Marcus Rosened, årets alumn 2023

Alumnus of the Year: "Support for Ukraine must be done with a warm heart and a cold head"

Lieutenant Colonel Marcus Rosened is a key figure in coordinating Sweden's support to Ukraine - one of the most complex missions in modern Swedish military history. This year, he was awarded the 'Alumnus of the Year' prize at the Swedish Defence University.

"I am honoured and pleased to be recognized in this way", says Marcus Rosened.

It was the combination of theory and practice that attracted Marcus Rosened, 43, to the military, as he wanted to work with people and contribute to society. His dream was to serve abroad, which he did in Liberia and Afghanistan. However, it was in Sweden in 2022 that he faced the biggest challenge of his career so far.

When the war in Ukraine broke out, Marcus Rosened was head of the Swedish Army Headquarters Operations Section. As the war and the workload rapidly escalated, Marcus Rosened would take on an entirely new role in coordinating the army's support to Ukraine.

It is extremely unusual that Sweden partakes in a support operation like the one in Ukraine, which requires new forms of coordination efforts.

"An effort like this had not been done in modern times, so no one knew how, and it has been a challenge to get all the pieces in place", says Marcus Rosened.

The effort encompasses all command levels - from political decision-making down to implementation on the battlefield. It was crucial that we ensure that everyone had what they needed to perform their tasks.

"All military operations start with a strategic plan, but the plan will be useless if there are no officers and soldiers to carry out the tasks."

Values ​​the combination of strategic and practical work

Marcus Rosened won the award because, according to the nomination for Alumnus of the Year, "he is a role model for cognitive agility and staff ethics and has a strong ability to combine military and administrative logic".

What Marcus Rosened values most about being awarded the Alumnus of the Year is that the Swedish Defence University recognizes the combination of the strategic and practical work that he does in his coordinating role, particularly as that was what attracted him to the military.

"Being nominated was an honour and to receive the award was even better. Of course, it makes me proud! says Marcus Rosened about the award, which is a confirmation of the commitment and principles he has lived by throughout his career."

He expresses a deep understanding of the importance of balancing theoretical knowledge with practical application - something that has been crucial in his work coordinating Sweden's support to Ukraine. Any decision to donate material to Ukraine must be weighed against its consequences for the Swedish Army, a process that is both complex and demanding.

"The Army and Armed Forces' support to Ukraine must be carried out with a warm heart and a cold head", says Marcus Rosened.

He stresses the importance of balancing the support to Ukraine with the primary task of the Swedish Armed Forces- defending Sweden. Despite the challenges, the Swedish Armed Forces has contributed with equipment saving Ukrainian lives and the support has strengthened Sweden's international reputation.

"I am most proud of what we have managed to deliver both in terms of training and equipment that makes a difference for the Ukrainian army. Knowing that everything is being put to good use, albeit under extremely tragic circumstances, is extremely motivating."

Large network of contacts from his time at the SEDU

Marcus Rosened often returns to the value of active and organized alumni activities and emphasizes how much he appreciates the network of contacts he gained from his years at the Swedish Defence University.

"I can think of many colleagues who also deserve to be recognized after their studies, and I am extremely proud to be one of the first two to receive the award."

By nominating Marcus for the Alumnus of the Year award, the Swedish Defence University recognizes an alumnus who not only achieved personal success but also made a significant contribution to society and international security in a time of war.

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