Reserve officers from Estonia’s defence forces shared their experiences with counterparts from allied countries on organizing training events, as well as generational changes within reserve officers’ cadres.
“Estonia’s additional reservist training events of recent years have attracted a lot of interest in the international reserve officer community and demonstrate that in a small country conscript service is one of the main mainstays of comprehensive national defense,” said Lt. Col. Toomas Luman, chairman of the board of elders of the Estonian Reserve Officers’ Association (EROK), at a National Reserve Forces Committee (NRFC) meeting in Edinburgh, Scotland last week.
Lt. Col. Luman added that legal issues, questions related to cooperation with employers and the remuneration of reservists are topics which affect reservists’ motivation and their involvement in national defense in all countries.
Maj. Andre Lilleleht, board chair of EROK, said that growing tensions in the global security situation have prompted many countries to conduct a review of their policy with regard to military reserve.
“The Interallied Confederation of Reserve Officers (CIOR) is working towards understanding reservists’ inclusion, standardizing it within NATO member states. The CIOR framework offers a great opportunity for reservists to learn from the experiences of other countries, and to bring reservist topics to the attention of NATO’s military leadership,” Maj. Lilleleht said.
The NRFC convenes twice every year to coordinate reserve forces actions of countries within the CIOR and with the military leadership of NATO.
EROK is CIOR co-chair, together with its U.K. counterpart, this year. This summer, Estonia hosted more than 700 reservists from 26 countries within the framework of the CIOR’s congress, a military competition, and seminars.