“Seminar 2020” launched in Bonn

The CIOR Seminar 2020 opened in Bonn Saturday morning, with over 50 participants from 13 nations.

Among many European countries represented were also Australia, South Africa and the USA. The theme for this year’s Seminar is “China – Threat or Opportunity?”, with a distinguished panel of very high calibre speakers. The audience spans from young reserve officers to CIOR Vice Presidents (heads of national delegations) and military staff specialists.

Have a look at this presentation video!

For more on the 2020 CIOR Seminar, click here!

 

Strong Outputs at Mid-Winter Meeting

The CIOR Mid-Winter Meeting was succesfully completed Friday. As tradition dictates, the two and a half days of intense and very fruitful working sessions were wrapped up with a closing session in the auditorium of the NATO Headquarters.

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

The Presidents of CIOR and CIOMR both thanked the organising staff and their teams for a productive meeting.

Looking back – and moving forward

The CIOR President, Colonel (R) Chris Argent emphasised that he had sensed a feeling of new Energy and Purpose in all of CIOR’s work during the meeting, with the enabling power of technology now in place to support communications, preparation for, and in-between meetings – and distance learning. He also emphasised the range of tasks in which CIOR is now engaged, and encouraged the Vice Presidents (heads of member delegations) to strengthen their national teams.

Argent also summed up the progress that has been done in the last 12 months from the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed with NATO’s National Reserve Forces Committee (NRFC); productive outcomes within the CYBER joint work program; and development of a Reserve Advisor post at NATO’s operational headquarters, SHAPE. There has been no such post a SHAPE since the previous one was abolished in 2005.

Strong outputs

Argent said there has been strong outputs with regard to the preparations of the Civil-Military Exercise (CIMEX) and the CIOR Language Academy (CLA) – and what Secretary General, Colonel Adrian Walton called “a really promising Digital Journey with a management tool, development of Virtual Learning and, finally, “a greatly enhanced CIOR website”.

There were strong outputs at the CIOR Mid-Winter Meeting, among other areas within CIMIC. Photo: Bill Grieve, Lt Col (R) US Army/ CIOR Public Affairs.

Summer Congress re-confirmed for Liege

The CIOR President then brought the attention to the remaining activities of the UK Presidency, the next meeting of the organisation, IBM4, at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in Berkshire, UK; and not least the Summer Congress 2020 in Liege, Belgium this August.

Summer Congress 2021 in Athens

Worth mentioning is also that the Summer Congress of 2021 has been decided located to Athens, Greece.

CIOMR endorsement of intranet portal

Finally, CIOMR (medical officers) has voted to embrace a ‘CIOMR Connect’ intranet portal based on the success that CIOR so far has had with the said Facebook ‘Workplace For Business’ collaboration tool. CISOR (non-commissioned officers) is considering doing the same.

The auditorium of the NATO Headquarters was used for both the opening and closing ceremonies. Photo courtesy Henry Plimack, Capt US Coastguard Reserve (Retd.)/ CIOMR Public Affairs.

CIOR Mid-Winter Meeting opened at NATO HQ

The Mid-Winter Meeting (MWM) of CIOR opened this morning at NATO headquarters in Brussels.

By Roy Thorvaldsen, Lt Col Norwegian Army/ CIOR Public Affairs and Major Jean-Francois Lambert, Canadian Armed Forces/ CIOR Public Affairs (Photo).

The two and a half day meeting started with an opening session in the auditorium of the “new” headquarters building at Boulevard Leopold III.

CIOR Secretary General, Colonel Adrian Walton, opened the show before President, Colonel (R) Chris Argent updated the audience on last year’s progress towards the organisation’s goals and objectives.

The annual winter meeting helps shape the second half of the work year prior to the 2020 Summer Congress.

There was also an introductory session in which CIOR and it’s sister organisation CIOMR (for medical reserve officers) presented themselves to each others attendees.

The CIOR Council and the various committees then went to work on their respective programs of work.

CIOR President, Colonel (R) Chris Argent opening the mid-winter meeting in Brussels.
The CIOR President briefing on the progress towards the organisation’s goals and objectives.
CIOMR President, Major (R) Sylvano Ferracani and CIOMR Secretary General, Brigadier General (R) Francois R. Martelet.

CIOR President meets with ACT Chief of Staff

CIOR President Colonel (R) Chris Argent paid an office call on Chief of Staff Allied Command Transformation, Vice Admiral Paul Bennett CB OBE, during the CIOR Presidency’s visit to the NRFC Winter Plenary Meeting in Norfolk Virginia.
Colonel Argent briefed Admiral Bennett on the current developments in CIOR and the refocusing of the Confederation upon defined military outputs in support of NATO.
The Admiral took a keen interest in the range of activities undertaken by CIOR and recognised the important contribution made by Reservists to NATO. It was particularly agreed that the employment of the range of tools now available in Information Technology made it possible to further increase the utility of Reserves, and the President pledged to fully exploit this exciting opportunity.
CIOR President Colonel (R) Chris Argent has met with Chief of Staff Allied Command Transformation, Vice Admiral Paul Bennett.

CIOR Delegation meets with Canadian Reserve Leaders

The CIOR delegation participating in the NRFC winter meeting in Norfolk, Virginia last week, Saturday met with Canadian two- and one star Reservist leaders in Ottawa.

The CIOR delegation met with Major General Mackenzie OMM CD, Chief of Reserves and Employer Support; and Brigadier General Bindon CD, Deputy Chief Reserves and Employer Support.

Brigadier General Bindon CD, Deputy Chief Reserves and Employer Support; and Major General Mackenzie OMM CD, Chief of Reserves and Employer Support.

– We had a very productive discussion on CIOR and UK/Canadian Reserve opportunities, says CIOR Secretary General, Colonel Adrian Walton.

The CIOR Presidency delegation Saturday met with Major General Mackenzie OMM CD, Chief of Canadian Reserves and Employer Support (centre); Brigadier General Bindon CD, Deputy Chief of Canadian Reserves and Employer Support (far left).

CIOR Presidency Team in Cyber Discussion with NRFC

A team from the CIOR Presidency this week participated in the Winter Plenary Meeting of NATO’s National Reserve Forces Committee (NRFC) in Norfolk, Virginia.

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

The meeting took place at the headquarters of Allied Command Transformation (ACT), one of NATO’s two strategic commands and the only NATO entity in the United States of America.

Norfolk, VA: CIOR President Col (R) Chris Argent briefing the winter meeting of the National Reserve Forces Committee (NRFC) on current state of affairs in the confederation.

On the agenda was among other current topics concerning international peace and security, evolving challenges in the cyber domain. The President in return gave a briefing on the current state of affairs in CIOR.

The CIOR entourage included the President, the Secretary General and the Assistant Secretary General.

An executive summary of the outcome of the NRFC meeting and of other meetings that took place on the occasion of the trip, will be briefed to the CIOR executive body, the Council, during the organisation’s Mid Winter Meeting at NATO headquarters in Brussels 19-21 February.

For more on NRFC, click here!

For more on HQ SACT, click here!

From the NRFC meeting in Norfolk, Virginia, where the CIOR President, Secretary General and the Assistant Secretary general were discussing cyber opportunities with NRFC. Photo: Colonel Adrian Walton.

 

Headquarters, Supreme Allied Commander Transformation (HQ SACT) in Norfolk, Virginia. Allied Command Transformation (ACT) is one of NATO’s two strategic commands, and the only NATO entity in the United States of America. Photo: HQ SACT.

CIOR Presidency visiting US ROA en-route to NRFC meeting

The CIOR Presidency team en-route to participate in the Winter Plenary Meeting of NATO National Reserve Forces Committee (NRFC) at Headquarters Supreme Allied Commander Transformation (HQ SACT) in Norfolk, Virginia. On the way, the delegation was visiting the US Reserve Officer Association HQ on Capitol Hill in Washington DC.

For more on US ROA, click here!

For more on NRFC, click here!

For more on HQ SACT, click here!

From left: Executive Director of the US Reserve Officer Association (US ROA), Major General (Retd.) Jeff Phillips; CIOR President, Colonel (Retd.) Chris Argent, CIOR Vice President USA, Brigadier General (Retd.) Mike Silva; Colonel Adrian Walton; and Lieutenant Colonel (Retd.) Mark Coburn, in the lobby of the US ROA headquarters in Washington DC.

 

Key CIOR Events for 2020

This list is an overview in abbreviated form of the key CIOR events for 2020. Please refer to national delegations for questions about attendance and contents. Some of the events will be promoted here on the public website, in addition to the information posted on the ‘CIOR Connect’ intranet portal.

MWM 20 NATO HQ, Brussels 18-21 Feb 2020

CIOR Seminar, Bonn 22-25 Feb 2020

YROS – Brno CZ, 25-28 March 2020

IBM 4 Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, London – 20-23 April (NOTE new date from initial date one week later)

NATO School, Oberammergau (NSO) – NATO Reserve Forces Integration Course (NRFIC) 27 April to 1 May 2020

CLA 2020 – Liege 19-31 July 2020

CIMEX 2020 – Liege 2-7 August 2020

CIOR/CIOMR/CISOR Summer Congress Liege 3-7 August 2020 (Includes YROW – NOTE dates 2-7 August)

CIOR Symposium Liege 5th August 2020

NSO – Senior Reserve Officers Course (SROC) – 7-11 Sept 2020

IBM 1 German Presidency – Nov 2020 Location and Date TBC

The 2020 CIOR/CIOMR/CISOR Summer Congress will take place in Liege, Belgium 3-7 August.

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.)
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