Graduation Ceremony of Senior Course 132
On Friday 20 July, the NATO Defense College (NDC) celebrated the graduation of Senior Course 132 (SC 132), composed of 74 high-ranking officers and senior civil servants from 30 different NATO and Partner countries, coming together for the last time to celebrate the completion of the Senior Course.
NDC Commandant LGEN Chris Whitecross made her entrance to the Maynard-Thorn Auditorium with guest of honour LGEN Shepro, Deputy Chairman of the NATO Military Committee (DCMC) to welcome a distinguished audience of Ambassadors and Military Attachés, Italian civilian and military authorities, Course Members and their families, as well as NDC staff. During her speech, LGEN Whitecross warmly congratulated all Course Members on having successfully completed five months of intensive and demanding studies, together with the Field Studies programme, during which they visited the capital cities of many member and partner countries of the Alliance.
She stated: “I am confident that each of you has grown from this experience and will bring back to your nations, or next international posts, additional competences and skills that will better equip you to manage diversity in a multinational environment”. She continued: “This Senior Course has represented for a majority of you a unique and stimulating interaction with your fellow course-mates, NDC Staff and others, so I highly encourage you to maintain the network you have built here.” The Commandant then concluded: “You are now ambassadors for the NDC, therefore I encourage you to spread the word of the value of the NDC experience you have had, in your respective nations and abroad.”
In his address, LGEN Shepro highlighted that “this class is graduating in the wake of a historic summit, unprecedented in many ways. Foremost in progress, with an epic amount of agreed initiatives that will truly transform NATO. You will help shape NATO's future direction by contributing to the implementation of these decisions, both in capitals and within the alliance and its partnerships. This class will continue our future cohesion, which is never taken for granted”. The DCMC then imparted some last words of wisdom through 5 lessons: “What unites us is stronger than what divides us; NATO is about hard conversations so you shouldn't shy away from them; our current momentum is unprecedented for post-Cold War NATO; NATO remains a relevant platform to listen, decide, and act; and you should maintain friendships and fight for transatlantic unity".
As Course Members filed through the Auditorium for the last time, saluting their respective national flags and Flag Officers, they were awarded their graduation diplomas by LGEN Shepro and LGEN Whitecross. This year, the Eisenhower Prize for the best Individual Paper was awarded to Colonel Martin Dufour (CAN, A).
Senior Course 132 has thus come to an end, opening the way for the inauguration of SC 133, scheduled for the beginning of September.