Celebrating Lithuanian Soldiers' Day

  • 2000-11-30
  • Rokas M. Tracevskis
VILNIUS - The Lithuanian government established the Lithuanian Armed Forces on Nov. 24, 1918 to fight against the invasion of Russian Bolshevik troops. Since then, that date has been the Day of Lithuania's Soldiers.

After almost a half cen-tury of Soviet occupation, on March 11, 1990, Lithuania announced the re-establish-ment of independence and on April 25, 1990 established the Department of National Defense, which was later transformed into the Ministry of National Defense. On Jan. 17, 1991, the National Defense Volunteer Force was established.

Today Lithuania again has an army, navy and air force composed of 13,000 personnel. Slightly more than 50 percent of them are enlisted and officers, the rest are conscripts. In addition, there is the National Defense Volunteer Force, which consists of 2,000 regular officers and 10,000 volunteers serving throughout Lithuania.