GDF Ranks charged to exercise leadership, stewardship

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Fifty-two (52) newly commissioned officers of the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) were, on Thursday, presented with their Instruments of Commission by Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, President David Granger at a ceremony held at the Baridi Benab, State House, Georgetown.
The second lieutenants recited their oaths before the president, Chief-of-staff, Brigadier Patrick West and other senior officers. The ranks graduated with an Associate’s Degree in General Studies from the University of Guyana.
The Head of State reminded the ranks that their commissions are not just certificates to indicate the successful completion of a training course; they constitute the lawful license for them to exercise leadership and stewardship as officers of the Guyana Defence Force.

“An Officer’s Commission demands trust, loyalty and good conduct. It requires each officer to exercise dutiful diligence and discipline and to demonstrate obedience to his or her superiors. Officers are challenged to uphold the motto of the Colonel Ulric Pilgrim Officer Cadet School – ‘I serve Guyana.’ Officers are required, by their conduct, to exemplify the School’s maxims – Courage, Discipline, Honesty, Loyalty, Steadfastness and Worth,” the Commander in Chief charged.

The president pointed out that training is the foundation of a professional and proficient force.  It is essential for ensuring the success of military missions; for enhancing operational effectiveness and for developing physical endurance.

“Training is fundamental to military service and that is why your military service begins with a training course here at the Colonel Ulric Pilgrim Officer Cadet School.  Should training be neglected, standards would fall, troops’ morale would decline and deviant behaviour would corrupt the force’s members and corrode the competence of the force.”

The top student of the Officers’ Course, Jehu West, thanked the president for reminding the ranks of their obligations to obey the Constitution of Guyana and to practice the values and standards of the GDF.
“On behalf of the Chief of Staff and all the officers present, let me thank you, your Excellency, for an interesting and aspiring speech which has provided us with a sense of intellectual enrichment to effectively perform our duties in support of the thrust of total national defence.”
West enlisted in the GDF on June 17, 2017, as a member of the Standard Officer Course Fifty with an interest in Engineering and Medicine. He excelled in the four main competency skills whilst completing the course.
The GDF began local training of officer cadets in 1969 and established the Colonel Ulric Pilgrim Officer Cadet School (CUPOCS) in September 1981. Guyana has welcomed cadets from the Caribbean states of Antigua and Barbuda, from Barbados, from Belize and St Kitts-Nevis over the past five decades.
The Standard Officers’ Course (SOC) aims at inculcating the force’s values and standards in cadets and to develop their power of command, leadership and service to the country. The SOC includes an enhanced academic programme and intensified jungle, paratrooper and equitation training. The Reserve Officers’ Course has been reintroduced after a hiatus of a decade.  Members of the Guyana People’s Militia are active and receiving training in all ten administrative regions so that they could respond effectively to the need for assistance, including in the disaster relief. (Department of Public Information)