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Sep 15 2021

SGT Rolands M.: I am a sergeant in an infantry battalion

NATO's eastern flank: From Estonia to Hungary servicemen and women from more than 20 countries fulfil their duties every day. But what exactly are they doing there? What is their specific task? What motivates them, what drives them? In the "I'm on (my) mission" series, we would like to personally introduce a few of them to you.

This is me

I am Sergeant Rolands Matisons. I am 35 years old, and I am married with three children. My wife and my mother are very proud of me and what I have achieved so far. I have been a full-time soldier for 15 years now. When I was in my high-school years, I joined a high school with a military focus. There, I attended class every day like any other student, the only difference was that everybody was wearing uniform. I studied to become a military mechanic. A regular day started with morning activities such as the cleaning of the rooms, which was followed by classes. The school also included various camps. We had evening rehearsals and meetings. After technical school, I knew that I wanted to join the army and immediately signed up for professional service. My family is the main force which makes me return home faster.

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Srg Rolands Matisons
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Srg Rolands Matisons

These are my tasks

Military service has changed me and my outlook on the world. The first time my perception of life and values changed was during my first mission to Afghanistan in 2010. Seeing how people lived there, I realized that at home we do not have to drink water from a dirty puddle, that we can turn on the light just by pressing a switch or that we even have large TV sets and fridges at home. I think that when living in peace and harmony, people do not care how and where they are or what is happening around them because they live quite comfortable lives. However, seeing others who live under different conditions helps us understand them.


This is what makes my job special

One's attitude to life changes over the years as one attains higher positions. I think that as one moves up the hierarchy, one develops a greater sense of responsibility and a more serious attitude. As we grow older, values and perceptions change. We become more conscientious and more serious and develop a greater sense of responsibility for our work. I see myself now very differently than I did when my service began. It is easier to decide now how to react in any situation, and my actions are characterized by thoughtfulness, orderliness and accuracy. But the dark side of service lies in the relationship with others. I see that soldiers have such hard faces, an image that may not be the best in a given moment. Sometimes a soldier is not so dear or a father is tough on his children. Nevertheless, one has to keep in mind that a relationship consists of two persons, not one.


I am a platoon sergeant for reserve guards. They come from different backgrounds as concerns beliefs, age, knowledge and physique. Working with civilians is quite interesting, and there are many little interesting aspects that make my service really fun.


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Rolands is an example for his unit
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Camping

These are my future plans

Many people ask me where I find time for my hobbies. My answer is always that I am simply a good planner. In my free time, I go outside the city with my family to enjoy outdoor activities as much as possible. In addition, I love to record and publish videos of my trips on social platforms to inspire others. From time to time, I organize hikes for adults and young pre-school childred or young students. I have also organized adventure hikes for fathers and their daughters. And I love fishing, camping, underwater hunting and riding off-road motorcycles. I think I am very energetic because I cannot just sit at home.


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Story by Multinational Corps Northeast Public Affairs Office

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Waleriana Łukasińskiego 33
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Poland