The home guard volunteer of the year award went to a woman for the first time this year, indicative of the current trend of boosting the female role in the armed forces.
Defense League Sergeant Tiia Kiis of the Võru defense district won the honor with a particularly hard-working year - the equivalent of 182 full work days. The volunteer of the year from the Women's Voluntary Defense Organization (WVDO), a separate structure under the Defense League's umbrella, was also selected - Kaire Lõhmus from the Järva district.
"In the changed security situation, the role of home guardswomen in Estonia's military defence structure has become even more important," said Minister of Defense Sven Mikser at the award ceremony. "The Defense League and the WVDO are Estonia's eyes and ears in detecting hybrid warfare threats and they are a rapid response force in permanent readiness to confront such threats."
Kiis is the youth director and head of sport for her defense district in the southern city of Võru. She has been in the home guard since 2004. She has completed training in instructor, sharpshooting and platoon leader traning, and the head organizer of a local military skills tournament. She has also participated in the Erna and Utria military endurance challenges.
Editor: K. RIkken