Germany best nation in military competition

The military skills competition that took place Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of last week, was yet another success for one of the most tangible outputs of the interallied confederation of reserve officers (CIOR), namely MILCOMP. Athletes from the CIOR member and partner associations competed in a wide range of disciplines, such as shooting, First Aid, Law of Armed Conflict, obstacle course and water obstacle course. The best nation overall was Germany (DEU3). In 2nd place: Finland (FIN2). In 3rd place: Estonia (EST2).

For a Photo Gallery from the competition, and the awards ceremony attended by the Republic of Estonia’s President Her Excellency Ms. Kersti Kaljulaid click HERE!

For results and more photos (EDF), click HERE!

For more about the 2019 MILCOMP, click HERE!

Germany (DEU3) came in as the best nation in the 2019 CIOR military skills competition (MILCOMP). The athletes received their medals from the Republic of Estonias President, her excellency Ms. Kersti Kaljulaid. Photo: Susanna Takamaa, Finnish Reserve Officer Association/ CIOR Public Affairs. (Photo corrected.)


YROW brings young reserve officers together

The Young Reserve Officer Workshop (YROW) is a platform for younger officers to gain knowledge and to build mutual understanding between reserve officers from different NATO and partner nations. Reserve officers usually the age 30 or younger come together every CIOR summer congress to work through different topics and seminars. The workshop takes place during the Summer Congress of CIOR each year.

Topics that the young reserve officers will face throughout their career are explored and debated during the workshop, for example the Law on armed conflict, cultural differences and information warfare.

Among the speakers at this year’s workshop was Lieutenant Colonel (R) K.M. Kjoeller, Danish Army, who gave YROW a lecture on how to tackle information in a rapidly changing news- and social media environment from a military point of view.

Photos by 1st Lt. Susanna Takamaa, Finnish Reserve Officer Association/ CIOR Public Affairs

CIOR and CISOR sign Memorandum of Understanding

The Interallied Confederation of Reserve Officers (CIOR) president Colonel Chris Argent, and the Interallied Confederation of Reserve Non-Commissioned Officers (CISOR) president Master Sergeant Michel d’Alessandro formalize the cooperation between CIOR and CISOR by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) during the Summer Congress that was held in Tallinn, Estonia, on August 7, 2019.

The main goal of this MoU will be to develop ideas on how to make the two organizations work together and to explore how best to leverage the power of Reserves so they can contribute better to NATO.
Le colonel Chris Argent, président de la Confédération Interalliée des Officiers de Réserve (CIOR), et l’adjudant Michel d’Alessandro, président de la Confédération Interalliée des Sous-Officiers de Réserve (CISOR) ont officialisé la coopération entre la CIOR et le CISOR le 7 août 2019 en signant un protocole d’accord lors du congrès d’été qui s’est tenu à Tallinn, en Estonie.

L’objectif principal de ce protocole d’accord sera de développer une vision sur la meilleure manière de mettre en place un partenariat durable entre les deux organisations et d’explorer la meilleure façon d’exploiter le pouvoir des réserves afin qu’elles puissent mieux contribuer à l’OTAN.

Photos by Major Jean-François Lambert, CIOR Public Affairs Committee, Canadian Armed Forces

Succesful symposium on the “Millennial Reserve Officer”


On August 7, 2019, at the Summer Congress in Tallinn, Estonia, the CIOR delegates had the honour to listen to outstanding presentations on the annual theme: “Millennial Reserve Officers: New Challenges – New SKills – New Roles”.

By: Jean-Francois Lambert, Major, Canadian Armed Forces/ CIOR Public Affairs

Young Reserve Officers (YRO) are called to a relevant military role due to their civilian capacities as many conflicts have to adapt to “the new level of the fight” in a Multipolar World, with significant threats and changes:

– Disruptive Technologies (AI, Cognitive Computation, Blockchain, IoT, Big Data Analysis, Robots, Cyber, Space activities etc.)

– Climate change and migration

– Populism

– Weapons of Mass Destruction

Young South African Reserve Officer asking a question to the “Young Reserve Officers’ cultural awareness in the context of military deployments” panel. Photo: Major Jean-Francois Lambert, Canadian Armed Forces.

Le 7 août 2019, lors du congrès d’été à Tallinn, en Estonie, les délégués de la CIOR ont eu l’honneur d’écouter des présentations remarquables sur le thème annuel: “Officiers de la réserve du millénaire: Nouveaux défis – Nouvelles compétences – Nouveaux rôles”.

Les jeunes officiers de réserve (YRO) sont appelés à jouer un rôle militaire important en raison de leurs capacités dans le monde civil, car de nombreux conflits doivent s’adapter au «nouveau niveau des combats» dans un monde multipolaire, avec des menaces et des changements importants:

– Technologies de perturbation (IA, calcul cognitif, Blockchain, IoT, analyse de données volumineuses, robots, cyberactivité, activités spatiales, etc.)

– Changement climatique et migration

– le populisme

– Armes de destruction massive

Panelists from the “Young Reserve Officers’ cultural awareness in the context of military deployments” answering a question on military culture from a Young South African Reserve Officer. Photo: Major Jean-Francois Lambert, Canadian Armed Forces.
General Sir James Everard (UK) DSACEUR. Photo: Major Jean-Francois Lambert, Canadian Armed Forces.

CIOR Medal of Merit to Rear Admiral Berggrav

Rear Admiral (Retd.) Jørgen Berggrav, Secretary General of the Norwegian Reserve Officer Association and Assistant Secretary General to CIOR, was today awarded the CIOR Medal of Merit. The presentation was made by Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe, General Sir James Everard (UK Army) at the opening of the CIOR Summer Congress Symposium.

By Roy Thorvaldsen, Lieutenant Colonel (R) Norwegian Army/ CIOR Public Affairs.

– Rear Admiral Berggrav has brought a wealth of experience to CIOR and has willingly shared his insights, observations and network with the CIOR community. His analytical approach, interpersonal skills, drive and energy has provided a great deal of momentum and willingness for change in CIOR, said CIOR President Colonel (Retd.) Chris Argent (UK Army).

Rear Admiral (Retd.) Jørgen Berggrav, Secretary General of the Norwegian Reserve Officer Association and Assistant Secretary General to CIOR, was today awarded the CIOR Medal of Merit. The presentation was made by Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe, General Sir James Everard (UK Army). Photo: Roy Thorvaldsen, Lieutenant Colonel (R) Norwegian Army/ CIOR Public Affairs.

– For example, he was instrumental in achieving the agreement this time in Quebec last year to establish the CIOR Joint Presidency of UK and Estonia that has set the organisation on a strong strategic path for at least the next three presidencies, said Argent.

Rear Admiral Berggrav is also the Secretary to the Nordic Presidium of Reserve Officer Associations.

Brand new obstacle course for MILCOMP 2019

When Estonia stepped up to the challenge of hosting a CIOR summer congress, there were no NATO compatible obstacle courses in Estonia. Through massive co-operation from the Estonian Defence League Kaitseliit, the Ministry of Defence and a great number of volunteers, a brand new obstacle course was built and finished only less than a week before the opening of the CIOR summer congress 2019.

By 1st Lt. Susanna Takamaa, Finnish Reserve Officer Association/ CIOR Public Affairs

Attended by several member associations’ presidents and other congress guests, the grand opening of the obstacle course was held on Tuesday the 6th of August in a shower of rain. The President of CIOR, Colonel Christopher Argent, addressed the crowd by complimenting the Estonian Reserve Officer Association EROK for providing the obstacle course on such a short notice.

CIOR President Colonel (Retd.) Chris Argent, speaking at the opening of the Estonian obstacle course on Tuesday August 6th. Photo: Susanna Takamaa, Finnish Army/ CIOR Public Affairs.

“It isn’t about sitting in the committees talking, it is all about delivering military output. There is no better example of that than the military skills competition,” said Argent.

“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Estonia for the enormous effort they’ve done to make this happen.”

After the opening of the facility the audience was provided with an example of how to complete the obstacle course, by an Estonian Defence Force athlete.

An athlete from the Estonian Defence Forces demonstrating the new obstacle course for CIOR leadership and participating guests. Photo: Susanna Takamaa, Finnish Army/ CIOR Public Affairs.

MILCOMP will begin the 6th of August, starting off with pistol and rifle shooting. On the following days competitors will complete utility swimming, the military obstacle course and a military orientation march.

– No better location for the CIOR Summer Congress

– There can be no better location to  remind us all of the obligations of our various nations of total support within the Alliance of NATO than here in Tallinn, Estonia. A very real threat to peace, to the stability and national safety which endures here.

With these words the CIOR President Colonel Chris Argent (Retd.) began his speech to mark the opening of the 2019 Summer Congress for CIOR and its sister organization CIOMR – which represents the interests of the Alliance’s medical reserve officers.

Wreath laying ceremony with CIOR and CIOMR presidents at Estonian memorial for ‘victims of communism’ in Tallinn, Estonia. Photo: Banu Syvertsen.

– We are proud as nations to support our Estonian friends and colleagues, those of us who have the comfort of illusory distance from the threat, said Colonel Argent.

National delegates gathering behind their flags before the official opening ceremony starts. Photo: Lt Col Roy Thorvaldsen (R), Norwegian Army/CIOR Public Affairs.

The host nation’s speaker during the opening ceremony was Major General Indrek Sirel, deputy commander of the Estonian Defence Forces. MajGen Sirel spoke warmly of the importance of reservists in the defence of his country:

– The Reserve component is the most important portion of our defence. We can share our experience, and we are looking for others’ experience (on) how to use reserves.

Major General Indrek Sirel, deputy commander of the Estonian Defence Forces. Photo: Arvet Mägi, Virumaa Teataja.

– It is symbolic that you start the congress at the place that reflects the sacrifice that

Estonian officers made for their country (the memorial for victims of communism). However, it also reflects the consequences of some decisions that (our government/society) made at that time (not to fight the Soviet military occupation and annexation in 1940). I remind you of reserve officers as an integral part of society have a vital role in forming such decisions today, MajGen Sirel said.



The opening ceremony was followed by an Estonian national evening reception.

The first working day of the CIOR/ CIOMR congress is Monday 5 August.

CIOR Language Academy precursor to Summer Congress

The CIOR Summer Congress takes place 4-10 August in Tallinn, Estonia. The forerunner has been the CIOR Language Academy (CLA). The CLA held classes in French and English from July 20 to August 4, at the Estonian Academy of Security Sciences in Tallinn.

Photo by: MajorJean-François Lambert​, CIOR Public Affairs Committee, Canadian Armed Forces.

The CIOR Language Academy (CLA) teaches English and French as a second language, emphasizing a NATO military lexicon while at the same time providing an orientation to CIOR. The instructors, qualified reserve officers as well as skilled linguists and teachers, are provided by CIOR member nations and are selected through a competitive process.

The students are NATO reserve officers and active duty officers of the new democracies of Eastern and Central Europe. Through the Language Academy, they are provided an essential and indispensable tool to carry out international NATO business – the ability to communicate in one of NATO’s two official languages. Established in 2000, CLA was a CIOR initiative in support of the Partnership for Peace program and has matriculated more than 300 officers from every nation of Eastern and Central Europe.

Photo by: MajorJean-François Lambert​, CIOR Public Affairs Committee, Canadian Armed Forces.

CIOR Language Academy is open to Reserve Officers or Active Officers below 60 years of age. NCOs, civilians with military affiliations and Retired Officers will have lower priority according to availability.

For more about CLA, click here.

CIOR Summer Congress 2019

The largest annual meeting of CIOR and CIOMR (medical reserve officers) is jointly held each summer in a different country and is organized by a separate member of CIOR/CIOMR each year. In 2019 Estonia will be hosting the congress in its capital of Tallinn and surrounding areas.

The two congresses are organized in conjunction with CIOR having Council meetings, the various committees and working groups and the CIOMR Congress conducting meetings with their respective committees. There will also be military competitions (MILCOMP) and other activities such as CIMIC exercises (CIMEX), Young Reserve Officers Workshop (YROW), CIOR Language Academy (CLA), the CIOMR Workshop and a Congress Symposium.

The opening ceremony of the Congress is on Sunday August 4th at 17:00 at the Maarjamäe memorial, followed by a reception at the Maarjamäe palace.

The CLA will have already been active since July 20th at the Estonian Academy of Security Sciences in Tallinn and will be finished on the opening day of the CIOR/CIOMR congress on August 4th.

The MilComp section will start training on the 4th and end on the 5th with competitions on the 6th to 8th. The awards ceremony will be on the 9th of August. All events take place at the Estonian Defence League Männiku shooting range on the outskirts of Tallinn.

CIMIC work exercises (CIMEX) are from the 4th to the 6th at the Estonian Academy of Security Sciences in Tallinn. Participants to the CIMEX exercise will join the rest of the Congress as soon as they conclude their exercise.
The Congress Symposium will be held on Wednesday August the 7th at the Swissotel in Tallinn.

The Closing Ceremony/Congress Gala Dinner will take place on Friday August 9th at 20:00 at the Seaplane Harbour Museum in Tallinn, which will officially close the CIOR/CIOMR 2019 Summer Congress in Tallinn, Estonia.

CIOR President attends NRFC Summer Plenary: Warm reception and praise for MOU implementation

CIOR President Colonel (R) Chris Argent (UK) attended the National Reserve Forces Committee (NRFC) Summer Plenary Meeting in Warsaw on 10 and 11 July. The President was warmly welcomed as a ‘special guest’.

Brussels, 11 July 2019: The Chairman of NATO’s National Reserve Forces Committee (NRFC), Brigadier General Robert Glab (Poland), introduced Colonel Argent to his colleagues as a ‘special guest’ to the meeting. He spoke warmly of the work done by the President in ensuring that the new NRFC-CIOR Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was completed and signed at the CIOR ‘Mid Winter Meeting’ in Brussels in January this year.

CIOR President Colonel (R) Chris Argent (left) and National Reserve Forces Committee (NRFC) Brigadier General Robert Glab signing the MOU between the two organizations in January this year. Photo: NATO HQ.

The President was accompanied to the meeting by CIOR Assistant Secretary General (SO1 Plans), Lieutenant Colonel Mark Coburn (UK).

Progress on first common project

On the morning of 11 July Colonel Argent informed NRFC on progress already achieved to operationalise the MOU, in particular in launching the NRFC/ CIOR Joint Project on Cyber Defence.

The first outputs from this work will be published around the time of the CIOR Summer Congress in Tallinn Estonia between 4 and 9 August. Then CIOR will progress with the development of an entry-level practitioners course on Cyber Defence, with the aim of holding the first course in the summer of 2020 – under the patronage of a joint NRFC-CIOR committee.

Two more projects awaiting CIOR Council support

The two additional projects, Recruiting & Retention and Employer Support, are already being progressed in CIOR and now await the early decision of CIOR’s Council to provide technological support – which can then be accessed both by NRFC and CIOR, and potentially third parties.

The CIOR President also informed NRFC about upcoming events commencing with the organization’s Summer Congress in August, with an estimated attendance of some 550 serving Reservists.

The two reserve organizations have agreed that a CIOR Liaison Officer (ASG Plans) should attend the NRFC Staff Officers Meeting in October, in Budapest, along with the lead of the CIOR Cyber Defence Working Group, and that a CIOR Delegation of about 10 officers will attend the NRFC Winter Plenary Meeting being held in 2020 in Norfolk, Virginia (USA).

An invitation is being extended to the Chairman and Secretary General of NRFC to attend the CIOR autumn meeting, also known as the ‘In-Between-Meeting’ in Edinburgh in November.

Looking forward to further co-operation

Both the NRFC chairman and the CIOR president recognised these 2 days as an important milestone in delivering the intent of the MOU, and said that they were looking forward to further close co-operation as the various strands of work develop.