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Desmond Roberts

Desmond Theophilus Roberts is a former Director General of the Guyana National Service. He attended the La Retraite Church of Scotland Primary School (1952), and the BG Educational Trust College, before entering Queens College in 1954, where he joined the QCCC. 

After completing his ‘A’ Levels, he worked briefly in the Statistical Bureau, before being selected as one of the first six officers of the BGSSU. He was trained at Mons officer cadet school in 1965, returning in time to exercise his option to join the newly formed GDF. 

Born in Georgetown on 11 July, 1945, Desmond Roberts was selected to raise the flag in the National Park on Independence night on 25-26 May 1966. Later that year, he led his platoon to the border, after the half of Ankoko Island, which belonged to Guyana, had been occupied by the Venezuelan National Armed Forces (FAN).

In 1967, he gained much experience as a staff to the Chief of Staff, Colonel Ronald Pope, before being appointed OC No. 4 Company in 1968. In early 1969, Roberts commanded a company in the operation to quell the Rupununi rebellion. He was appointed General Staff Officer 2 (1970-71); and Second in Command, 2nd Battalion in 1972.

In May 1973, he was promoted to the rank of Major and sent as the first military director of the Guyana Youth Corps (GYC) and Assistant Director General of the Guyana National Service (GNS) in 1974; Deputy Director General in 1976; and Director General 1979-81. As Director General, he was instrumental in launching the International Association of National Service Organization (IANSO) in Lusaka, (1980).

Desmond Roberts was appointed military attaché to Brazil (1982-1984) but functioned out of the Defence Secretariat. In 1984, he was given the responsibility of coordinating the North Korean, Guyanese and UNEP consultant terms constructing the small Eclipse Falls Hydro-Power project and, in 1986, he served as Commander, Administration and Logistic, until 1990, when he retired. Roberts organized the first GDF Athletic Sports, in 1967, and served as President of the Amateur Athletic Association of Guyana (1976-1979 and 1986-1989), managing a team to the Seoul Olympics (1988); President of the Masters Athletic Association (1982-1989); and Vice-President of the Guyana Badminton Association.

Robert attended the Advanced Infantry Commander (UK) and Army Command and Staff Course (Nigeria). He received his degree in Finance, along with several awards, from the University of Maryland, in 1993, and the Master of Urban Planning and Management degree at the New School University in Manhattan.