Estonian Army ranks


Estonian Army ranks

Present Estonian system of rank insignia is a direct descendant of various systems used in the past in the Estonian Army. Some of the grades trace their name back to period of World Wars, for instance the rank of aspirant literally means an officers in training in military academies or voluntaries, serving as temporary officers. The Estonian armed forces distinguishes 7 career levels:
* Superior officers ("Kõrgemad ohvitserid") [All rank translations taken from official translation of [http://www.legaltext.ee/et/andmebaas/paraframe.asp?loc=text&lk=et&sk=en&dok=X40039K10.htm&query=Defence%20Forces%20Service%20Act&tyyp=X&ptyyp=RT&pg=1&fr=no Estonian Defence Forces Service Act (Kaitseväeteenistuse seadus)] .]
* Senior officers ("Vanemohvitserid")
* Junior officers ("Nooremohvitserid")
* Senior non-commissioned officers ("Vanemallohvitserid")
* Junior non-commissioned officers("Nooremallohvitserid")
* Soldiers ("Sõdurid")
* Cadets ("Kadetid")

Ground Force soldiers

Insignia

Most of the Estonian Army ranks were in most cases were established during the Estonian War of Independence and in 1920s. These include the rank of kapral is a derivate of Italian "caporale" - much like the English equivalent of corporal. After the World War II and the end of the Soviet occupation in 1991, a new rank was established, creating for the first time a brigadier general rank in the armed forces of Estonia. In Estonia rank insignia are worn on both shoulders.

Military education

The Estonian military higher education comprises four levels:


*Basic Officer Training Course is the first level programme with a 3-year study period carried out in the Estonian National Defence College (ENDC). In the course of the programme, the cadets acquire the skills of a platoon leader and company commander. On completion of the course, the cadets will have applied higher education and the rank of a second lieutenant.

*Advanced Officer Training Course is the second level of officer training with a 2 -year study period, whereby the students acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to perform the duties of junior staff officers of an infantry battalion or brigade.

*Senior Staff Officer Course – the third level of officer training - is a 1-year course conducted in cooperation with the Baltic Defence College located in the same building with the ENDC (or relevant training in some educational institution abroad).

*Higher Staff Officer Course – the fourth level of officer training - is conducted in higher staff officer courses and general staff officer courses in educational institutions abroad.

The First Level of Higher Education

Basic Officer Training Course - teaching in the Estonian National Defence College (ENDC) is conducted in the broad-based applied higher education programme. Some of the teaching is carried out by the teaching staff of the University of Tartu, Tallinn Technical University and other institutions of higher education in Estonia. Graduates of the ENDC may perform different duties within the Estonian Defence Forces, Defence League, as well as Border Guard and Rescue Board sub-units.
The official study period for the Basic Officer Training Course in the Military Academy of the ENDC is three years. Upon completion of the course, the graduates acquire applied higher education in military leadership and attain the rank of a second lieutenant. The Basic Officer Training Course is the first level of officer training.

The military leadership applied higher education curriculum comprises four main modules: – basic, designated and speciality studies and practice modules. In addition to military subjects, the basic and designated studies modules involve subjects of humanitarian and social sciences, as well as natural and exact sciences and strategy subjects. Language learning is conducted by the Language Centre – a sub-unit of the ENDC set up for language learning and teaching. Upon completion of the basic and designated studies, the cadets can specialise in the following military disciplines: infantry, logistics, signals, engineer, artillery, air defence and border guard. The applied higher education diploma is issued after the completion of speciality practice in sub-units of the Estonian Defence Forces and defence of the final paper.

The first level of military higher education conducted in the Estonian National Defence College provides the knowledge and skills necessary to perform the duties of both wartime and peacetime platoon leaders and company commanders (depending on the specifics of the arms of service/weapon class).
After a few years of service, the graduates of the course may continue their studies in the Advanced Officer Training Course – level two of military higher education.

The Second Level of Higher Education

Advanced Officer Training Course - after a few years of service, the officers may continue their studies in the Advanced Officer Training Course – the second level of officer training.
During the 2-year master’s programme, the students enhance their specialist knowledge and professional skills. The master’s programme enables the continuation of speciality studies started during applied higher education, whereby the students acquire the knowledge and skills necessary for service as staff officers of an infantry battalion or a brigade or as wartime battalion commanders (or equivalent posts). The curriculum enables the continuation of studies started during the basic course, e.g. infantry, signals, engineer, air defence, artillery and logistics specialities and the acquiring of the knowledge and skills necessary to perform the duties of a staff officer of the respective service arm.

The ENDC master’s programme for the military leadership curriculum comprises three major modules: basic, designated and speciality studies. Basic and designated studies provide the officers with a contemporary and comprehensive master’s level academic education to reflect and respond to the current requirements and needs of the Estonian Defence Forces and the Republic of Estonia. In addition to compulsory subjects, the programme also involves a variety of electives from different fields of life. The purpose of the designated studies is their further specialisation in order to acquire the professional skills and competence necessary to perform the duties of a battalion commander and staff officer. Upon completion of the master’s level speciality studies, the officers with previous infantry specialisation will receive training and specialisation to fulfil the posts of reconnaissance and operations officers of an infantry battalion, or infantry brigade staff, and battalion chief of staff. After the completion of the speciality studies module, during the practical exercise carried out within the designated studies module, the students receive training and preparation to fulfil the posts relevant to their training and speciality. All officers are familiarised with staff work and procedures.
Upon completion of the basic and designated studies modules, the students continue their studies in specifically military speciality studies, e.g. infantry, signals, engineer, air defence, artillery or logistics speciality studies. The master’s diploma is issued after the defence of the master’s thesis.

After the completion of the Advanced Officer Training Course and a few years of service in the Defence Forces, the officers may continue their studies in the Senior Staff Officer Course conducted in the Baltic Defence College (located in the same building with the ENDC), whereby the officers obtain the qualifications of a senior staff officer – the third level of officer training.

Higher Staff Officer Course is conducted in higher staff officer courses and general staff officer courses in educational institutions abroad.


Ground Force cadets


References

External links

* [http://www.mil.ee/index_eng.php Estonian Defence Forces]
* [http://www.mod.gov.ee/index.php?setlang=eng Estonian Ministry of Defence]


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