2/8/2018 • In the middle of vacations, on 27 July, the only military university in the Czech Republic held the passing out ceremony of the 2018 graduates in the central square in Brno. For the second time, the school thus showed the sense of belonging to the city where it deploys. Public watched the ceremony and witnessed the 114 students leaving the school for their first military career positions.
At the beginning of the ceremony, deputy minister of defence Pavel Beran accompanied by the University of Defence rector-commandant brigadier general Bohuslav Prikryl checked the lined up units to join then the first deputy chief of general staff of the Army of the Czech Republic lieutenant general Jiri Baloun, deputy governor of the South Moravia Region Martin Malecek, representatives of national and local government administration, Ministry of Defence, military units commanders, university rectors and other guests who attended the ceremony on the stage.
"Dear graduates, you have something to be proud of. You have passed a school that is renowned here and abroad, but, and foremost, you have made your minds to serve your country and joined the Army of the Czech Republic whose importance for preserving our freedom and our way of life as our ancestors and your predecessors shows crucial in this period of time" said deputy minister Pavel Beran in his address to the graduates. He also pointed out: "Your learning will not stop when you leave the school. Military service is all about continuous learning and improving your skills and competences. Accept every opportunity for your progress. Work on yourselves! Graduating from the respected university gives you the best ground."
The first deputy Chief of General Staff lieutenant general Jiri Baloun also congratulated the graduates for successful completion of the studies. Also, the rector-commandant brigadier general Bohuslav Prikryl addressed the fresh lieutenants: "You, the young officers, are leaving today the University of Defence for your positions at the forces. You are going to face the time of true and new challenges. Each university's quality and prestige always go hand in hand with its graduates' quality. Therefore, the University of Defence management will closely watch your success in career and will be ready to give you a hand, if needed. That is a part of our responsibility towards you and towards the entire forces and defence. Your responsibility is to avoid betraying your commanding officers' trust and hopes."
The main point of the passing out ceremony consists of dubbing the graduates by the rector-commandant through the best of them. In this year, the honour belonged to lieutenant Jiri Kratochvil who had completed the studies in the Combat and Special Vehicles. After the congratulations from the deputy minister and first deputy chief of General Staff, another six students joined him to receive Minister's award for the best graduates – military stilettos and wristwatches with dedication. Then, lieutenant Jakub Mecera received the ACR General Staff commemorative plaque from lieutenant general Baloun's hands, and seven of the graduates received rector's financial award.
"In just a few days we are going to assume our first positions and resume the values we have adopted during the years of studies at the University of Defence. We open a new chapter of our lives. It is a chapter about service and about working together for our home country – and I intentionally underline the word "home" here – so that it may flourish in its sovereignty and security" said lieutenant Kratochvil on behalf of the new graduates. The parade march closed the ceremony completed with military aircraft and helicopters double flyover. Graduates' caps thrown high to the sky symbolised another year of the University of Defence students leaving their school.
Author: Pavel Pazdera, photo: Rene Ramis