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.)