Members of Estonian Defence Forces Receive Research Theses Awards
Eestlased Eestis 02 Nov 2012  EWR
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Estonian Review
Prizes of 500 EUR and 700 EUR were awarded to Major Andris Sprivul, Captain Meelis Loik and Second Lieutenant Allar Tulik, whose theses were selected as winners in the first ever competition among the research theses of members of the Estonian Defence Forces. According to Minister of Defence Urmas Reinsalu, the range of topics in the theses submitted for the competition was wide, reflecting a broad-based conceptualisation of national defence. “Today’s security environment requires that members of the Estonian Defence Forces be knowledgeable in other fields, such as religion, culture and psychology, in addition to the topic of military affairs. The theses demonstrate that the members of our Defence Forces are building their knowledge in a most diverse manner,” said the minister. He added that the Estonian Defence Forces will become smarter and more professional thanks to these works. “Today, smarter is also stronger,” said Reinsalu.

Major Andris Sprivul, who defended his final thesis at the Baltic Defence College last spring, studied modern military maps and geospatial support for combat activities. In Major Sprivul’s assessment, accurate geospatial data is ever more important in national defence, as high-tech weapons are increasingly used in combat activities. The author analysed NATO’s military/geographic experience in Afghanistan and put forward proposals for the improved future geospatial support of NATO’s operations.

In his master’s thesis Captain Meelis Loik, a graduate from the mid-level course at the Estonian National Defence College, addressed post-mission adjustment for members of the Estonian Defence Forces. The author analysed factors impacting on adjustment and evaluated the appropriateness of the tests controlling their psychological state.

In his thesis, Second Lieutenant Allar Tulik analysed religious/ethnic conflicts in the Middle East. In his investigation, completed as a final thesis for the basic course at the Estonian National Defence College, the author describes – drawing on the example of Lebanese Christians – how mutual power struggles amongst religious communities interferes with the stability and development of a country.

The panel at the Ministry of Defence rated the three theses highly, as they covered a significant amount of ground, drew on personal experience, and provided results actionable in the development of national defence. The minister of defence will present the authors of the theses with their awards on the anniversary of the Estonian Defence Forces on 15 November.

With the thesis awards being issued for the first time, the Ministry of Defence wishes to give students at the educational institutions of the Estonian Defence Forces an incentive to engage in national-defence and military research and to introduce new ideas into the thinking on national defence. Altogether, 50 theses were written at the Estonian National Defence College and the Baltic Defence College; of those 19 were submitted for the competition.
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