaciones de Reservistas de España) recently held a seminar in the Parliament in Madrid, on NATO’s Reserve Forces. The seminar was well attended by members of Parliament – amongst whom a substantial number are either serving or past members of Spain’s Armed Forces – and by the responsible people for the Reserve management of the Ministry of Defense and the Army.

The proceedings were opened by Pedro Argüelles Salaverría, a former member of the Spanish and European parliaments, former Vice Minister of Defense and President of the Asociación Atlántica Espanola. He stressed the ongoing need for Reservists.

Key-note speaker from NATO HQ

essing NATO Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Public Diplomacy, Ms. Carmen Romero, referring a question to CIOR President Colonel (Retd.) Chris Argent, UK Army during the Q&A session.

The key-note speaker was Ms. Carmen Romero, NATO Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Public Diplomacy, who gave a broad overview of current key issues in NATO. She briefed on the wide range of current threats to peace and security in the Alliance’s area of interest, and the challenges that come with emerging technologies falling into the “wrong hands”.

Ms Romero stressed that whilst there were, as always, tensions within the Alliance, all member nations agree that NATO is ’’better together’’ and remains a bulwark for peace in the free world.

Case studies

Four reservists, Florentien Braat from the Netherlands, John Carolan-Cullion from the UK, Ronny Vossen from Denmark and Francisco Muñoyerro from Spain then presented their own experiences on operational tours in Bosnia-Hercegovina, Afghanistan and Turkey – covering a wide spectrum of military skills and environments.

CIOR President, Colonel (Retd) Chris Argent UK Army addressing the seminar attendees.


ARRC with good Reservist experiences

Brigadier General Melchor Marin Elvira reported on the increasing role for Reservists both in training and on operations within the General Staff of the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps (ARRC) of NATO, and spoke positively of his experiences with Reservists as a valuable component in the Headquarters.

CIOR President in Q&A session

The Seminar concluded with a Question and Answer Session chaired by Luis Placencia, FORE President, which was joined by Colonel Chris Argent, President of CIOR, who in turn spoke of his own experiences over many years as a Reserve Infantry Officer in the UK Army.

Speakers and panelists at the Reserve Seminar in the Spanish Parliament, including CIOR President Colonel (UK Army Retd) Chris Argent to the far left.
Group photo with participating speakers and panelists at the Reserve Seminar in the Spanish Parliament.

IBM3 wraps up in Edinburgh

The CIOR autumn meeting (In-Between-Meeting/IBM) wrapped up Wednesday 27 November, after two and a half days of discussing on-going business. The final day of the meeting consisted mainly of progress reports from various CIOR committees.

By: Lt Col Roy Thorvaldsen, Norwegian Army, Chairman CIOR Public Affairs Committee

The committees that presented their status reports on Wednesday were the Language Academy Committee, the Young Reserve Officer Committee, the Military Competition Committee and the Public Affairs Committee.

The latter presented the first version of the organisation’s new Communication Plan.

This was followed by an update on the next CIOR event, the Mid-Winter-Meeting (MWM), which takes place at NATO HQ the 3rd week of February – before the President brought it all to conclusion with the ‘Summary of meeting outcomes’.

NATO Reserve Forces Committee

On Tuesday the Secretary General of the NATO Reserve Forces Committee (NRFC) Col Grzegorz Krawczyk visited, along with the 1st Assistent Secretary General Lt Col Zenon Walinski, to give an update on NRFC’s on-going business.

From the Tuesday NRFC status update to the CIOR Council in Edinburgh.

CIOR and NRFC now work more closely together than they have done for several years. Key to this reinvigorated  relationship is the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the two parties, signed at the last MWM at NATO HQ.

NRFC Secretary General, Colonel Grzegorz Krawczyk (number 3 from right), engaged in discussion with the US CIOR Vice President/Head of delegation, Brigadier General Michael J. Silva (far left).
Good tone: CIOR President Colonel Chris Argent (Retd) conversing informally with NRFC Secretary General Colonel Grzegorz Krawczyk and 1st Asst SecGen Lt Colonel Zenon Walinski.

Other key issues discussed Tuesday included the possible establishment of a Reserves cell at NATO’s operational headquarters, Supreme Headquarteres Allied Powers Europe/SHAPE with liaison to CIOR; Cyber; Legal structure & review of constitution (for MWM 2020); ‘CIOR 2025’; the ‘Future Young Reserve Officer’ project; the new CIOR ‘Workplace’ collaboration portal CIOR Connect; development of an online learning program.


























Autumn CIOR meeting opens in Edinburgh

The autumn meeting of CIOR – also called the “in-between-meeting” opened in Edinburgh 25 November. For two days the CIOR national associations’ delegations were set to discuss their on-going business.

By: Lt Col Roy Thorvaldsen, Norwegian Army, Chairman CIOR Public Affairs Committee

The day started with the President of CIOR, Colonel Chris Argent (retd.) giving his report to the CIOR Council, consisting of heads of member associations’ delegations – also called Vice Presidents.

The President’s report focussed on the CIOR Annual Report that he recently briefed to the NATO Military Committe in Brussels, other high level meetings at both NATO and national level, and the status of key CIOR efforts and achievements.

Autumn CIOR meeting 2019 opens in Edinburgh.

The meeting took place in the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, one of the world’s oldest medical institutions. It was  founded in 1505 after receiving a Royal Seal of Cause from the town council which was ratified by King James IV 1506. It provides education and assessment for medical students, surgical trainees and consultants and supports research to advance standards of care for the future.

CIOR Secretary General Adrian Walton (Col retd.) speaking during the opening session. Next to him, CIOR President Chris Argent (Col retd.)

CIOR’s In-Between-Meetings (IBMs) take place between the Summer Congresses (SC) and the Mid-Winter Meetings (MWM) every year, once in the autumn and once in the spring, and are designated to be focussed work-meetings, to “keep the wheels turning” between the SCs and MWMs.

The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, one of the world’s oldest medical institutions – founded in 1505.

IBM3 in Edinburgh

CIOR will hold its In Between Meeting Three (IBM3) of the UK / Estonian Presidency in Edinburgh, Scotland (UK) during the period 24-27 Nov 19. The meeting will have attendance by representatives of CIOMR and CISOR)


To maintain, develop and take forward CIOR, an organisation that represents the interests of over 1.3 million reservists across 34 participating nations within and beyond NATO, by planning and instigating its activities (including meetings, seminars, symposia, competitions and sharing best practice).

To facilitate the CIOR main roles: to provide advice on Reserve issues and support to the NATO Alliance, and to foster the professional development of reserve officers.

One of the meeting rooms at the Surgeons Quarter in Edinburgh.


Attendees to IBM3 are asked to arrange travel so as to arrive no later than the evening of Sunday 24 Nov. No social function is planned for this evening. Meals will be available to order from the hotel or nearby restaurants.

The President of CIOR will hold meetings with key personnel the evening of arrival 24th November. This will be by invitation and made known by separate correspondence. There will be an IBM Delegates Reception the evening of the 25th, 1830-2030 hours at Edinburgh Castle, whilst a short walk from the IBM venue, coaches will be made available as required. A Gala Dinner will be held the evening of the 26th on board the Royal Yacht Britannia (1845-2300 hours) with transport provided.

Attendees will be free to depart after 1230hrs, 27 Nov 19.

The meetings will seek to realize outcomes in accord with Presidential Aims, Strategic Objectives and CIOR Business and Planning.

Meeting Participation.

The following attendance is sought:

CIOR Presidential Team.

Delegation VPs.

Committee Chairs. To include:

Defence Attitudes and Security Issues Committee (DefSec)

Civil/Military Co-operation Committee (CIMIC)

Partnership for Peace and Outreach Committee (PfP&O)

Legal Committee (LEGAL)

Military Competition Committee (MILCOMP)

Language Academy Committee (CLA)

Winter Seminar Committee

Young Reserve Officers Committee (YRO)

Public Affairs Committee

CIOMR Presidential Team and CIOMR members (Optional but would be very welcome) for whom a 1 day programme is being organised by UK CIOMR Delegates

CISOR Presidential Team (Optional but would be very welcome)

The full Warning Order can be found here.

CIOR President and Secretary General attend Estonia Defence Forces 101st anniversary

(Updated.) The CIOR President Colonel Chris Argent (UK Army Retd) and CIOR Secretary General Colonel Adrian Walton (UK Army) visited Estonia in November to attend the 101st Anniversary of the formation of the Estonian Defense Forces, and to review the 2019 CIOR Summer Congress in Tallinn last August – with Estonian members of the CIOR Joint UK-Estonian Presidency.

On 14 November the President and Secretary General attended a wreath laying with senior Estonian and other national military leaders, and took part in a celebration of the work and achievements of the Estonian National Defence Forces – hosted by Estonia’s Chief of Defence Major General Martin Herrem. In his speech General Herrem reviewed the successful outcomes of the CIOR Summer Congress in Tallinn in August 2019 – a congress which Estonia hosted with great success.

The visit was also an opportunity for the President and Secretary General of CIOR to meet with the Estonian members of the Joint Presidency and review achievements over the last 12 months, as the second year of the two-year Presidency had just started. All agreed that the first year of the Presidency had delivered substantial progress for CIOR, and expressed that they were looking forward to an equally succesful second half of the UK-Estonia Presidency tenure.

The next country that will have the CIOR Presidency is Germany (2020-2022), to be followed by Estonia (2022-2024).

CIOR Presidency members from the UK and Estonia met in Tallinn at the Estonian Defence Forces’ 101st anniversary for a 2019 Summer Congress review. On the photo also Estonian Chief of Defence, Major General Martin Herem (centre).