Commander, Estonian Defence Forces
General Riho Terras has been Commander of the Estonian Defence Forces since December 2011.
After graduating from the Basic Officer’s Course in Estonia, General Terras served as a Company Commander and as a Battalion Second in Command of the Kalev Single Infantry Battalion from 1992 to 1993. He then served as the commander of the Põhja Single Infantry Company (1993-1994). After graduating from the Bundeswehr University (Germany) he served as the commander of the Guard Battalion from 1998 to 2000.
General Terras was appointed Chief of Staff of the Defence League Headquarters in 2000. From 2001 to 2004 he served as the Estonian Defence Attaché in Germany and Poland. Between 2005 and 2008 he was Chief of the Analysis and Planning Department and Chief of the Planning Section, Analysis and Planning Department in the Estonian Defence Forces Headquarters. In 2007, General Terras served in the NATO Training Mission – Iraq as Deputy Chief of Staff.
General Terras was confirmed on December 2008 as Permanent Secretary of the Estonian Ministry of Defence. He served as the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations of the Estonian Defence forces from January to March 2011 and then continued his service as the Chief of Staff of the Estonian Defence Forces.
His military education includes studies at the Royal College of Defence Studies in the United Kingdom, the Joint Command and General Staff Course at the Baltic Defence College, the European Security Policy Course in the Geneva Centre of Security Policy, Battalion Commander’s Course in Switzerland, Company Commander’s course in Germany, Company Commander’s course in Sweden and the Officer’s Basic course in Estonia.
General Terras’s civilian education includes history studies at the University of Tartu, and a master’s degree in Political Science and Sociology from the Bundeswehr University.
Awards and decorations:
Order of the Cross of the Eagle
Distinguished Service Decoration of the EDF
Cross of Merit of the Ministry of Defence
Estonian Defence Forces General Staff Cross of Merit
MoD Medal of Participants in International Military Operations
The Baltic Defence College Medal of Merit Gold
2010 Gold Cross of Honour of the Bundeswehr
2012 Order of Viesturs (Republic of Latvia)
2013 Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany
2013 National Order of the Legion of Honour (French Republic)
2014 Order for Merit of the Republic of Poland
2014 Commander Grand Cross of the Order of the Lion of Finland
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