Commander of the National Armed Forces!
Young officers of the Latvian Army!
Ladies and gentlemen!
We have a free, independent Latvian state – our own country, which grew out of the national will of the Latvian nation. A Latvian state that we love and make big and strong together.
The Latvian Army, the Latvian National Armed Forces, stands guard for our people, our country and its values. Latvia has achieved a lot in the field of security in recent years. Our army is rapidly modernising and improving its combat capabilities.
You, young officers, today become a fully-fledged part of our armed forces.
The first great goal – the rank of lieutenant -– has been achieved. I congratulate you, and I am proud of you! We are all proud of you!
I thank your parents for your upbringing and education!
I thank the teaching staff of the academy for the knowledge and military skills they have given you and for the development of your character and personality. It is the academy that shapes and strengthens the moral attitude of the students and cultivates national patriotism.
You, young officers, will have to lead your soldiers wisely and take responsible decisions. You will also be a role model for the boys and girls who have voluntarily joined the renewed National Defence Service this year.
The full-scale war launched by Russia in Ukraine is still ongoing. European countries - including Latvia - are increasing their defence armaments and resources. At the same time, Latvia is providing targeted and extensive assistance to Ukraine in its just struggle against the Russian aggressor.
We are learning a lot from Ukraine: the unity of the society and the army, resilience and confidence in our own strength. We must not get used to war, we must not get tired. We are all aware that the Ukrainians are fighting for us too.
But Russia, its leaders, will one day be tried for its aggression against Ukraine and for the war crimes it has committed.
We will stand with Ukraine until victory! And so will our staunch NATO allies.
Latvia has been a member of NATO for almost 20 years – it is the largest and most modern military defence alliance in the world. Our soldiers are highly valued in the alliance and have proven themselves in international missions.
It is NATO membership that has had the greatest impact on the growth of Latvia's Armed Forces. Your work will also take place within the modern framework of NATO standards!
NATO provides Latvia with the sense of security that is so important for Latvia. NATO's presence in Latvia will be further strengthened. However, we must also be prepared, both psychologically and militarily, to defend our country, our independence and our freedom. Our common motivation is the existence of the Latvian people and the Latvian state through the centuries.
Dear graduates of the National Defence Academy!
The Latvian nation and the Latvian Army are united in the belief in an independent and democratic Latvian state. Protect and cherish Latvia! Be faithful to Latvia! I wish you success in your future service!