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R. Karoblis proposed Commander of the Lithuanian Land Force Maj Gen V. Rupšys as the new Chief of Defence


Minister of National Defence Raimundas Karoblis proposed the incumbent Land Force Commander Maj Gen Valdemaras Rupšys as next Chief of Defence of Lithuania to the President. He would succeed the present Chief of Defence, Lt Gen Jonas Vytautas Žukas, whose tenure ends in late July.


Maj Gen Valdemaras Rupšys has been in command of the largest service of the Lithuanian Armed Forces, the Land Force, since 2016. He is directly in charge of development of major combat capabilities: modernisation of the Mechanised Infantry Brigade Iron Wolf, development of the Motorised Infantry Brigade Griffin established in 2016, enhancement of readiness of the Land Force to respond to contemporary military threats.


Cooperation with armies and their units of NATO member states became particularly close with Maj Gen V. Rupšys in office. He undertook personal initiative to develop the cooperation between the Lithuanian Land Force and the German Armed Forces, intense combat training with the U.S. forces continued, and interoperability with the Polish Armed Forces was enhanced. With Maj Gen V.Rupšys as the Land Force Commander the Mechanised Infantry Brigade Iron Wolf was affiliated to the 10th Mechanised Division of the Bundeswehr and the assignment of it alongside the Polish Brigade to the Multinational Division North-East HQ, responsible for the regional defence, was begun. Maj Gen V. Rupšys efficiently managed integration of the multinational NATO forward Presence Battalion Battle Group to the MIB Iron Wolf, as well as preparations and participation of the Land Force in the largest multinational joint exercise in the history of the Lithuanian Armed Forces, Thunder Storm 2018.


“Major General has an exceptionally impeccable reputation, while professionalism, patriotism and dedication to service has earned him over the long time in the Lithuanian Armed Forces the authority both here, and in the international community,” R. Karoblis says about the candidate.


V. Rupšys joined the National Defence System in 1990 — his bio checks all key positions of command (of a platoon, company, battalion, and brigade) in the Lithuanian Armed Forces. He also held positions in the National Defence System which gave him experience and a comprehensive and systemic outlook to the Lithuanian Armed Forces, military service, and defence policy.


Valdemaras Rupšys received an officer’s education when the Lithuanian independence had already been regained. Having graduated from the General Jonas Žemaitis Military Academy of Lithuania (1996), he kept on improving his qualification in other foreign or international institutions (Baltic Defence College, Estonia,2006, U.S. Army War College, 2011).


Major General’s honourable and exemplary service was recognised with the Medal of January 13, the Medal of the Founding Volunteers of the Lithuanian Armed Forces, Lithuanian Armed Forces Medal for Distinguished Service, Lithuanian Armed Forces Medal of Merit, National Defence System Commemorative Medal of Lithuania's Accession to NATO, other awards, acknowledgments, nominal gifts. In 2017 Major General was awarded the Bundeswehr Cross of Honour for Valour of Federal Republic of Germany for exceptional merits.


The Chief of Defence is nominated by the President with approval of the Seimas on the basis of the candidacy submitted by the Minister of National Defence.


Photo credits: Pte 1st Class Michail Lysenko

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