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“Continue in the spirit of honesty…,” COS to new soldiers.

Chief of Staff, Brigadier Patrick West, congratulated and welcomed 260 new Privates into the ranks of the Guyana Defence Force on Thursday 17-05-04. The new soldiers successfully completed the Basic Recruit Course 2017/01(BRC 2017/01) and had put on a splendid parade at the ceremony marking their “Passing Out” at the Colonel John Clark Military School in Tacama.

 

In his maiden address as Chief-of-Staff to a graduating BRC, Brigadier West charged the new entrants to “…continue in the spirit of honesty…”, which he identified as the value that will keep them in good standing with others and with the G

DF. ‘I commend each young man and woman who made the courageous decision to offer him or herself for a meaningful and purposeful career in uniform. If you understand that decision and its purpose, it will keep you here rooted,” he said.

Continuing to focus on their need to become professional during their dedication to duty and service to the nation, the Brigadier delivered several other charges to the new Privates. “Understand your environment! Our country is at an important stage of its development. The discovery of oil in commercial quantities will impact the Force and this nation. We have to safeguard the normal functions of our democratic institutions, therefore, greater vigilance will be required on our borders,” he said.

In encouraging them to be loyal, he said “Be loyal to your country, its Constitution and Laws, and your fellow soldiers. Adopt a “must succeed” attitude and always maintain a high level of discipline”.

 The Chief of Staff explained that, in order for them to define their purpose and propel themselves forward, they had to each answer the question “why?”  “Why am I here? Why did I risk so much to join the ranks as soldiers? Why did I answer the call when it was advertised? Why did I stay? Why did I not give up, even when I was pushed to my limit and beyond?” He also explained to them that they have to understand what it means to be a solider. “A soldier is a person who agrees to give his life in defence of his country. As a soldier, your constitutional duty is to defend Guyana and maintain order in Guyana. These two tasks will require great sacrifice on your part. In defending Guyana, some of you will be posted to our borders. In maintaining order in Guyana, some of your will work with the other services,” he said.  “A soldier also contributes to the economic development of the country; some of you will therefore, be posted to service support and combat service support arms 

of the Force,” he continued.

The 205 males and 55 females who successfully completed the training, were from all across Guyana, and included 18 youths from Paramakatoi in Guyana’s Pakaraima Mountains (12 males and six females).

Seven Awards were presented by the Chief of Staff. The awards went to Private (PTE) Troy Miggins who was the Best Graduating Student, PTE Akeem Johnson who was the Runner –Up student, PTE Devon Williams for Best Military Knowledge, PTE Maria Mingo for Best Shot, PTE Odwin Tudor for Best Fitness, PTE Lloyd Williams for Best Drill, and the Number Three Platoon for Best Platoon.

The new Privates have already been posted to the Units at which they will serve following a brief period of Rest and Relaxation (R&R).

 

ANTIGUAN OFFICER PRIVILEGED TO HAVE BEEN TRAINED ON GDF STANDARD OFFICERS COURSE

 

Twenty - One years after receiving his Officer training in Guyana, Antiguan Officer Major Dalton Graham remains grateful for his opportunity to have been one of the first of his countrymen to have experienced his Officer Cadet training at the Colonel Ulric Pilgrim Officer Cadet School, Base Camp Stephenson, Timehri.

 

Major Graham, now Commanding Officer of the Infantry Battalion of the Antigua and Barbuda Defence Force (ABDF) successfully completed the Standard Officers’ Course (Course Number 28), in 1995- 1996. Major Graham, along with Captain Lenny Browne were the first two Antiguans to be trained on the Standard Officers Course’. However, Browne, is no longer a member of the ABDF.

It was his first time in Guyana at the age of 28, and on a military course which demanded physical as well as mental fitness. “Initially it was tough for me. Most of the persons on the course were much younger than I was, so I had to compete with the younger fellows particularly in the physical training. It took me a while to keep up with them. But it’s all in the mind. Once you put your minds towards wanting something, you can achieve it. I know I wanted to make a full career of the military and so I had my intention,” he stated. Major Graham had graduated as the Runner Up Best Graduating Student and also won the prize for Best Shot and Best Drill.

Two other Antiguan Officers Major Telbert Benjamin, currently Staff Officer , Operations and Training , and former Second Lieutenant John Campbell were trained on SOC Number 29. Three other persons, Hilroy Andrew , Kwesi Tonge and Carey Anderson , also commenced training on the Standard Officers Course but were not commissioned.

 “So, I am very proud of Second Lieutenant Buntin who has now completed his Officer training here. I know it’s very challenging , having been here myself . I am proud of his success,” stated Major Graham.

Second Lieutenant Austin Buntin of the ABDF, was among the Twelve Officers commissioned on Wednesday March 22, 2017.  I will always remember and cherish the experiences I’ve had on the SOC Number 49. These experiences have taught me to keep c

alm under pressure to get the job done no matter what, and to never give up. It has also taken me to places I never thought I would see,” he stated.

The Guyana Defence Force commenced training its own Officer Cadets in 1969. After 12 years, the Officer Cadet Division of Training Corps evolved into the first Officer Cadet School in the English-speaking Caribbean. It was named the Colonel Ulric Pilgrim Officer Cadet School (CUPOCS), in honour of Colonel Ulric Pilgrim , the first Commander of the Force.

A total of 49 courses have since been conducted at this school, commissioning in excess of six hundred and eight Officers for the Disciplined Services locally, and from sister Caricom Countries. 

COS PROMOTES SOLDIERS FOR OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE

Chief of Staff, Brigadier Patrick West earlier today promoted two soldiers for their outstanding performances during the last operational period.

Lance Corporals Jevon Easton and Pierre Chandro have been promoted to the rank of Acting Corporals with effect from today’s date. The two soldiers are members of the Military Police Department.

Brigadier West noted that he supports the work of the Military Police and was happy with the performance of the two soldiers.  At the simple badging ceremony , the Chief of Staff alluded to the different efforts to compromise security , both internal and external which has led to the improvement of the military’s posture.

The Chief of Staff encouraged the ranks to continue on the path of diligence and expressed the hope that the rewards will inspire other soldiers to continue to work hard.

 

COS welcomes new British Defence Advisor

Chief of Staff, Brigadier Patrick West, extended a warm welcome to the incoming British Defence Advisor (DA) Lieutenant Colonel Anton Gash, at his office at Defence Headquarters, Base Camp Ayanganna, on April 7. Commandant of the Guyana People's Militia, Colonel Gary Beaton, and the Adjutant General (ag) Lieutenant Colonel Sherwin Anderson, were also present for Lt Col Gash's visit..

Lt Col Gash has taken over from outgoing DA, Lt Col Patrick Brown, who was also present during the Courtesy Call. They were accompanied by British High Commissioner to Guyana, His Excellency Greg Quinn.

In the photograph, from left, are, GDF Adjutant General (ag) Lt Col Sherwin Anderson, Chief of Staff, Brigadier Patrick West, Lt Col Patrick Brown, British High Commissioner to Guyana HE Greg Quinn, Lt Col Anton Gash, and Commandant of the GPM, Col Gary Beaton.

GDF RECEIVES SIZEABLE DONATION FROM CHINESE GOVERNMENT

The Commander in Chief’s vision to see the Guyana Defence Force return to playing a critical role in the development of communities countrywide is better positioned to take off in a major way following the receipt of a significant contribution of heavy duty, construction and earth moving equipment from the Chinese government. The donation consisted of 31 pieces of equipment, including patrol boats, bulldozers, one excavator, water tankers, tipper trucks, off-road ambulances and several other vehicles.

They were officially handed over to Brigadier Patrick West by Chinese Ambassador to Guyana Ciu Jianchun, during a simple, yet significant ceremony at the Guyana Coast Guard Ship Hinds Ruimveldt. 

President David Granger who attended the event emphasized that the vessels are a welcome addition to the Force’s riverine fleet, while the other equipment will improve the capability of the Engineer Corps. “We look forward to the continued support of the People’s Liberation Army and the People’s Republic of China, especially in strengthening the technical capability of the Defence Force. This ceremony is a tangible expression of the commitment of our two republics to international peace and security. This ceremony is an expression of the fraternal ties between the Guyana Defence Force and the People’s Liberation Army. This ceremony is a symbol of the friendship between Guyana and China,” the President said.

President Granger extended his government’s appreciation for the Chinese gesture. 

Chinese Ambassador to Guyana Ciu Jianchun was certain of his governments continue support to the Guyana Defence Force through its counterpart, the People’s Liberation Army. The Ambassador noted that the Government of China highly values the relationship between the two countries and that the People’s Republic of China stands ready to further broaden and deepen the exchange and cooperation between the military forces of the two country. “For many years, the PLA has been providing military aid and training to the GDF, which is beneficial to the development of the GDF and the friendship between the two sides. This handing over of military equipment at this time is once again a significant testimony of the friendly and practical cooperation between the PLA and the GDF, “he asserted.

Senior Colonels Zeng Xianglin and Lu Ying of the People’s Liberation Army of China are currently conducting training for ranks of the Guyana Defence Force to operate the donated equipment. The handing over ceremony was also attended by Minister of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson and Senior Officers were also present at the ceremony.