The Interallied Confederation of Reserve Officers (CIOR) held their spring meeting from April 18-21 at Toronto’s Moss Park Armoury. Lieutenant (r) Peeter Leppik represented Estonia on the council of CIOR. The 3-day meeting included presentations from the presidents of CIOR and NRFC (National Reserve Forces Committee (NATO).
Both presidencies are currently held by Canada, creating a unique opportunity for Estonian Canadian Reserve Officers to establish and entrench contacts with the Canadian Military Reserves.
In addition to these presentations were reports from each of the committees preparing for the CIOR summer congress in Riga, Latvia.
Lt. Peeter Leppik’s contributions to the meeting were singled out in an email sent to Toronto after the CIOR meeting ended by U.S. Navy Captain David Epstein, who commented that Lt. Leppik represented both Estonia and Canada in an outstanding fashion. Capt. Epstein also commended Lt. Leppik’s patriotism in joining the reserves of the liberated country of his heritage.
The fortunate circumstances of the President of CIOR, the Chairman of NRFC, the Chairman of the NATO Military Committee and Lt. Leppik’s normal residence all being Canadian will not be repeated for many years. Captain Epstein noted that Lt. Leppik is in a “position to do a great service for Estonia – which will certainly reinforce the wisdom of that country’s decision to make you a reserve officer.”
The Interallied Confederation of Reserve Officers, commonly referred to by its French acronym CIOR, represents over 1.3 million reservists across 34 participating nations within and beyond NATO, making it the world’s largest military reserve officer organization.
Founded in 1948 by the reserve officer associations of Belgium, France and the Netherlands, CIOR is now a NATO-affiliated, non-political and non-profit umbrella organization of member nations’ national reserve officer associations.
The CIOR meets twice a year – in the summer and winter -- and they work through committees that examine issues and provide analysis relating to reserve forces. Typical issues of interest include the contribution of reserve forces to international operations, the re-integration of reservists within their respective communities following deployment abroad, the law of armed conflict, the impact of NATO expansion on the Reserves, and employer support to reservists.
In addition to their roles as reserve officers, many individual delegates of CIOR are highly accomplished business and industrial leaders, public servants and academics. They are therefore in a unique position to contribute to a better understanding of security and defence issues in the population as a whole, as well as bringing civilian expertise and experience to the tasks and challenges facing reserve forces in NATO.
The CIOR has two main roles: to provide advice on Reserve issues and support to the NATO Alliance, and to foster the professional development of reserve officers.
CIOR is an organization committed to professional development, and it provides a variety of high-calibre and cost-effective programs that benefit individual reservists, their member nations, and NATO as a whole. By raising awareness of contemporary reserve issues and promoting interoperability and cooperation while respecting national traditions, CIOR develops individual reservists to serve national and international interests.
More than ever, under the mounting threats to our collective security, there is a growing demand for the Reservist’s flexibility, qualifications, cost effectiveness and motivation. There is also an increasing requirement for integration with Active (or Regular) service military and for a heightened interoperability with Allies. CIOR has proven itself to be a force multiplier by directly contributing to NATO in this regard. By continually adapting to the changing security environment, CIOR will continue to be a strong voice for reservists and to play an important role within the Alliance and beyond.
Lt. Peeter Leppik Estonian representative at CIOR spring meeting (1)