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 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.

Head US delegate attending retirement of SACEUR

Valuable CIOR networks: The US Vice President of CIOR, Brigadier General Michael J. Silva (R) recently attended the retirement ceremony for immediate past Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR).

Friday 31 May 2019:

– General Curtis M. Scaparrotti was my last West Point classmate on active duty, said BGen Silva.

SACEUR is the top NATO commander for the Alliance’s military operations, and he is located in Mons, Belgium.

The head US delegate to CIOR, Brigadier General Michael J. Silva (R) attended the retirement ceremony for immediate past Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) – General Curtis M. Scaparrotti – on Friday 31 May 2019.

Senior UK Army Reservist visits Estonian Exercise

Tallinn 9 May 2019: Major General Bill O’Leary from the UK (UK Deputy Commander Field Army and senior UK Army Reservist) yesterday visited Estonian Defence League (EDL) troops taking part in the  annual live exercise “Spring Storm”. EDL is a voluntary defence organization in defence of the Republic of Estonia, and augments the country’s armed forces. (Click here for more about EDL.)

Major General Bill O’Leary from the UK (UK Deputy Commander Field Army and senior UK Army Reservist) yesterday visited Estonian Defence League troops (EDL) taking part in the annual live exercise “Spring Storm”.

The Spring Storm exercise has some 7,500 troops from 10 NATO countries taking part.

Major General O’Leary also met with many of the national delegates at the spring meeting of the NATO-affiliated Interallied Confederation of Reserve Officers (CIOR).

The spring and fall meetings serve the purpose of keeping the various workstrands of the organization going in-between the main annual meetings – hence the internal “go-by name”: In-Between-Meeting (IBM).

The main annual meetings of CIOR are the Summer Congress (SC) and the Mid-Winter Meeting (MWM). The SC rotates between the member countries, whilst the MWM always takes place at the NATO Headquarters in Brussels.

The Estonian capital city of Tallinn will also host this year’s Summer Congress of CIOR.

CIOR Delegates visit Estonian Battlefield Exercise

Tallinn 9 May 2019: CIOR delegates yesterday visited Exercise “Spring Storm” in Estonia. A part of the exercise was a battlefield first aid scenario after an artillery unit was hit by counter battery fire.

The delegates witnessed an artillery battery deployed in the field and undergoing realistic training scenarios during the field-training phase of the exercise.

CIOR delegates visiting Exercise Spring Storm in Estonia. A part of the exercise was a battlefield first aid scenario after an artillery unit was hit by counter battery fire.

The Spring Storm exercise has some 7,500 troops from 10 NATO countries taking part.

CIOR visit to exercise and shooting range covered by…

  • Estonian national TV news (about 7 minutes in). Click here.
  • Estonian Defence Forces newsroom. Click here.
  • Video also available on YouTube. Click here.
  • EDF ‘SoldierMagazine’ Facebook page. Click here)
  • EDF online ‘picture room’. Click here.

CIOR Spring Meeting

The visit took place in conjunction with the spring meeting of the NATO-affiliated Interallied Confederation of Reserve Officers (CIOR). The meeting serves the purpose of keeping the various workstrands of the organization going in-between the main annual meetings – hence the internal “go-by name”: In-Between-Meeting (IBM).

Tallinn will also host this year’s Summer Congress of CIOR.

CIOR and CIOMR aiming at more cooperation

The presidencies of the Interallied Confederation of Reserve Officers (CIOR) and it’s sister organization for medics (CIOMR) met in Florence, Italy 25-28 April.

The meeting took place in connection with CIOMR’s spring meeting – known internally in the organization as the “In-Between-Meeting” (IBM).

CIOMR President, Major Sylvano Ferracani (Italy), and CIOR President, Colonel (R) Chris Argent (UK).

CIOR President, Colonel (R) Chris Argent from the UK and CIOMR’s Italian president, Major Sylvano Ferracani (Italy) and their teams attended a ceremony with laying of a wreath at the Memorial to the Fallen Doctor, and a programme of professional and scientific studies.

They also visited the National Training Centre of the Italian Military Red Cross Corps.

Aiming at improving co-operation

The two presidencies also met to discuss the future programmes of both confederations, with a view to further improving co-operation between the two organisations, and increasing the amount of joint working. The aim is to maximise outputs for reservists participating in both confederations’ programmes.

 

Strong teams

The Secretary Generals of both organizations, UK Colonel Adrian Walton (CIOR) and French Brigadier General Francois Martelet (CIOMR) participated, along with International Vice President (CIOMR) Captain Pietro Garofolo and Assistant Secretary General (CIOR) Wing Commander Graham Banks.

The two presidency teams together. From left: Assistant Secretary General of CIOR, UK Wing Commander (R) Graham Banks; Secretary General of CIOR, UK Colonel (R) Adrian Walton; CIOR President, UK Colonel (R) Chris Argent; CIOMR President, Italian Major (R) Sylvano Ferracani; Italian International Vice President of CIOMR, Captain (R) Pietro Garofolo; and Secretary General of CIOMR, French Brigadier General (R) Francois Martelet.

 

 

 

 

Young Reserve Officer Seminar in Finland

The Young Reserve Officer Seminar this year took place in Finland, near Helsinki. Some 40 young reserve officers from eleven countries attended the three day event and took part in practical and theory on cross-cultural leadership and related topics.

Led by the YROW (Young Reserve Officer Workshop)  Committee, the event has developed into a great introduction to the Young Officer programme of CIOR (Interallied Confederation of Reserve Officers).

Hybrid warfare was another current topic, alongside a lecture on participation in international operations. The NATO Centre of Excellence for Countering Hybrid Threats (a.k.a. Hybrid CoE) supported the seminar.

Swiss instructors were responsible for the daytime activities, whilst the Finnish hosts were responsible for the evening programme.

The case task “The swamp”. All participants need to cross without getting their feet wet. One team mate is blind, another one is deaf, and the precious timber logs need to be brought back to camp.

Some 40 Young Reserve Officers from eleven countries attended the three day event near Helsinki, Finland.
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