Lieutenant General Elias Leontaris: “43 Years of Service –  The fulfilment of a Journey” 

Defence Redefined
Published on 17/03/2020 at 10:35

Lieutenant General Elias Leontaris announced the completion of his service as commander-in-chief of the National Guard General Staff (NGGS) along with his service in the armed forces.

In his message, the Chief of the General Staff addressed members of the reserve forces, civilians and those who worked with him during his 43 years of service both in Greece and Cyprus. 

Below we quote a translation of his message:

” In just a few days, I am completing more than four decades of active service in the armed forces of Greece and Cyprus, and before taking off my uniform for the last time, I consider it my obligation to address you.  

I address you, who during the time and in various places have accepted me as your partner, superior officer or subordinate and those of you I had the privilege of influencing or regulating your personal and professional life with my decisions or orders and represented both domestically and abroad. 

It was really a great honor and now that the fulfilment of time is approaching I would like to thank you for what you are and for what you do.  

You, people from our active force, reserves,  and civilian personnel, represent a small proportion of our people, but you have responded to the call to serve your country and the Greek nation in a period of peculiar warfare.  

You have accepted the challenge of excellence, you have chosen a particular way of life, and you have sacrificed a part of yourselves for the common good.  

You have chosen to make the difference with your presence in every corner of the territory, land, air and sea. 

You belong to those who do not simply discuss !!!!, but accept the challenges, participate in the “living” and evolution of our organization, perceive crises as opportunities, and face threats (conventional, asymmetric or hybrid) with determination. 

Like your predecessors, you are just men and women coming from all the social classes, and all corners of Hellenism. You are the one showing great courage, commitment to purpose and commitment to duty. 

With your help:  

  • We can defend our country, maintain security and stability in our region, and ensure the well-being of our people. 
  • We earned the confidence of our friends and allies 
  • Cyprus and Greece play a role in the international environment and the world acknowledge this with a “different view” 
  • We create deterrence and emit a powerful message to every one who threats our independence and sovereignty

You are our competitive advantage and our valuable power multiplier.

You are our military family, an institution which I invite you to embrace and reinforce its presence in society. 

I, myself, my wife Sonia and our children Eliana and Thanos are very aware of the particularities, challenges and sacrifices of each military family.   

We also know that the strength of our Armed Forces is our personnel and our personnel is our military family.  

We, as a family, thank you for opening your heart and welcoming us into your homes.  

A journey reaches its destination. A 43-year-old journey through narrow, dirt and paved roads, forests and valleys, plain and rough terrain, remote and small or abandoned villages, towns and cities.  Along the way I met many ordinary and important people, experienced bitterness and joy, had small and great moments, and gained experiences. 

Let me conclude by saying that as I retire from active service, I am leaving for my new life with incredible pride and immense gratitude, not only because I became a General and Chief, but simply because I had the fortune and honor to “walk” with you and command soldiers.  

Thank you everyone and I assure you that I will remain one of you in my new life. 

Lt Gen Elias Leontaris 





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