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GDF RECEIVES 50TH ANNIVERSARY GIFT FROM RETIRED OFFICER

The Guyana Defence Force was today gifted a painting titled, “Territorial Patrol” from a retired Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Claude Bowen.
 
The painting was unveiled at a simple ceremony at the Officers Mess by Andre Bowen, in the presence of  Chief of Staff Brigadier Mark Phillips, Deputy Chief of Staff, Colonel George Lewis and other Senior Officers of the Force. Andre Bowen is the son of Lieutenant Colonel Claude Bowen, who was unable to be present for the activity.
 
The painting was done by Renowned Guyanese Artist, Stanley Greaves, who was also on hand during the unveiling ceremony. The painting depicts a soldier, holding his rifle on patrol among symbolic representations of land, forest and mountains. He is accompanied by paw spots that signify the spirit of the Jaguar, the heraldic animal of Guyana. It also contains a symbolic representation of Mount Roraima in the background.
 
Greaves stated that after searching his mind for a suitable depiction, he decided to capture ‘territorial patrol’ since this represented one of the main roles of the Guyana Defence Force. 
 
In brief remarks, Brigadier Mark Phillips expressed sincere gratitude for the painting saying that the Force has taken ownership of the painting which depicts what the Force does every day for Guyana. He stated that the painting will occupy a designated spot in the Officers Mess.
 
The gift from Lieutenant Colonel (ret’d) Claude Bowen is significant as he was one of the Officers who enlisted on the eve of Guyana’s attainment of Independence. At that time, the Force was merely six months old, as an Indigenous Force, was part of the requirements for the granting of Independence.
 
Bowen served the Guyana Defence Force for 21 years and was a recipient of the Military Efficiency Medal. Also present at the unveiling was Dr. Rupert Roopnarine, Minister of Education.

OUTSTANDING SERVICE BY LCPL LEADS TO PROMOTION

Chief of Staff Brigadier General Mark Phillips on Tuesday 16/06/07 promoted Lance Corporal Shannon Ross-Cox to the rank of Acting Corporal following HER recent outstanding service to the Force while on patrol in Region # 7.
 
In addition to being the lone female who climbed Mount Ayanganna in observance of the country’s 50th Anniversary, Ross- Cox, who is a qualified Medic, conducted a one-woman Medical Outreach in Chinoweng, a village in Region 7 (Cuyuni/Mazaruni).  Her efforts led to the medical evacuation of a sick woman and child.
 
While there LCPL Ross-Cox also interacted with the children of the village, educating them on the role and functions of the Guyana Defence Force.
 
Brigadier General Phillips congratulated Ross-Cox based on her initiatives, which he found commendable. “What you have done was commendable and the Force is proud of your initiate,” he told Ross-Cox.
 
The COS noted that his decision to promote Ross-Cox for her initiative was discussed with the Senior Female Officers of the Force and they agreed that promoting her was fitting.
 
The Officers and Ranks of the Guyana Defence Force congratulate now Acting Corporal Ross-Cox on her promotion.

TWENTY-THREE OFFICER CADETS UNDERGOING TRAINING ON STANDARD OFFICERS COURSE NUMBER 49

Chief of Staff, Brigadier General Mark Phillips officially declared open the Standard Officers Course (SOC) No. 49 on Wednesday June 8 at Base Camp Stephenson, where twenty-three Officer Cadets, including three each from the Belize Defence Force and the Antigua and Barbuda Defence Force, are currently undergoing training at the Colonel Ulric Pilgrim Officer Cadet School (CUPOCS). 
 
The SOC No. 49 commenced with thirty-six students in April 2016, however, 13 withdrew during the first six weeks of the course.
 
In a highly motivational address to the students, Brigadier General Phillips told them that they were training at a time when the Force is examining ways to improve its overall professionalism. In this regard, he noted that the course represented their preparation for military work and so the conduct of the training remains difficult and physically demanding, for good reason. “If we are to be the leaders of our soldiers, then you must endure a greater level of hardship than what obtains on the Basic Recruit Training. However, in all that we do at CUPOCS we must teach our Officer Cadets to think, communicate and always have an interest in the welfare of the soldiers they will command on leaving this course,” he stated.
 
“You must focus all your efforts on passing this course. Once you pass this course, the sky becomes the limit for you. In addition to preparing you to serve in the military, what you take from this course will benefit you even after you have served. So stay focus, be disciplined and maintain a high standard always and you will pass this course,” he assured the potential officers.”
 
The Chief of Staff commended the students for staying the course thus far and expressed the hope that each of them willl endure to the end; and in February 2017, become the ‘newly minted’ Second Lieutenants and future military leaders of the GDF.
 
The Officer Cadets will undergo close to one year of rigorous training specifically designed to challenge their physical as well as mental acuity. A wide range of military subjects will be complimented with lectures in environmental studies, administration, and the Law of Armed conflict. Training will also to be conducted at the Colonel John Clarke Military School (CJCMS), Tacama, the Colonel Robert Mitchell Jungle and Amphibious Training School (CRMJATS), Makouria, CUPOCS, and at Base Camp Ayanganna.
 
The Standard Officers Course transforms in one year, a civilian into an Officer who can lead soldiers during peacetime and any phase of war. It is the initial training for young Officers.
 

GDF PERSONNEL COMMENCE 3-DAY RECRUITMENT AND RETENTION SUBJECT MATTER EXPERT EXCHANGE

The Guyana Defence Force recruitment and process personnel on Tuesday 16/06/07 begun a three day exercise with experts of the Florida Army National Guard (FLARNG) aimed at examining best practises for Recruitment and Retention. The objective of the activity is to identify key issues that serve as obstacles to recruitment and retention.

FLARNG Members

FLARNG Deputy Commander of Recruitment and Retention, Major Peter Jennison is heading the delegation and at today’s introductory session noted his team will also benefit during the exchange and will also share their practises in the effort to recruit the best people retain them and keep them wanting to come to work each day.

Adjutant General Colonel Nazrul Hussain, during brief remarks at the beginning of the sessions, welcomed the FLARNG team and acknowledged the challenges that sometimes come with recruitment and retention. However he encouraged the participants to pay keen interest to the information disseminated.

The sessions are also meant to examine recruitment strategies, concerns and necessities, maintaining morale, keeping the workforce engaged and commitment to the Force.

 
 
 
 
 

SOLDIERS RETURN AFTER SUCESSFUL OPERATION ARROWHEAD

After nine grueling days, the members of the Guyana Defence Force patrol who participated in OPERATION ARROWHEAD returned to Base Camp Stephenson following their successful mission to raise the Golden Arrowhead on the summit of Mount Ayanganna, in observance of Guyana’s 50th Anniversary of Independence.

The patrol which was headed by Lieutenant Wavon Samuels, included a lone female, Lance Corporal Shannon Cox. The other members were Lance Corporals Milton Isaacs, Teusimar Peters and Privates Kenroy Samuels, Chavez George, Colliin Hinds and Winston Williams.

The patrol commenced on Wednesday May 18, departing Base Camp Stephenson by aircraft and flown to Chi Chi in Region 8 (Potaro –Siparuni). They continued by foot through the savannah and jungle terrain, to reached the foot of the mountain on Monday May 23. The patrol then began their assent to the summit of the mountain, and after two days of negotiating the mountain’s rugged terrain, they successfully reached the summit on Wednesday May 25, where they hoisted the Golden Arrowhead at midnight.

The hoisting of the Golden Arrowhead atop Mount Ayanganna during Independence, is an annual feature dating back to 1966 

 when a party headed by the late Adrian Thompson, members of the Guyana Defence Force led by Lt Asad Ishoff, along with Amerindian guides, undertook the journey and planted the National Flag atop Mount Ayanganna.

In 1992 a female, Staff Sergeant (ret’d) Beverley Somerset, climbed the mountain, for the first time in our recorded history paving the way for other females to take on the challenge of conquering Mount Ayanganna. The Women’s Army Corps made history again when 'all female' patrols climbed the mountain in 2005 and as recent as 2009.