Chairman of the Military Committee delivers the inauguration address to NATO Defense College graduates

  • 25 Jul. 2014 -
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  • Last updated: 28 Jul. 2014 12:39

General Bartels, Chairman of the Military Committee, attended the graduation ceremony of the Senior Course Leaders class today, 25 July 2014, as well as the Change of Command ceremony, at the NATO Defense College (NDC) in Rome, Italy. In attendance were Ambassadors from participating countries and high ranking civilian and military officials.

The NATO Defense College was established on the 19th November 1951 and as an educational institution has trained and educated over the last sixty years, future military and civilian leaders. These graduates have gone on to serve in high level positions either in NATO Headquarters, its commands or related fields in their respective countries.

In a world that is ever changing, whether it be Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea thereby jeopardizing the stability of Europe, the situation in the Middle East or in North Africa, the Chairman challenged the graduating class to take the knowledge that they had accumulated and share it not only with colleagues but to use it to help NATO and its policies evolve in the years to come. General Bartels stated: “Do not stop your studies, do not forget History and the lessons of the past, do not become out of touch with the problems of the world. What may not be your problem today could be your problem tomorrow.”

The Senior Course Leaders graduates come from not only Allied member countries but from nations that belong to NATO’s Partnership for Peace (PfP) programme, Mediterranean Dialogue( MD) and Istanbul Cooperative Initiative (ICI). General Bartels highlighted this fact: “NATO and its partners have benefitted from shared experiences not only in operations and missions but at institutions such as the NDC where the added value of working and studying together creates are more stable and secure environment.”  

During the Change of Command ceremony address, the Chairman, as chair of the NDC Advisory Academic Board, took the opportunity to thank Lieutenant General (Lt Gen) Dalhaug for his dedication over the past three years as Commandant of the NDC and especially for his hard work and active outreach with NATO’s participating partner nations.

In concluding his address and welcoming the new Commandant of the NDC Major General (MajGen) Bojarski, General Bartels emphasised that MajGen Bojarksi would need to continue the good work already undertaken, keep the college attuned to current events but also “ have the students analyse and understand future concepts like the so-called “ hybrid warfare” that we face”.