The 69th Summer Congress of the Interallied Confederation of Reserve Officers (CIOR), and the Interallied Confederation of Medical Reserve Officers (CIOMR), hosted this year by the Federacion de Organizaciones de Reservistas de Espana (FORE) in the beautiful capital city of Madrid. One of the main issues covered during the Summer Congress was “Resilience.” More than 300 Reserve officers, from throughout the NATO landscape, participated. They exchanged ideas on their international experiences and developed common strategies.
Reserve officers play a significant role in the implementation of NATO’s resilience concept. For that reason, the focus of the CIOR Symposium, taking place the first day of the congress, was “Building resilience at home and abroad.” Resilience lessons learned, and resilience programs of different countries, cities, and agencies, were presented. Due to recent terrorist attacks, the need for resilience has become essential. This presents NATO, and particularly the military, with new challenges requiring new concepts. The concept of resilience has gained special attention, as it enables society to keep public order, and individuals to properly respond to a terrorist attack. At a time when governments might not be able to deal with certain types of threats on their own, the need for employment of citizens is essential – and use of the citizen/soldier crucial.
CIOMR was a key player in this discussion as an individual’s resilience (mentally and physically) is vital to their ability to respond to crisis – especially a terrorist attack. In addition, there were numerous scientific presentations, throughout their week of sessions.
A Young Reserve Officers Workshop (YROW) was convened during the Congress. 60 young reserve officers from throughout the NATO landscape came together to prepare for possible assignment to international missions with NATO.
CIOR’s military competition (MILCOMP) was also conducted during the Congress. This pentathlon is considered one of the most difficult and multifaceted military competitions that exist. It is distinguished by the combination of physical and psychological strain. Reserve officers from all CIOR member and associate nations competed in the military sports disciplines of the obstacle course, pistol and rifle shooting, swimming, orienteering, and with a special Combat Casualty Care (CCC) element. This year, the German teams repeated as the top competitors.
During the Congress, the CIOR Council, Defense Attitudes and Security Issues Committee (DEFSEC), Language Academy (CLA), Legal Affairs Committee, Partnership for Peace and Outreach Committee (PfP & O), Public Affairs Committee (PAC), and Seminar Committee, also convened and conducted the affairs of the Confederation.
Then the CIOMR President MajGen Robert Kasulke, USA, passed the CIOMR flag to Col Kevin Davies, UK, who assumed the role of CIOMR President.
At the “Closing Ceremony” on Saturday evening, the Bulgarian CIOR President, LtCol Dimitar Popov, passed the CIOR flag to his Czech Republic colleague, LtCol Arnost Libezny, CIOR’s new President.
In the words of MajGen Evan “Curly” Hultman, USA, CIOR’s “President for Life”, attending his 38th Summer Congress, “This CIOR/CIOMR Congress was one of the most productive of recent years. The Spanish leadership, on such short notice, produced outstanding events for the diverse attendees from over 20 nations. We Reserve officers found the programming both very interesting and most challenging.“
Captain Henry E. Plimack