President Donald Ramotar on Monday charged newly-commissioned Guyana Defence Force (GDF) officers to maintain their dignity, integrity and professionalism during their service.
“Do not allow temptations to take away your dignity because, once that happens, you will never be able to regain it… professionalism is also important in the world we live in today, material things sometimes seem to be so much so in demand and so tempting for our people,” Ramotar was quoted as saying in a Government Information Agency (GINA) report on his feature address at the passing out parade held at Base Camp Ayanganna for the 18 officers.
“I urge you, as officers of this great organisation to always keep your integrity. The badge of rank with which you have been invested is a symbol of your authority in this organisation. I remind you that with such authority comes responsibility for your actions. You have a sacred duty and an organisational responsibility to act with the highest standards of professionalism,” he added.
Ramotar said the successful completion of the Standard Officers’ Course 47 at the Colonel Ulric Pilgrim Officer Cadet School (CUPOCS) indicates that the new officers are physically fit, mentally agile, confident in decision making abilities, responsible and accountable for the non-commissioned officers and other ranks who will serve under their command. “It is an acknowledgment that you have the necessary attributes that will inspire those under your command,” the president said.
According to the GINA report, two of the officers are from the Belize Defence Force and another is from the St Kitts and Nevis Defence Force. The president acknowledged their separation from their families and countries and other sacrifices, while noting that these are in keeping with the GDF’s mantra: ‘Country first, family second and self last.’
Ramotar also reiterated his recent call for army ranks to act in accordance with the constitution in the conduct of their duties and in a non-partisan and professional manner during the upcoming general and regional Elections. He said they must inspire confidence in the Guyanese people and demonstrate to the world that “we are a mature people, with the ability to make the right decisions, based on our circumstances.”
The president said he reposed great confidence in the Chief of Staff, officers and ranks of the GDF, “to be worthy sons and daughter in service to this great country of ours and to our citizens.” He charged the new officers to be a credit to their families and themselves, and to be role models for other youths who aspire to serve in the GDF.
Meanwhile, GINA said several prizes were awarded during the ceremony. The Best Student prize, the Brazilian Armed Forces Award, the Venezuelan Armed Forces Award and the Sword of Honour were awarded to 99921 Second Lieutenant Lewins Langellier. 999201 Second Lieutenant Noel August was the Runner-up Best Student and 999204 Winette Smartt, the only woman in the course, was recognised with awards for Best Drill and Best Military Knowledge. The Best Shot and Fitness Awards went to 999240 Ancel Tench of the Belize Defence Force. The other new officers are Keon Stoby, Anand Persaud, Worren Mars, Robin Rogers, Jashawn, Norville, Kevin Sultan, Kaya Dover, Neil Mc Donald, Shaquone Prince, Shane Ramphal, Gevon Mc Almont and Patrick Farley -Grant. They joined more than 596 officers who have been trained locally for the local joint services and Caricom states, since training started in 1981 at CUPOCS Base Camp Stephenson, Timehri.