Major General Leonids Kalnins took over from long-serving Major General Raimonds Graube at a ceremony in Riga.
Speaking at the event Latvian President Raimonds Vejonis wished the new Commander good luck and said he an the armed forces must always to be ready to defend their country.
The Latvian president thanked the outgoing chief of defense for the many years he had spent strengthening Latvian security.
At the change-of-command ceremony the Latvian president handed the Latvian army flag to the new chief of defense and said he was certain that Kalnins would successfully continue the work of his predecessor in strengthening and developing the capacity of the National Armed Forces.
Graube, who will turn 60 in February, announced early retirement in October last year, and the Latvian parliament on December 22, 2016, approved Kalnins as the new chief of defense.
Messages of congratulation poured in from allied armed forces within NATO and others.
Congratulations on assuming command MG Kalnins. Wish you wisdom + strength while securing our future together https://t.co/YDQcPMTbMy— 1(GER/NLD) Corps HQ (@1GENLCorps) January 27, 2017
Major General Leonīds Kalniņš, welcome aboard! Your skills, talents and knowledge will contribute to the growth of @Latvijas_armija! ??— BalticDefenceCollege (@BALTDEFCOL) January 27, 2017