Founded in 1948 by the reserve officer associations of Belgium, France and the Netherlands, CIOR is a NATO-affiliated, non-political and non-profit umbrella organization of member nations’ national reserve officer associations.
The CIOR meets twice a year – in the summer and winter – and they work through committees that examine issues and provide analysis relating to reserve forces. Typical issues of interest include the contribution of reserve forces to international operations, the re-integration of reservists within their respective communities following deployment abroad, the law of armed conflict, the impact of NATO expansion on the Reserves, and employer support to reservists.
In addition to their roles as reserve officers, many individual delegates of CIOR are highly accomplished business and industrial leaders, public servants and academics. They are therefore in a unique position to contribute to a better understanding of security and defence issues in the population as a whole, as well as bringing civilian expertise and experience to the tasks and challenges facing reserve forces in NATO.
The CIOR is structured around a constitution that provides for a rotating presidency, a CIOR Council composed of vice-presidents of participating nations, key committees and several annual events that promote training, education and professional development. The presidential term is two years in length. Norway has handed over the presidency to France in 2012, which in turn has handed it over to Bulgaria in 2014.
CIOR committees include the Defence Attitudes and Security Issues Committee (DEFSEC), Civil / Military Cooperation Committee (CIMIC), Public Affairs Working Group (PAWG), Military Competitions Committee (MILCOMP), Legal Affairs Committee, Partnership for Peace Committee (PfP), CIOR Language Academy Committee (CLAC), Winter Seminar Committee, Symposium Working Group (SWG), and the Young Reserve Officers Committee (YROW).
The CIOR has two main roles: to provide advice on Reserve issues and support to the NATO Alliance, and to foster the professional development of reserve officers.
Advice to NATO on Reserve issues: CIOR is a voice for reserve issues to the NATO Alliance and provides advice on the best utilization of reserve forces in a variety of operational settings, in addition to studying and promoting harmonization in the roles, duties and rights of reservists in Allied nations. CIOR also directly contributes to NATO’s goals by promoting and enhancing cooperation and interoperability amongst reserve forces within the Alliance and its partners.
Enabler to NATO Transformation: Transformation in NATO means coordinating this effort within an Alliance of 28 sovereign nations, navigating the challenges posed by the diversity of military cultures, languages, geo-political considerations, unique national security concerns, and economic factors. CIOR brings its collective expertise to bear in support of these challenges by bringing nations together, developing important cross-cultural dialogues and providing a forum for collaborative approaches to common problems.
The relationship between CIOR and NATO is fully defined in NATO Military Committee Document (MC) 248/2.