Government Keynote - James P. Woolsey

Military Keynote - BG Ilmars A. Lejins, Latvian Army

Assistant Chief of Staff Joint Force Development, NATO Allied Command Transformation
iFEST 2020 Online Conference

Born in a Latvian émigré family 1971 in California, USA, BG Ilmars A. Lejins grew up in Sweden, was schooled in West-Germany and, after the end of the Soviet occupation, he returned to his fatherland where he joined the Latvian Armed forces 1993. Admitted to the Swedish Infantry Military academy, he graduated in 1996 as an infantry officer.

His career with troops has been on every level up to brigade command. Initially with the Baltic Battalion from 1996 to 1999, where he served as a platoon leader and, later, as the second-in-command of the Latvian Infantry company. During this time, he deployed to IFOR/SFOR. After completing the Swedish Junior Staff and Company Commanders’ course (MSS TAP) in 2000, he assumed the rewarding task of setting up an Armed forces level (joint) professional NCO training system as well as taking up command of the newly founded NCO Academy. He later took command of the 2nd Infantry Battalion, where he was tasked to finalise the last conscription training and professionalise the unit. He has served as an Infantry Kandak Operational Mentoring and Liaison Team (OMLT) leader for a demanding 9 months ISAF tour in northern KUNAR, Afghanistan during 2009-2010. 2016 he was appointed as the Commander of the Land forces Mechanized Infantry Brigade. A post twinned with being the head of the Land forces as well. During his tenure as brigade commander, he had the pleasure to be instrumental to the NATO eFP (Enhanced forward presence) battle group deployment to Latvia and to the successful integration of more than 8 nations in to an effective deterrence force.

His staff assignments have been on the LVA JHQ level and at NATO. In 2007-09, he served as the section head for International commitments at the LVA JHQ overseeing the redeployment of LVA troops from OIF to ISAF. Returning from ISAF, he took a post at the operational level as the JHQ J3/5/7 PLANS Branch Head with the responsibilities being National (operational) Defence and Contingency planning, Force/Capability development and bilateral/multilateral plans. During his time at the JHQ, he also oversaw and supported the development of the nascent Latvian Joint Terminal Attack Controller (JTAC) program. 2013 to 2016, he served as the Branch Head for Military Cooperation, J9 as well as being the LVA SNR at NATO JFC Brunssum, the Netherlands.

BG Ilmars A Lejins is a graduate of the Baltic Defence College, Higher Command Studies Course, the United Kingdom’s Joint Services Command and Staff College (Advanced Command and Staff Course 8) and holds a MA in Defence studies from the King’ s College in London. Notable military courses taken are the UN Junior Officers Course at SWEDINT and the UK Combined Arms and Tactics Course at Warminster. He has various LVA service, MOD and Armed forces awards, NATO IFOR and ISAF medals, the Estonian Land Forces Cross, the US Army Commendation medal with oak cluster and is a Cavalier of the LVA state Order of Viesturs. BG Lejins has been invited to join the Royal Swedish Academy of War Sciences.

He is married to Daiga Lejina and father to two sons and a daughter. He enjoys playing and watching football, a good run now and then and has a fondness for military history and single malt.