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Traditional National Defence System Boating Knots awards presented


Video (by OR-5 Lukas Tamošiūnas)


On May 30 traditional Boating Knots awards of the National Defence System were presented to soldiers for distinguished achievements in public affairs and to divisions of the national defence system for activeness and initiative. The awards were also given to individuals who had contributed to raising public awareness of the Lithuanian Armed Forces.


“Public trust in the Lithuanian Armed Forces is not a constant – we have to prove daily we deserve it,” Minister of National Defence Raimundas Karoblis said while opening the event. Minister R. Karoblis also underscored that each organisation needs its informal communicators: people who can serve as a kind of ambassadors – to communicate good news to a wide circle and also contribute to increasing the confidence.


Chief of Defence of Lithuania Lieutenant General Jonas Vytautas Žukas said when congratulating the nominees that it was not enough to do what was told if you wanted the public to become familiar with the Lithuanian Armed Forces and to trust it. We have to talk as publicly as possible about what has and what will be done, and the key condition is to stay truthful no matter what; to apologize as well if necessary. Only truth works against fake news and communication crises.


Minister of National Defence R.Karoblis and Chief of Defence of Lithuania Lt Gen J. V. Žukas presented four stylised sailors knots at the ceremony held in the ancient spaces of the Lithuanian Technical Library: Double Sheet Bend, Figure 8/ Flemish Knot, Fireman's Chair/Chair Knot and Bowline on the Bight, and also five 15mm artillery cartridge cases and the Chief of Defence‘s coin.


The Fireman's Chair/Chair Knot was presented to the Public Affairs Officer of the Year. This year it was awarded to Lieutenant Colonel Teisutis Jasiulionis, head of the Law Department of the Lithuanian Armed Forces, who had to face cameras and microphones, answer questions and provide commentary numerous times this year.


The Double Sheet Bend awarded for The Best Public Affairs Project was presented to the National; Defence Volunteer Force for the project A Day in Uniform. Volunteer soldiers were invited to carry on with their daily activities on a day off (civilian workplace, university, theatre, or anywhere else) wearing their uniforms to mark January 17, the day of the National Defence Volunteer Force establishment. And to take selfies and post them on the National Defence Volunteer Force Facebook wall.


The Figure 8/ Flemish Knot was presented to the Lithuanian Grand Duke Algirdas Mechanised Infantry Battalion for the Most Successful Social Media Project called „Thank Lithuanian Soldiers for their Service“. Evaluation criteria were easy to count in this category: the winner was chosen on the basis of the biggest number of views, likes and shares (85 thousand of views, 2.1 thousand views and 780 shares).


The Bowline on the Bight was given to Duke Vaidotas Mechanised Infantry Battalion as the Most Active Unit in Public Relations for flexible and creative approach and showing the open, friendly and reliable armed forces to the public.


Artillery cartridge cases as special prizes were given to:


Commander of the NATO enhanced Forward Presence Battalion Battle Group in Lithuania Lieutenant General Christoph Huber. The Battalion was flooded with media, both local and international, attention as soon as it deployed, and the interest in the unit‘s activities still does not diminish. The commander has to tackle huge load of working with international and Lithuanian media.


A cartridge case was also presented to Saulius Jakučionis, a dedicated reporter with the Baltic News Service.

One more special prize was awarded to Klaipėda Garrison Officers‘ Club for actively pulling together the garrison members and forging strong relations with communities.


The fourth cartridge case was given to King Mindaugas Hussar Battalion for relations with town community. The Battalion arranged a relay race in Panevėžys for the fifth time to mark Independence Day on March 10. In such events participants run for 27 hours on the track set up in the town square carrying the national tricolour. Everyone willing could take part. The race ends at noon of March 11 when the commemorative ceremony for the Re-establishment of Independence begins. Last year such a run broke Lithuania‘s record: 839 participants surmounted 360 km and 77 metres during 26 h 52 s.


Upholding the tradition, not only civilian and military personnel of the National Defence System were recognised. The fifth special prize was presented to singer Deivis for devoting his efforts and time unsparingly to a TV project „Real Men“ where he experience the life in service and wrote a modern song about the military „You are a soldier“.


The Chief of Defence‘s coin was presented to the Debutant of the Year for the will to act and improve. It was given to Algirdas Mechanised Infantry Battalion Pte 1st Class Arnas Čemerka for photographs of an exercise and daily routines of soldiers.


Žygimantas Žiogas who completed the mandatory military service in April performed Yann Tiersen‘ Rue De Cascades on the piano at the awards ceremony. He became „the start of the day“ after a video clip of him on an excursion in the Seimas went viral on social media while he still was serving at Adolfas Ramanauskas Warfare Training Centre. Then the conscript sat down to a piano and played and improvised on a song by Michael Jackson. The video taken with a phone by his friends was among the three most viewed and liked „public relations on social media projects“ of the national defence system.


The Lithuanian Technical Library was transferred to the Ministry of National Defence by decision of the Government as of 2016 in order to establish a library for the national defence system which woyuld be open to the public. The building dates back to 1602-1604 when St Ignatius Jesuit Novitiate was established. The architectural ensemble comprises Late Renaissance and Baroque architectural complex.


The Boating Knots awards have been presented for two decades since the establishment by the initiative of the then Chief of Defence Major General Jonas Kronkaitis in 2000. A boating knot is chosen as a symbol to visually represent the work done by public affairs personnel: different military areas, specialities, activities connected into a single, harmonic and strong knot which is the image of the Armed Forces in the society.


Each year different and real knots tied by actual Lithuanian Navy soldiers are presented at the national defence system awards. There are around 500 types of knots known worldwide. During the 17 years of the history of the awards over 60 types of knots have already been presented to the soldiers and civilians working and serving in the national defence system.


The knots presented in 2017 :


Double Sheet Knot is used to temporarily fasten together two ropes or different or equal thickness. It is a firm knot that does not tighten completely and is easy to untie. When the ropes are of different thickness, the lighter one is used for making the knot. It is firmer if loose ends of both ropes are on the same side of the knot and rather long. The knot gradually loosens when not used, therefore it should be inspected before every use.


Bowline on the Bight surprises everyone interested in boating knots. According to archaeologists, the technique was already known to ancient Egyptians and Phoenicians 3000 BC. It is a universal knot that can not be outrivalled by just any other: small and easily made, does not „lock“ completely even under huge strain, does not damage the rope, does not loosen but can be untied easily when necessary. May be used to fasten under a person‘s arms to lift or lower him. Rather easy to tie with one hand which is vital in case used by someone who has fallen overboard (may be tied with one hand while holding on to the rope with another). May also be used when mooring a ship, to tie together two ropes, etc. Has different names across the world, while called a „Bowline“ in English, it is known as „rescue bow“ by Lithuanian scouts and seamen.


Fireman's Chair/Chair Knot was first used in 1876 by Chief Officer of the London Metropolitan Fire Brigade Captain Sir Eyre Massey Shaw Eyre Massey-Shaw. The knot was widely used for rescue operations, it was convenient to tie when lifting or lowering the victim or a firefighter. When E. Massey Shaw, retired captain of the Irish Army, joined the firefighters community, he began applying fire extinguishment methods and measures modern for his time and expanded the firefighters network in London. Queen Victoria knighted E. Massey-Shaw on his last day of service.

Figure 8/ Flemish Knot is highly reliable and one of the strongest knots in the world perfect for tying together two ends of ropes or rigging ropes. It is also one of the most popular and most often used knots as a part of more complex knots.


Photos: Boating Knots awards ceremony at the Lithuanian Technical Library.


Photo credits: Alfredas Pliadis (MoD)

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