Commander of the Estonian Defense Forces (EDF) Martin Herem has been promoted to Lieutenant General, while 170 regular EDF members and 80 reservists have also been promoted, ahead of next week's independence day on February 24.
Other high-level promotions include commander of the air force (Õhuvägi) Rauno Sirk, who has been bumped up to Brigadier General, Taivo Rokk, logistics commander at the EDF HQ, who is now a Colonel, with military police (Sõjaväepolitsei) chief Meelis Sarapuu now also a Colonel, BNS reports.
President Kersti Kaljulaid signed the order for Lt. Gen. Herem's promotion Thursday as well as those of other promotions.
In addition, Indrek Sirel, deputy EDF commander, has been made up to Major General, as has Meelis Kiili, Estonian military representative to NATO's Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE).
Igor Schvede, Estonia's military representative to the EU and NATO, now carries the rank of Rear Admiral, equivalent to a Major General in the army (the navy (Mereväagi) and air force are both organizationally part of the EDF rather than being separate services – ed.).
Elsewhere, EDF chief of staff Veiko-Vello Palm is now a Brigadier General, as are commander of the voluntary Defense League (Kaitseliit) Riho Ühtegi, head of the Estonian National Defense College Enno Mots, head of the Baltic Defense College (BALTDEFCOL) Ilmar Tamm, and Artur Tiganik, who serves at Allied Joint Force Command (JFC) Brunssum.
Under the Military Service Act, a military rank is granted to an officer by the President of the Republic at the proposal of the commander of the EDF, while since the latter can hardly promote themselves, the defense minister makes the proposal.
Estonia's military ranks follow standard NATO designations, while the titles themselves primarily date back the to 1918-1920 war of independence.
Editor's note: This article was updated to add a gallery of Herem's promotion on March 1.
Editor: Andrew Whyte