Guyana Defence Force Website Banner

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.