In place of the normal Summer Congress Symposium, CIOR is in Tallinn co-sponsoring with the International Centre for Defence & Security its internationally recognised ’Annual Baltic Conference on Defence’. This is a one-day event – this year entitled ”Strengthening Baltic Societal Resilience and Military Defence”.
– For CIOR this is a prestigious opportunity to co-operate with an important defence institution, says President Argent.
By: Roy Thorvaldsen, Lt.Col. (R) Norwegian Army/CIOR Public Affairs
The host for the ABCD is the International Centre for Defence and Security (ICDS) in Tallinn.
After introductions by the President and Prime Minister of Estonia, topics being covered are the COVID-19 Pandemic, NATO in the Baltics, and – in the afternoon – Reserves. The title of the latter is: ”The role of reserves in the current and likely future security environments”. Speakers include senior officers and politicians from Estonia, US, UK, Germany, Spain and Portugal.
All those who are attending the ’Late Summer Congress’ in Tallinn in person can participate, and virtual facilities will be provided for everyone else who wants to follow the event online.
– All of this is really relevant to CIOR, and frankly the list of speakers is such that we could not hope to rival it, says CIOR President, UK Colonel (Retd.), Chris Argent – who is hoping this might only be the beginning of fruitful partnership.
– There is definitely a long term possibility of ongoing cooperation with the ICDS, Argent enthusiastically says.
Link to the ABCD website, with the current version of the program. The conference is hosted by the International Centre for Defence and Security (ICDS) in Tallinn.
The CIOR ’Late Summer Congress’ is confirmed to go ahead as initially planned, in Tallinn, Estonia, from 27 September to 01 October 2020. Due to the COVID-19 situation, the virtual IBM held last July agreed to make a final decision by the third week of August.
By: Roy Thorvaldsen, Lt.Col. (R) Norwegian Army/CIOR Public Affairs
The congress will have the option to participate remotely via video-link, for those that cannot, or do not want, to travel and be physically present. It is anticipated that a majority of delegates will choose to participate through the virtual facilities.
– It was important to show that CIOR adapts and adjusts in a realistic, military fashion, says outgoing CIOR President, UK Colonel (Retd.) Chris Argent.
– We have conducted a thorough risk assessment and are reasonably sure that it is possible to hold this congress without exposing attendees unnecessarily to the virus, given standard precautions are followed – social distance and good hand hygiene being the most important ones.
The President and the Secretary General, UK Colonel (Retd.) Adrian Walton, have been on location for a recce this week, and following a loosening of the Estonian National Policy on quarantine for visitors from countries with higher infection rates in consultation with the Estonian hosts, the congress confirmation was posted on CIOR Connect today.
In place of the normal Symposium, CIOR is co-sponsoring with the International Centre for Defence & Security, the Annual Baltic Conference on Defence (ABCD) which is a one-day event entitled ”Strengthening Baltic Societal Resilience and Military Defence” on Wednesday 30 September in Tallinn. Speakers include senior officers and politicians from Estonia, US, UK, Germany, Spain and Portugal, and proceedings will be opened by the President of Estonia.
All those who are attending the ’Late Summer Congress’ in person can participate, and virtual facilities will be provided for everyone else who wants to follow the event online. Contents will include key note speeches on the Security and Defence Implications of COVID-19, NATO’s Deterrence and Defence in the Baltic Region and the Role of Reserves in the current and likely future security environments.
– For CIOR this is a prestigious opportunity to co-operate with an important defence institution, and we are grateful for the opportunity and the goodwill of the ICDS, says Argent.
In respecting the health advice for social distance and large gatherings, and adjusting for what is practically possible on short notice during this situation, the Congress will be held without the traditional military competition (MILCOMP), and it is hoped that the CIOR Language Academy (CLA) will take place at a later date.
The ’Late Summer Congress’ is held in lieu of the cancelled Summer Congress in Liege, Belgium, which was scheduled for early August.
The Estonian ’Late Summer Congress’ event page can be found here.
– In character, Russia and terrorist groups are different, but both want the same thing – from order, through disorder to new order that is more to their advantage. So, who is going to compete on our behalf? Our Reservists. The Millennials.
By: Roy Thorvaldsen, Lt.Col Norwegian Army (R)/ CIOR Public Affairs
The Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe/ DSACEUR, General Sir James Everard (KCB; CBE, UK Army) speaks eagerly of the need to engage the 25-35 year olds in the Reserves of tomorrow – a generation that has a lot of other interests than serving in the military. He says:
– What do we (think we) know about these men and women? They are butterflies, always looking to the next opportunity; they are technically excellent, but socially less secure than previous generations; they recognise the terrorist threat [but] struggle to see Russia in the same way; they cannot believe we will fight another large-scale ground war, (but accept that counter-insurgent missions and train, advise, assist and accompany missions are possible).
In the opening speech of the CIOR Summer Congress Symposium, which focused on “The Millennial Reserve Officer”, general Everard said of the importance of the age group:
More than two thirds of NATO’s forces are Millennials
– As at 2015 I estimate that 72% of NATO active duty and Reservists are Millennials.
For the 2nd in command of all NATO military operations, Reservists will provide an indispensable and valuable contribution in the efforts to win any 21st century military conflict. And more and more of those Reservists are Millennials.
– Need to convince them of the need to serve
– So, we need to convince them of the need to serve. I think we can explain to these men and women that you can find reference to a new conception of warfare, warfare without battlefield, in Soviet thinking as early as 1953 in which – from a position of military strength – espionage, infiltration, subversion and sabotage – ensure the outcome of a campaign before battle is joined, he says.
– We can explain that Hybrid Warfare/ New Generation Warfare is just the latest evolution of this approach, part of a wider strategic approach that is not about direct confrontation, but long-term strategic competition.
– We can continue the message on Terrorism. We need to explain that Russia is also building a highly capable conventional force, backed by dual-use missile technologies and nuclear forces. This complementary component of hybrid warfare cannot be overlooked.
– Why complementary? Hard power threatens, intimidates and provides space in which to conduct hybrid warfare in order to influence and limit Alliance decision-making on military responses.
Sales pitch to Millennials
So, what is then the sales pitch to Millennials?
– We have work to do to safeguard our Nations. We need them. The flexibility and variety of Reserve service can counter the reluctance to stay on one job for too long. And Reserve service allows citizens to manage two careers and can add a sense of purpose to their working lives, whilst an increasingly modern personnel structure and retention tools can better offer flexibility and choice, says General Everard.
– I like the Reserves. My Father was a Reservist in the UK Territorial Army for 21 years. I also like Reservists because Reservists win wars. Small Regular Armies need reinforcements and regeneration.
With these words, NATO’s Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe (DSACEUR), General Sir James Everard (KCB; CBE, UK Army) opened the CIOR Summer Congress Symposium, which focused on “The Millennial Reserve Officer”. For the 2nd in command of all NATO military operations, Reservists will provide an indispensable and valuable contribution in the efforts to win any 21st century military conflict.
By Roy Thorvaldsen, Lieutenant Colonel (R) Norwegian Army/ CIOR Public Affairs
But it goes a long way back:
– Small armies are often decimated in the early stages of a conflict, with Reservists then used to create the experienced spine of a new, replacement Joint Force, with conscripts providing the mass. It works: 21 of the first 30 Divisions established by the British in 1939 as we raced to build a proper Army were created in this way, General Everard said.
– Reservists important to compete with Russian hybrid warfare
– I like Reservists because in Russian thinking, the ratio of non-military and military measures in Hybrid Warfare is 4:1 – with non-military strategic competition coming under the aegis of the military, Everard said.
– It falls to Nations to combat these threats – and this takes engagement with, and the involvement of civil society. This is your world – and my experience is that you are often best placed to explain the threat and the necessity of our response to Government and the Civilian community, he continued.
– Much to learn from Reservists – importance is increasing
– I like Reservists because amongst you are Masters of the dark arts, associated with Emerging & Disruptive Technologies that are now coming of age. Today (21.2 – the second decade of the 21st Century) these capabilities support the rest of the Joint Force. Come 21.4, it will increasingly be the other way around – and we have much to learn from you, the general stressed.
– CIOR plays an important role advocationg and promoting
– I like the Confederation of Reserve Officers, and your role advocating for, and promoting, capabilities and skills of Reserve Officers, not only with strategic events like this – and your Winter Seminar – but also through the Young Reserve Officer Workshops, your Military Skills Competitions, CIMEX and the Language Courses. And all with a focus on that Millennial Generation who directly contribute to our preparedness to compete across the spectrum of conflict.
Praised cooperation with NRFC
DSACEUR also praised the recent revitalisation of the relationship between the Interallied Confederation of Reserve Officers and NATO’s committee on Reserves:
– I must stress the importance of the [cooperation between the] NATO Reserve Forces Committee (NRFC) and this Confederation. Following the 2019 MOU [Memorandum of Understanding], you are well placed to provide united policy advice on Reserve issues to the Military Committee.
– [This advice will be] on – for example – Cyber Defence, Reserve Component Recruiting & Retention, Employer Support and the Future Young Reserve Officer. [This work will] provide the Military Committee, NRFC and our stakeholder nations with a valuable insight into both the Millennial Generation and what comes next, including how we might better engage, recruit and retain Reservists, the Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe concluded.
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!
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
*LE FRANÇAIS SUIT*
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
– Weapons of Mass Destruction
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.)
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).
– 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.
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.
“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.
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.