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Commander of the Land Force
Major General Almantas Leika
Major General Almantas Leika took over responsibilities as Commander of the Lithuanian Land Force from July 2012. The Land Force Commander plans, organizes and controls the activities of the Land Force, in order to maintain properly trained personnel, to carry out the necessary force development, to ensure quality of combat training and the coordination necessary to carry out the scope of the tasks relating to the State's Armed Defence, peacetime tasks and international military operations. The Mechanized Infantry Brigade "Iron Wolf", the National Defence Volunteer Forces, three separate Motorised Infantry Battalions, the Juozas Vitkus Engineer Battalion, and the Land Force's Juozas Lukša Training Center are under the command of the Land Force Commander.
Major General Leika was born November 25, 1968 in Anyksciai, northeastern part of Lithuania. He started his military career in the Lithuanian National Guard in the beginning of 1991 while occupation Soviet troops were still in Lithuania. His military education includes the Lithuanian Military Academy, the Civil Affairs Qualification Course at the US Army Special Warfare Center and School (Fort Bragg, North Carolina), the Senior Staff Course at the Baltic Defence College (Tartu, Estonia), the Higher Command Studies Course at the Baltic Defence College (Tartu, Estonia), and the US Army War College (Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania). General Leika holds a Master of Arts degree from the Vilnius Pedagogical University and a Master of Arts degree in Strategic Studies from the United States Army War College. His military service includes training and operational deployments to Afghanistan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Denmark, Estonia, Latvia, the Netherlands, Poland, and a wide variety of assignments in Lithuania.
Major General Leika's troop and command assignments include: Commander, Baltic Squadron-5; Executive Officer/Chief of Staff, joint Estonian-Latvian-Lithuanian Baltic Battalion; Commander, Baltic Contingent-2 within the Danish Battalion (Multinational Division-North sector) of the NATO's Stabilization Force (SFOR) in Bosnia-Herzegovina; Commander, Grand Duke Algirdas Mechanized Infantry Battalion, "Iron Wolf" Motorized Infantry Brigade (during his command tour the Battalion cooperated with the 2d Battalion/Prince Live Regiment of the Royal Danish Army); and Commander, Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) Chaghcharan of the NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in the Western Region of Afghanistan. He also served as Director, Higher Command Studies Course at the Baltic Defence College (Tartu, Estonia).
Major General Leika's staff assignments include: Officer, Private Office of the Minister of National Defence; Plans Officer, Training Department, Defence Staff; Chief of Defence Planning, Defence Staff, Executive Assistant to the Chief of Defence, Deputy Commander/Chief of Staff, Lithuanian Reserve Command (Lithuanian National Defence Volunteer Forces), Director, Personnel Department, Ministry of National Defence; and Director General for Capabilities and Armaments at Ministry of National Defence.
Major General Leika's decorations include: the Knight's Cross of the Vytis Cross Order, the Medal of the Vytis Cross Order, the Presidential Medal for Volunteers, the Presidential January 13, 1991 Commemorative Medal, the Defence International Operations Medal, the Defence NATO Medal, the Armed Forces Meritorious Service Medal, the Armed Forces Distinguished Service Medal, the Army Distinguished Service Medal, the National Defence Volunteer Force Distinguished Service Medal, the NATO Medal for Operations Related to the Former Yugoslavia and, the NATO Medal for Operations Related to Afghanistan. He is also awarded Danish, Italian, Latvian, Romanian and US decorations and awards.
Major General Leika is a member of the Lithuanian Volunteer Union, the Baltic Defence College Alumni Association and the US Army War College Alumni Association.
Major General Leika and his wife Ruta have two daughters and two sons.