Honourable Minister for Defence,
Honourable Chief of the Defence Staff,
Dear young officers of the Latvian army,
Ladies and gentlemen,
National Armed Forces of Latvia serve a critical, important and noble purpose: they defend our country and people, safeguard the continuity of Latvia. And you, dear graduates of Defence Academy, young officers and cadets, have decided to devote your professional and personal life to defending our country.
Serving your country as a soldier is the highest form of patriotism, and every new class of academy graduates makes our national defence capabilities only stronger.
Latvian nation and army have courageously faced the major turning points in our history together, committed to Latvia’s independence and democracy. It goes back to the very first military formation, the Latvian riflemen, and continues throughout War of Independence, battles against Bermondtians, Latvian army, resistance against both totalitarian regimes, especially during the national resistance movement, up to today’s Latvian army and National Guard. Numerous tales of heroes engraved in our historic memory often serve as an inspiration and a reminder underpinning continuity.
But today’s world is facing also numerous modern challenges. Challenges unlike anything we have seen before. Battle for human minds and hearts has become the most important fight where truth is diluted and mixed with lies. That is why we need smart, well-rounded and educated soldiers who are well-informed, loyal to Latvia and ready to defend our country, people and land at all times.
Our allies are helping us modernise national defence system. For you this means an opportunity to work in a modern environment and in close collaboration with our friends and partners in NATO.
Dear Defenders of Latvia, I believe in you and am convinced that you will serve Latvia and its people with pride. I want to thank your parents, teachers and professors for raising and making you what you are, the defenders of Latvia.
I hope you are proud and happy to join the ranks of National Armed Forces of Latvia.
We will always treasure independence of our nation and its people!