On July 24 Brigadier General Raimundas Vaikšnoras took over the responsibilities of the Commander of the Land Force from the confirmed next Chief of Defence of Lithuania Major General Valdemaras Rupšys at a ceremony in Vilnius.
“We can firmly call the several recent years the time of revival and growing stronger for the Lithuanian Armed Forces, therefore Brig Gen Raimundas Vaikšnoras is assuming the command at a special period of time for the Lithuanian Armed Forces. We are facing probably the most severe security threats since the re-establishment of independence which is tied to the most important responsibility of the Commander of the Land Force — to ensure continued development and combat training of our largest armed service,” acting Minister of National Defence Raimundas Karoblis said congratulating the new Commander of the Land Force.
R. Karoblis stressed that “the challenges ahead are complex but I believe that right now we are all creating together the history of armed forces of a strong an independent Lithuania of the 21st century. Therefore my most important personal wish for the incoming Land Force Commander is to demonstrate top class leadership.”
Maj Gen Valdemaras Rupšys thanked soldiers for professionalism, dedication and initiative in his farewell speech after three years in office as the Land Force Commander: “It has been a huge honour to lead the Lithuanian Land Force. I am very satisfied with the present state of combat readiness of the force. We are strong and trustworthy defenders of statehood.”
Commanders and ceremonial colours of Land Force units and representatives of other services were also present at the ceremony.
Before the present appointment, Brig Gen Raimundas Vaikšnoras was the acting Chief of the Defence Staff of Lithuania.
R. Vaikšnoras took the oath of service on 11 March 1991. He has served in the Lithuanian Armed Forces as commander of a motor assault platoon and company, was twice in charge of a battalion (the Training Battalion in Rukla and the Lithuanian Grand Duke Gediminas Headquarters Battalion in Vilnius), led the Mechanised Infantry Brigade Iron Wolf. General held positions of combat training, defence planning and operational control officer and chief during service at headquarters of the Lithuanian Armed Forces, was deployed to the headquarters of the multinational operation in Afghanistan. General was also in positions of responsibility for staff capabilities and operations while in service at the Land Force Headquarters, Joint Staff, and the Defence Staff.