VILNIUS - Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite conferred the ranks of generals to three military officers on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the country's Armed Forces.
"As I am conferring the highest ranks (on the officers), rewarding them for their exceptional contribution to our state, I wish them to keep an unbreakable faith in their mission to defend the homeland and its people," she said at the ceremony.
Brigadier General Valdemaras Rupsys, commander of the Lithuanian Land Force, was promoted to the rank of major general, and Colonel Modestas Petrauskas, commander of the Special Operations Forces, to the rank of brigadier general. Lithuanian Navy Commander Captain (Navy) Arunas Mockus received the rank of rear admiral.
Grybauskaite also presented the Crosses of the Knight of the Order of the Cross of Vytis to three military officers, including Land Force Major Pranas Kasteckas, Colonel Mindaugas Steponavicius, commander of the Iron Wolf mechanized infantry brigade, and Colonel Arturas Radvilas, commander of the Samogitia motorized infantry brigade.
The Defense Ministry was to hold a ceremony of awards and conferral of military ranks at noon and it will host a reception at the Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania in Vilnius in the evening.
A solemn formation and parade of military equipment will take place in the capital's Konstitucijos Avenue on Saturday.
Defense Minister Raimundas Karoblis has said at a news conference recently that the military "has always been a guarantor of statehood", adding that the country's Armed Forces are currently as strong as they have ever been since the re-establishment of the state.
On November 23, 1918, Prime Minister Augustinas Voldemaras signed a decree to establish the Defense Council and ordered to start the formation of the first regiment of the Lithuanian Armed Forces.