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The Guyana Defence Force, in conjunction with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), recently hosted a two-day seminar for Trainers, on International Humanitarian Law (IHL), for senior officers. The purpose of the seminar was to provide those officers with the necessary tools so that they could teach ranks under their command about aspects of IHL

IHL, also known as laws of war and laws of armed conflict, is the legal framework applicable to situations of armed conflict and occupation, with its principal purpose being to limit the effects of armed conflict on the combatants and affected civil populace.

The seminar was facilitated by Mr Peter Evans and Ms. Alexandra Ortiz from the ICRC, and saw the participation of 22 senior officers of the GDF.

In his opening remarks at the seminar, Chief of Staff, Brigadier General Mark Phillips spoke about the importance and timeliness of this training, to the ranks of the GDF and exhorted the participants to dedicating themselves to gaining a thorough understanding of the information shared, and the necessary methodologies which would enable them to effectively impact their subordinates.

According to ICRC Armed Forces delegate, Mr Pete Evans, the aim was to ensure that the officers understood critical processes underlying and mandated by IHL, and also aid them in acquiring the techniques necessary for teaching others the relevant subject matter. “It was a privilege to work with this group of officers. The material presented was quite much but they grasped the concepts very quickly and articulated quite knowledgeably on various aspects during the programme,” he said. “Because this seminar was about training people to train others, the focus was on several practical exercises designed to highlight how well the participants assimilated the information and were able to transmit it coherently to others.”

Deputy Chief of Staff (ag) Colonel George Lewis, explained that the hosting of the seminar was quite timely. “The GDF has benefitted from several previous training sessions with ICRC, but this is the first time in the recent past that we are having the Train the Trainers programme being conducted. Commanders are required to have a proper understanding or International Humanitarian Law. But it is also of great importance that they understand how to teach the material to their subordinates. With the conclusion of this seminar, this cohort of officers are now equipped with a deeper understanding to enable them to teach their subordinates.”

Colonel Lewis also indicated that there are going to be more such training seminars, and

possibly, refresher courses too. “The world environment continues to evolve. As such, it becomes necessary for the GDF to remain current with regard to what is transpiring on the world stage, to learn what is needed in terms of its responsibilities in upholding International Humanitarian Law, and to ensure that, across the organisation, the requisite knowledge is properly disseminated. IHL governs military conduct during operations and conflict, and, under IHL, military institutions have a legal obligation regarding how they treat for example, with prisoners of war.”

Colonel Lewis thanked the government of Guyana and the ICRC for their commitment to educating the ranks of the GDF.

Miss Guyana Defence Force 2015

Eighteen beautiful women of the Guyana Defence Force will on Wednesday November 11 vie for the coveted Miss Guyana Defence Force crown and the grand prize of a Toyota Itz at the National Cultural Centre .
The finals of the competition gets started at 1900 hours and tickets cost $2500 , $2000 and $1500.
Get your tickets at the National Cultural Centre , Club 704 . Giftland Office Max, Ashmins and the GDF Finance Department , Base Camp Ayanganna.

50 years of service! 50 years of Selflessness! 50 years of sacrifice- The people of Guyana salutes the Guyana Defence Force.

Commander-In-Chief (CIC) of the Arm Forces, Brigadier General (Ret'd), President David Granger today, declared that November 1st henceforth, is to be observed as “Defence Force Day” throughout Guyana.

The Commander In Chief made the declaration at the Guyana Defence Force’s (GDF) 50th Anniversary Church Service that was held at the National Cultural Center on Sunday, November 1.

 As a token to the GDF for its service to the Nation, the President set aside November 1st to be observed as "Defence Force Day."

I gave notice that as a token of gratitude from the nation to our military men and women, I hereby declare that today November 1st, and that this day and every year hereafter shall be observed throughout the nation as "Defence Force Day," he declared”

In his brief address, the CIC congratulated the men and women whom, he noted “continue to serve with commitment, with constancy, and with courage in the GDF. The nation is eternally grateful to the GDF and congratulates them as they celebrate this auspicious occasion. For 50 years of service, for 50 years of selflessness, for 50 years of sacrifice, we salute the Guyana Defence Force."


The Guyana Defence Force came into being on November 01st 1965, at that time, Guyana was preparing for its independence from Great Britain. The Defence Force has a duty under the Constitution of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana.

Alluding to the establishment; and duty of the Defence Force under the Constitution of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana, the CIC said “The Duty of the GDF is to defend national independence, to preserve the country’s sovereignty and integrity, and to guarantee the normal functioning of institutions of security in citizens against any harm of aggression.”

In addition to that, he noted, “For fifty years the GDF has admiringly fulfilled its constitutional obligation to the nation. The Defence Force functioning strength complies with the Defence Act, it has watched valiantly and vigilantly over land and sea borders. It has protected our sovereignty and territorial integrity.”       

The CIC referenced several units in the GDF and their roles and undertakings.

“The Air Corp has undertaken missions of mercy and relief and surveillance. The Infantry has diligently and dutifully support the civil power in maintaining order. The Engineer Corp is being restructured to participate more fully in hinterland infrastructure. The Coast Guard has patrolled our territorial waters. Our Special Forces have launched numeral search and rescue operations in the hinterland, and the Reserved Force, the Guyana People Militia has supported and reinforced the Regular Force in its training operations in accordance with the Defence Act,” the CIC highlighted.

The President elaborated on the National Doctrine as it relates to diplomacy. “Our national doctrine is one of peace because it is aimed at diplomacy for the detection and deterrent of armed aggression,” he stated.

The CIC went on to say that the National Doctrine combines all the elements of national power to preserve Guyana’s sovereignty and to protect its territory. In this regard, he said, “Guyana will continue to combine the resources to support the GDF, being confident in the knowledge the Defence Force won’t let the people down because we are certain that the GDF in the future has in the past, will always honor and uphold the constitution.”

In his closing remarks, the CIC mentioned the Five Core Values of the GDF. “The people of Guyana are assured by the unstinting steadfast service of our soldiers, we are inspired by the force’s values which are: discipline, duty, identity, Integrity and loyalty. These value continue to guide our men and women in military uniform, in their daily lives, he said."

Meanwhile, in his address, Chief Of Staff of the GDF, Brigadier General Mark Phillips extended gratitude to all past and present military men and women. “As we celebrate 50 years of golden Jubilee with the people of Guyana I wish to thank all those who served and gave selflessly to the development of the GDF. I specifically wish to acknowledge the contributions of former CIC and past COS, and all veterans. Thanks to all serving men and women, Officers and Other Ranks, and Civilian Employees, he said.”

In addition to that the COS said the foundation for the GDF is already has already been laid and that he’s confident about the future development of the Force because it is in good hands.

The GDF was established on November 1st, 1965 after the British Guiana Volunteer Force which was established in June 1948 and later disbanded in May 1966. At that historical time members of the new Defence Force were drawn from the British Guiana Volunteer Force (BGVF), Special service Unit (SSU), British Guiana Police Force (BGPF) and the civilian populace. However, Training assistance was provided by British Instructors.

In its commitment to service, the GDF plays an integral part in the Guyanese nation. Resources and equipment of the GDF are used to help other Guyanese; examples include medical mercy flights and the construction of roads and airstrips by the Engineering Corps.

The GDF’s 50th Anniversary Church Service was attended by the President of Guyana, Members of Government, Members of the diplomatic Corp, All Members of the GDF, past and serving, and special Civilian Invitees.

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Today some 375 new soldiers were promoted to the rank of Private in the Guyana Defence Force as simultaneously conducted Basic Recruit Courses concluded. Two hundred and eighty three (283) of the soldiers are being added to the Regular Force, while ninety two (92) are being added through the Reserve Force.

The new soldiers passed out today at a simple but significant ceremony at the Colonel John Clarke Military School at Tacama.

Congratulating and welcoming the new troops to the GDF, Chief of Staff, Brigadier General Mark Phillips, emphasised the need for discipline to be their hallmark. “As soldiers in the GDF, everything you do, hinges on your consistent demonstration of discipline. The GDF is a military institution and discipline underlies and drives everything we do,” he said. “Additionally, you are expected to learn, understand and embrace the Standards and Values of the Force. In fact, you are expected to conform to them. Your attitude must be exemplary and you must earn the respect of all the citizens of Guyana. This can be easily achieved once you embrace our Standards and Values.”

The Chief of Staff entreated the soldiers to commit themselves to serving the people of Guyana. “Yours must be a commitment to serve. To serve anywhere within the bounds of Guyana’s borders, and, even if deployed overseas, you are to be dedicated and exemplary ambassadors of Guyana. “Service” is our Motto!” he emphasised. “You must be ready to serve the GDF at locations throughout Guyana.  You must understand your rights and duties under military law. Your continuing education must be in your focus at all times while you perform your duties as soldiers. At all times you must learn, know, practice and uphold the values and standards.”

“Remember, you have made a transition over the last ten weeks, so you now have to behave as responsible adults. Beginning on November 1st, the GDF will celebrate its 50th Anniversary. That is, fifty years of service to the Cooperative Republic of Guyana. The theme for our 50th anniversary is “Commemorating the past, Celebrating the present, and Carving the future.” You are the present and future soldiers and leaders of the Guyana Defence Force, go forth and be the best soldiers you can.”

GDF MAKES IT TWO IN A ROW: CAPTURES THE JOINT SERVICES TRACK AND FIELD TITLE For the second straight year, the Guyana Defence Force battled its way to bragging rights, winning the Inter-Services Athletics Championship (ISAAC)

For the second straight year, the Guyana Defence Force battled its way to bragging rights, winning the Inter-Services Athletics Championship (ISAAC).

Commencing with a convincing win in Road Relay on Day 1 of the championship, the GDF immediately went on to challenge its sister services in the Swimming competition (Swimming was added to the schedule of events in this year’s edition of the Championship). Unfortunately, several disqualifications based on poor technique saw the Force trailing the Guyana Police Force at the end of the day, by 47 points.

Nevertheless, the GDF soldiered on into Day 2 eager to erase that deficit and successfully defend their title as the Champions of the meet.

For the first time in the Championship’s history, GDF females dominated the field, winning all the scheduled field events. The Males lost only two such events.

Champion Female of the meet, Recruit Naturena Hooper, broke the female Triple Jump record registering a jump measuring 13.13 meters. Meanwhile, Recruit Domon Williams broke the Male Triple Jump Record with a jump of 15.02 meters, and Petty Officer (PO) Leslain Baird destroyed the Championship record for the Javelin.

GDF were also dominant in the 4X100 meters (Male), the 4x400 meters (Male) and the 4x400 meters (Female) relays.

Recruit Tenisha Cort, participating in her first ISAAC, turned in outstanding performances in the Javelin and Discus, throwing 38 meters with the javelin and earning herself a Championship record.

There were several outstanding and improved performances by GDF athletes. Tyrone Hamid, cleared the two-meter mark in the High Jump, making it the first time in 15 years that that feat was achieved.

GDF athletes gained high praise from Athletics Coach, Robert Chisholm, and Assistant Coach, Raul Griffith. “Our athletes pulled out every stop! Our mission was to win and, like true soldiers, the athletes took to the field and delivered,” said Chisholm. Addressing the loss at swimming, Chisholm would only say that the services of a swimming coach will ensure that the GDF excels in that event come 2016.

Commander in Chief Brigadier (ret’d) David Granger, declared the meet open, also presented the winner’s trophy to the GDF for taking top honours the performances of the GDF athletes at the March Past.

The Chief of Staff Officers and Ranks of the Force commend and congratulate Team GDF on their superb performances and for successfully defending their title as ISAAC Champions!