Riho Terras
Riho Terras in 2017
Member of the European Parliament
for Estonia
Assumed office
1 February 2020
Personal details
Born (1967-04-17) 17 April 1967 (age 54)
Kohtla-Järve, Estonia
NationalityEstonian
Political partyIsamaa
Alma materUniversity of Tartu
Bundeswehr University Munich
Military service
Allegiance Estonia
Branch/service
Estonian Defence Forces
Years of service1991–2018
RankGeneral
Battles/warsIraq War

Riho Terras (born 17 April 1967) is an Estonian politician and a former military officer who is serving as a member of the European Parliament since 1 February 2020. He was the Commander of the Estonian Defence Forces from 2011 to 2018. He was promoted to general in 2017.[1]

He was elected as a Member of the European Parliament in 2019 and took his seat after Brexit.[2]

Military career

His military education includes studies in the Royal College of Defence Studies in the United Kingdom, the Joint Command and General Staff Course in the Baltic Defence College, the European Security. Policy Course in the Geneva Centre for Security Policy, a Battalion Commander's Course in Switzerland, a Company Commander's course in Germany, a Company Commander's course in Sweden and the Officer's Basic course in Estonia. Terras's civilian education includes history studies in the University of Tartu, and a master's degree in Political Science and Sociology from the University of Bundeswehr.[3]

After graduating from the Basic Officer's Course in Estonia, Terras served as a Company Commander and as a Battalion Second in Command of the Kalev Single Infantry Battalion from 1992 to 1993. Between 1993 and 1994 Terras served as the commander of the Põhja Single Infantry Company. After graduating from the Bundeswehr University (Germany) he served as the commander of the Guard Battalion from 1998 to 2000. Terras was appointed the 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 Terras served as the Chief of the Analysis and Planning Department and as Chief of the Planning Section, Analysis and Planning Department in the Estonian Defence Forces Headquarters. In 2007, Terras served in the NATO Training Mission - Iraq as Deputy Chief of Staff. Riho Terras was confirmed on December 2008 as Permanent Secretary of the Estonian Ministry of Defence. Before taking up the position of the Permanent Secretary, he was Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations in the Estonian Defence Forces. Terras served as the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations of the Estonian Defence forces from January 2011 to March 2011 and then continued his service as the Chief of Staff of the Estonian Defence Forces. Terras was appointed the Chief of Defence from 5 December 2011[3]

Education

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Effective dates of promotion

Promotions
Insignia Rank Date
Second Lieutenant February 1992
First Lieutenant 23 November 1993[4]
Captain 20 June 1996[5]
Major 18 February 2000[6]
Lieutenant Colonel 20 June 2005[7]
Colonel 1 December 2008[8]
Brigadier General 16 June 2011[9]
Major General 18 February 2013[10]
Lieutenant General  5 February 2015[11]
General  20 February 2017[12]

Assignment History

From To Assignments
March 1992 November 1992 Company Commander, Kalev Infantry Battalion, Estonian Land Forces, Estonia Defence Forces
November 1992 November 1993 Battalion Second in Command, Kalev Infantry Battalion, Estonian Land Forces, Estonia Defence Forces
December 1993 January 1994 Commander, Põhja Single Infantry Company, Estonian Land Forces, Estonia Defence Forces
May 1998 January 2000 Commander, Guard Battalion (Estonia), Estonian Land Forces, Estonia Defence Forces
January 2000 December 2000 Chief of Staff, Estonian Defence League
December 2000 July 2004 Estonian Defence Attaché in Germany and Poland
August 2005 January 2006 Chief of the Planning Section, Analysis and Planning Department, General Staff of the Estonian Defence Forces, Estonia Defence Forces
January 2006 January 2007 Chief of the Analysis and Planning Department, General Staff of the Estonian Defence Forces, Estonia Defence Forces
February 2007 September 2007 Deputy Chief of Staff, NATO Training Mission – Iraq
September 2007 February 2008 Chief of the Analysis and Planning Department, General Staff of the Estonian Defence Forces, Estonia Defence Forces
February 2008 November 2008 Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, General Staff of the Estonian Defence Forces, Estonia Defence Forces
December 2008 December 2010 Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Defence (Estonia)
January 2011 February 2011 Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, General Staff of the Estonian Defence Forces, Estonia Defence Forces
18 February 2011 4 December 2011 Chief of Staff, General Staff of the Estonian Defence Forces, Estonia Defence Forces
5 December 2011 5 December 2018 Commander of the Defence Forces, Estonia Defence Forces

Awards, decorations, and recognition

Awards and decorations

Estonian Awards and decorations
The First Class of the Cross of Merit of the Estonian Ministry of Defence 28 November 2018[13]
1st Class of the Order of the Cross of the Eagle 5 February 2018[14]
4th Class of the Order of the Cross of the Eagle 23 February 2005[15]
White Cross of the Estonian Defence League (III class)
Ministry of Defence Cross of Merit 2nd Class
Distinguished Service Decoration of the EDF 22 February 1999
Navy decoration " Belief and the Will " Class III " Bronze Anchor "
Distinguished Service Decoration of the Estonian Defence League
Estonian Defence Forces General Staff Cross of Merit
MoD Medal of Participants in International Military Operations
Merit Medal of the Defence League III Class
Memorial Medal "10 Years of the Re-Established Defence Forces"
Victory Fire Carrier Medal
Distinguished Service Decoration of the Information Board (II class)
The Baltic Defence College Medal of Merit (gold)
Special Service Cross of Estonian Defence League School
Cross of the Estonian Reserve Officers’ Assembly (silver) 12 June 2001[16]
Foreign Awards
Commander Degree of the Legion of Merit 13 November 2018 (USA)[17]
Commander with Star of the Norwegian Order of Merit 10 September 2015 (Norway)[18]
Commander Grand Cross of the Order of the Lion of Finland 13 May 2014 (Finland)[19]
Commandery of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland 18 March 2014 (Poland)[20]
Officier of the National Order of the Legion of Honour 4 September 2013 (France)[21]
Knight Commander's Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany 9 July 2013 (Germany)[22]
1st Class of the Order of Viesturs 5 June 2012 (Latvia)[23]
Gold Cross of Honour of the Bundeswehr 20 April 2011 (Germany)[24]
NATO Medal for the NATO Training Mission in Iraq
Merit Medal of the Finnish Reserve Officers' Federation
OSMTH Grand Priory of Scandinavia Pro Merito medal

Personal

General Joseph Dunford with General Terras during a full honor arrival ceremony at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, 13 November 2018.
General Joseph Dunford with General Terras during a full honor arrival ceremony at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, 13 November 2018.

In his youth, Terras was conscripted as a sailor in the Soviet Navy. He later studied history at University of Tartu, during which he also became a member of the Estonian Defence League. He joined Johannes Kert in the defence of radio and television buildings in Tallinn during the 1991 Soviet coup d'état attempt. Due to a lack of personnel in the Defence League, he decided to join a course for reserve officers, where he studied alongside Leo Kunnas. He was soon persuaded by Ants Laaneots to become a member of the Estonian Defence Forces. In 1994 he started studying at the Bundeswehr University Munich, where he received a master's degree in Political Science and Sociology. Thus he picked up where he had left off in his education after his time at the University of Tartu. In addition to the Estonian language Terras is fluent in English, German and Russian. He is married with two sons. His eldest sons name is Hendrik Johannes - in honor of Johannes Kert. His hobbies include opera, medieval history and hunting.[25][26]

References

  1. ^ "President ülendas Tsahkna ettepanekul Terrase kindraliks". ERR. Retrieved 20 February 2017.
  2. ^ "Eestist valitud Euroopa Parlamendi liikmed on teada". Pärnu Postimees (in Estonian). 27 May 2019. Retrieved 16 May 2020.
  3. ^ a b Official Biography, www.mil.ee
  4. ^ "18. Sõjaväeliste auastmete andmine". Office of the President. 18 November 1993. Retrieved 26 November 2015.
  5. ^ "74. Sõjaväeliste auastmete andmine". Office of the President. 20 June 1996. Retrieved 26 November 2015.
  6. ^ "89. Sõjaväeliste auastmete andmine". Office of the President. 18 February 2000. Retrieved 26 November 2015.
  7. ^ "Sõjaväeliste auastmete andmine 20.06.2005". Riigi Teataja. 20 June 2005. Retrieved 26 November 2015.
  8. ^ "76. R. Terrasele sõjaväelise auastme andmine". Office of the President. 1 December 2008. Retrieved 26 November 2015.
  9. ^ "Sõjaväeliste auastmete andmine". Riigi Teataja. 16 June 2011. Retrieved 26 November 2015.
  10. ^ "28. Sõjaväeliste auastmete andmine". Office of the President. 18 February 2013. Retrieved 26 November 2015.
  11. ^ "79. Sõjaväeliste auastmete andmine". Office of the President. 5 February 2015. Retrieved 26 November 2015.
  12. ^ "13. R. Terrasele sõjaväelise auastme andmine". Office of the President. 20 February 2017.
  13. ^ "Outgoing defence chief Gen. Riho Terras bestowed Cross of Merit, 1st Class". ERR. 29 November 2018.
  14. ^ "President Kersti Kaljulaid tunnustas teenetemärkidega Eesti eredaimaid teenäitajaid". Postimees. Retrieved 16 November 2018.
  15. ^ "4th Class of the Order of the Cross of the Eagle". Office of the President. Retrieved 6 December 2015.
  16. ^ "EROK teeneteristi kavalerid". Eesti Reservohvitseride Kogu. Retrieved 26 November 2015.
  17. ^ "Readout of Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Dunford's Meeting with Commander of the Estonian Defense Forces Gen. Riho Terras". www.jcs.mil. 13 November 2018.
  18. ^ "Grand Cross of the Norwegian Order of Merit". Office of the President. Retrieved 6 December 2015.
  19. ^ "Commander Grand Cross of the Order of the Lion of Finland". Office of the President. Retrieved 6 December 2015.
  20. ^ "Commandery of the Order of Merit of the People's Republic of Poland". Office of the President. Retrieved 6 December 2015.
  21. ^ "Sandor Liive ja Riho Terras Auleegioni kavaleriks". Õhtuleht. Retrieved 6 December 2015.
  22. ^ "Knight Commander's Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany". Office of the President. Retrieved 6 December 2015.
  23. ^ "1st Class of the Order of Viesturs". Office of the President. Retrieved 6 December 2015.
  24. ^ "FOTOD: Kolonel Riho Terrasele anti üle Saksamaa kõrgeim sõjaväeline autasu". Delfi. Retrieved 6 December 2015.
  25. ^ Hvostov, Andrei (21 November 2008). "Kolonel, kes deklameerib Goethet". Eesti Ekspress.
  26. ^ Kund, Oliver (26 November 2018). "Kindral Terras: tahaksin tagasi tõmbuda". Postimees.
Military offices Preceded byNeeme Väli Chief of the General Staff 2011 Succeeded byPeeter Hoppe Preceded byAnts Laaneots Commander of the Defence Forces 2011–2018 Succeeded byMartin Herem