On April 19, a commandant takeover ceremony took place at The General Jonas Žemaitis Military Academy of Lithuania. Colonel Raimundas Matulis handed over the command of the Academy to Brigadier General Algis Vaičeliūnas.
Minister of National Defence Raimundas Karoblis thanked Colonel Raimundas Matulis for his work contributing to strengthening national security and defence. The Minister welcomed the new Commandant Brigadier General Algis Vaičeliūnas who has taken on important and serious responsibilities as great challenges await the Academy. ‘We aim to list military profession among the most desirable ones and make the Academy one of the strongest institutions of higher education. Reforms are necessary. Therefore, I would like to express my appreciation for the ones that have already been introduced and hope that by training officers we will collectively continue strengthening the National Defence System,’ said the Minister.
The ceremony was also attended by Acting Chief of Defence Chief of Joint Staff Major General Vitalijus Vaikšnoras, Commander of the Lithuanian Land Forces Brigadier General Valdemaras Rupšys, command of the Ministry of National Defence and Lithuanian Armed Forces, rectors of the universities, foreign representatives and the community of the Academy.
Major General Vitalijus Vaikšnoras named the achievements of the Academy and expressed his gratitude to Colonel Raimundas Matulis for a job well done and wished him success in his future endeavours, while the new Commandant Brigadier General Algis Vaičeliūnas received every good wish for continuing the projects that have already been started and initiating the new ones. ‘I know that no one doubts about the importance of the role the Academy plays in our society. Through your and your team’s efforts, the Academy will remain one of the highest ranking institutions in the academic world and Lithuanian society and will significantly contribute to strengthening national security and defence,’ said Major General.
Brigadier General Algis Vaičeliūnas extended his gratitude to the Minister for his trust and highlighted the honour to accept the flag of the Academy: ‘It is my commitment to the community of the Academy, National Defence System and Lithuanian Armed Forces to train officers. During the past 25 years, the Academy has gained experience and has been cherishing its traditions. I believe its future and necessity for the Lithuanian Armed Forces and the society. I am certain that by using collective knowledge and experience, we will achieve the best results.’
Photographs by K. Dijokas