Friday 31 July 2009 was a significant and unforgettable day for this-year University of Defence graduates. They topped their work at the school off with the graduation ceremony military parade held in the barracks in Sumavska Street as the tradition rules.
The VIP guests were lead by the Czech Deputy Minister of Defence Mr. Frantisek Padelek and the first deputy Chief of General Staff major general Josef Proks . The invitations were also accepted by the Czech Parliament senators and representatives, Ministry of Defence directorate and department heads, Czech Army operation command representatives, foreign military university commandants, defence attachés to the Czech Republic, national and local administration representatives and civil partner associations' delegations. Most of the guests to the ceremony, however, were the University od Defence graduates' families.
The first and main speaker who addressed the lined up units was the deputy minister Frantisek Padelek. In his speech, he pointed out University of Defence's exquisite reputation and expert background taking for support of the success the current degree programmes and their related results but primarily the teachers and students. He said towards the graduates: "The true culture coupled with firm will and moral can only defend our world against all the evil. Democracy considers military profession a service to public, a public affair. You are ready for that. The University of Defence, our forces and nation may be proud of you and trust you.“
The next speaker was the University of Defence rector and commandant, retired brigadier general Rudolf Urban who addressed the graduates saying: "I can assure you that there is no university that would be able to replace the life university awaiting for you. Therefore I wish you pass the tests encountered during the longest studies in the form of every day work and accomplishing tasks without serious troubles. However, the life examinations are more challenging. They use to pair with the principal, often irreversible, decisions you are going to make in the course of your career. The things that matter for whether you will walk on the success path enjoying the well-done job or you will loose your chance are your attitude, paid effort and the quality or work done."
The time for the very ceremonial moment came after the speeches. All of this year alumni were graduated in the person of the Faculty of Economics and Management best alumnus lieutenant Marek Krejcik who was "dubbed" by the University of Defence rector with the University sword in front of school colours.
The total of 250 of this year graduates from Bachelor's, Master's and doctoral degree programmes include 135 military on-site Bachelor's degree holders. Seven outstanding graduates received a present given by the Czech Minister of Defence and the ten best students were awarded by the University of Defence rector and another ten by the Deans of the Faculties, respectively. The best student in army specialisations was awarded with the price dedicated by the Spanish Army Chief of General Staff presented by Spanish Kingdom's defence attaché to the Czech Republic colonel Eduardo Palomo. The best student from air specialisations received the award dedicated and personally presented by brigadier general Denis Mercier, the commandant of French Air Force Academy, Salon de Provence.
On behalf of the guests the Brno city deputy mayor Mr. Oliver Pospisil and the Czech Air Force Association chairman retired colonel Oldrich Rampula delivered their addresses. The latter also decorated University of Defence colours with Czech AF Association memorial ribbon as a part of the ceremony.
The official parade of the lined-up units and Czech Air Force battle aircraft flights over the venue concluded the military ceremony. The graduates expressed their joy of successfully completed studies with throwing their caps high once they had been dismissed. Then, they spread to meet their families and friends and be congratulated before they face the school of life.
An international student from Latvia, lieutenant Eduards Kurpnieks confessed his mixed feelings on the significant day. On one hand, he was happy and joyful because of the graduation from the university but the first shadows of sorrow already appeared for leaving the school after six years and returning to his country where he was to serve in decontamination platoon leader position. "The university has given me excellent knowledge which pleases me most of all," added lieutenant before he said good bye. Lieutenant Petra Peskova did not hide her glee because her old dream came true. She had always wanted to study meteorology and now she was going to post analyst job at Prerov air base.
The significant day for University of Defence graduates from both military and civilian studies continued in the academic part with diploma ceremonies. Both of the Brno faculties held their academic graduation ceremonies in the Mahen Theatre building in Brno.
Text and photo: Mgr. Zdenka Dubova