President urges newly-commissioned officers to uphold dignity of service

Stabroek News
November 15, 2002

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President Bharrat Jagdeo has urged twenty-six newly-commissioned officers to uphold the dignity of service in the armed forces while reminding them of their role in influencing how citizens meet the multitude of challenges facing Guyana.

The officers who successfully completed the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) Standard Officers’ Course (SOC) #35 and the Reserve Officers’ Course (ROC) #13 were on Wednesday officially commissioned by President Jagdeo at the Commissioning Parade at the Drill Square, Camp Ayanganna.

The President, also Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces, noted that the graduates’ achievement has come as a result of commitment, sacrifice and a will to succeed in conditions of rigid performance testing and keen competition.

And he asserted that the graduates were embarking on a military career “at a peculiar period in Guyana,” characterised by a multitude of challenges, the outcome of which will determine where the country goes.

Members of the Guyana Police Force (GPF), the Guyana Prison Service (GPS) and the Guyana Fire Service (GFS), as well as a member of the St Kitts and Nevis Defence Force were among the graduates of the courses. In that regard, the President noted that the joint training involving military and civilian law enforcement agencies gives added meaning to the concept of the joint services and is in keeping with the more enlightened and modern practice of collaboration between various security forces.

And acknowledging that the job of a policeman is a difficult one which is not fully appreciated, he assured that the government would continue to reform the force, “to further improve its intelligence and investigative capabilities and provide adequate equipment and proper training.”

Meanwhile, alluding to the continued training of officers from other Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries, Jagdeo noted that this would provide a foundation for the closer interaction of regional security forces.

GDF Chief of Staff Brigadier Michael Atherly in his message to the graduates noted that it was their duty to serve society, and their “loyalty must be to the State, which holds and ensures a monopoly of your service.”

He stated further that their duty is to help provide the security of the nation, which “society could not provide for itself, (and) as you accept that responsibility, a moral obligation is established between you and society.”

There are 28 graduates from the SOC #35 and ROC #13, but two were absent from Wednesday’s parade.

While thirty cadets had started the SOC #35 in March this year, in the preliminary stages of their training six opted to return to civilian life, three were relegated to SOC #36 and one was released on a Government of Guyana scholarship to Cuba. Another officer was relegated to the course from SOC #34.

The graduates of SOC #35 are: Gordon Nedd (Best Student), Johnny Talbot (Runner-up to Best Student), Diallo George, Thakur Nandlall, Kenton Munroe, Rono Joseph, David Shamsudeen, Kirk Marlock, Robin Baljeet, Loring Bennons, Notoya Lewis, Andre Williams, Doolwant Sooklall and Harold Fraser of the GDF; Brian Eastman, Clive Rodney, Joel Mascoll, Motie Dookie of the Guyana Police Force; Kurt Corbin of the Guyana Prison Service, Dwayne Scotland of the Guyana Fire Service and Jervin Lapsley of the St Kitts and Nevis Defence Force.

The graduates of ROC #13 are: Leon Adams, Quincy Bourne, Samantha Chung, Marlon Daniels, Ron Daniels, Deon Heyligar and Althea Daniels-Thornton.

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