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Commander in Chief charges new soldiers to live by the Values and Standards of the GDF

Congratulating some 270 new soldiers, Commander in Chief, His Excellency Brigadier (ret’d) David Granger, charged them to live by the Values and Standards of the Guyana Defence Force (GDF).  He emphasised that the lessons learned during their training are embodied in a little green book entitled the Values and Standards of the GDF.

“The five core values of  soldiering are duty, discipline, identity, integrity and loyalty. The Standards are responsibility; respect for the Law and others, particularly other citizens and the vulnerable; correct conduct, in and out of uniform, and appropriate social behaviour,” These, he said, summarise the principles of the GDF.  “The booklet was designed as a pocket book to fit into your left breast pocket. It must stay with you throughout your career. You have chosen to serve Guyana, not to serve yourself, your religion, your race, your family or your community! You will serve the entire country! You have not trained to be a lone ranger and you will not serve alone, but as a collection: either as a section, a platoon, a battalion and so on,” he said.

The Commander in Chief explained that, although weapons, barrack rooms and food are important considerations in successful military life, it is the moral forces: attitude, conduct, belief that were most important.  “Team spirit is most important. When you breach the values and desecrate the standards, team spirit is broken. Breaching the code alienates you and you become a lone ranger. What matters is your attitudes, belief, conduct and education!” “There are certain qualities that you as soldiers must have. The first is intelligence. You must have the ability to acquire knowledge and skills and develop the capacity to learn and to reason. The second is industry: you must learn to work hard. That is why this training school is located here in this environment. Military service is meant to be tough. Only the tough have survived this course!” he observed. “You must also have endurance. The GDF is not a place for quitters! You must demonstrate endurance. Twenty years from now, most of you may not be in the GDF, some may meet retirement age. But as long as you serve, you must never forget! Never forget the lessons, nor your squaddies, nor your oath of allegiance! Wherever you go, never forget! Be the best you can be! This is an opportunity for you to grasp the bounty of education! You must want to acquire education. GDF is an excellent schoolhouse. Seize the opportunity to acquire education! If you have no ambition, then this is not the place for you.”

The Commander in Chief urged the soldiers to “...learn, lead and live life to its fullest in this just career that you have embarked upon!”

The CinC also presented the awards to the soldiers who had excelled. Private (PTE) Quacy Fraser was awarded Best Graduating Student, while the PTE Carl McKenzie was awarded the Runner Up spot. The award for Best Fitness went to PTE Marvin Datson, with Best Drill going to PTE Orandy Dawson, Best Shot to PTE Ivor Daniels and Best Military Knowledge going to PTE Jamal Johnson.

Training for this, the first Basic Recruit Course for 2015, was conducted with one cohort at the Colonel John Clarke Military School (CJCMS) at Tacama, and a second cohort at Base Camp Seweyo.

 

 

 

"No other agency can do what you do at Coast Guard..." CinC to Coast Guard

Commander in Chief, His Excellency Brigadier (ret’d) David Granger, urged Officers and Ratings of the Guyana Defence Force Coast Guard to take care of the assets in their possession even as he committed to ensuring the professional and operational development of the Unit. “You are the best defence Guyana has against maritime crimes. You have a responsibility to protect our assets; to protect our fishermen. Foreign trade is to be protected and our citizens are to be kept safe as they traverse our coastal communities,” he said. “Government will continue to provide you with the resources. On your part, you are to look after the equipment. Continue to do your duty. Continue to serve your country. This government will continue to ensure that you have the resources you need to perform your duties.”

The Commander in Chief (CinC) issued the charge and made the commitment on June 1, during his first visit to Coast Guard Ship Hinds (CGSH) at Ruimveldt, where he met first with senior commanders and officers of the Coast Guard. Prior to addressing the officers and troops, the CinC was first briefed by Captain (CG) Gary Beaton, on the role, responsibilities and operational readiness of the Unit. During the briefing, and in the presence of Chief of Staff Brigadier Mark Phillips and other Senior Officers, Captain (CG) Beaton outlined for the CinC, the current situation as it relates to operational responsibilities, human and technical resources, and training for CG troops. He made the case that the Unit’s troop strength needs to be increased while acquiring more marine assets, in order to ensure that the Coast Guard can truly impact the national maritime environment in service to the nation, especially as it relates to militating against maritime crimes.

Following the brief, the CinC was taken on a tour the facilities at the Coast Guard Headquarters. The tour included an inspection of the marine maintenance shops, CG vessels, and the Guyana Police Force’s floating base which is currently berthed alongside the wharf at CGSH. He also experienced a short trip in the Georgetown Harbour aboard one of Coast Guard’s Metal Shark vessels.

Speaking to the issue of resourcing, the CinC explained that the Coast Guard “...takes a huge bite out of the GDF’s budget.” He assured that this notwithstanding; the task of the Coast Guard is immense. “You have some 58000 sqkm of sea space to protect.  Make no mistake the waters I speak of are Guyana’s waters. You are not only looking after our rivers and coastland, you are protecting the patrimony of Guyana. You have a wide seascape and limited assets. You are to take care of these assets. Every time we acquire assets for the Coast Guard, it means that we are shifting financial resources away from another area that is in need of development,” he said. “I am better aware today of the challenges. I am committed to strengthening the Coast Guard. The Coast Guard must be brought up to strength. We are going to consider a Reserve to be trained to augment your operational readiness.”

Commander in Chief, His Excellency Brigadier (ret’d) David Granger, urged Officers and Ratings of the Guyana Defence Force Coast Guard to take care of the assets in their possession even as he committed to ensuring the professional and operational development of the Unit. “You are the best defence Guyana has against maritime crimes. You have a responsibility to protect our assets; to protect our fishermen. Foreign trade is to be protected and our citizens are to be kept safe as they traverse our coastal communities,” he said. “Government will continue to provide you with the resources. On your part, you are to look after the equipment. Continue to do your duty. Continue to serve your country. This government will continue to ensure that you have the resources you need to perform your duties.”

The Commander in Chief (CinC) issued the charge and made the commitment on June 1, during his first visit to Coast Guard Ship Hinds (CGSH) at Ruimveldt, where he met first with senior commanders and officers of the Coast Guard. Prior to addressing the officers and troops, the CinC was first briefed by Captain (CG) Gary Beaton, on the role, responsibilities and operational readiness of the Unit. During the briefing, and in the presence of Chief of Staff Brigadier Mark Phillips and other Senior Officers, Captain (CG) Beaton outlined for the CinC, the current situation as it relates to operational responsibilities, human and technical resources, and training for CG troops. He made the case that the Unit’s troop strength needs to be increased while acquiring more marine assets, in order to ensure that the Coast Guard can truly impact the national maritime environment in service to the nation, especially as it relates to militating against maritime crimes.

Following the brief, the CinC was taken on a tour the facilities at the Coast Guard Headquarters. The tour included an inspection of the marine maintenance shops, CG vessels, and the Guyana Police Force’s floating base which is currently berthed alongside the wharf at CGSH. He also experienced a short trip in the Georgetown Harbour aboard one of Coast Guard’s Metal Shark vessels.

Speaking to the issue of resourcing, the CinC explained that the Coast Guard “...takes a huge bite out of the GDF’s budget.” He assured that this notwithstanding; the task of the Coast Guard is immense. “You have some 58000 sqkm of sea space to protect.  Make no mistake the waters I speak of are Guyana’s waters. You are not only looking after our rivers and coastland, you are protecting the patrimony of Guyana. You have a wide seascape and limited assets. You are to take care of these assets. Every time we acquire assets for the Coast Guard, it means that we are shifting financial resources away from another area that is in need of development,” he said. “I am better aware today of the challenges. I am committed to strengthening the Coast Guard. The Coast Guard must be brought up to strength. We are going to consider a Reserve to be trained to augment your operational readiness.”

 

COMMANDER IN CHIEF MAKES FIRST WORKING VISIT TO GDF- DECLARES OPEN STANDARD OFFICERS COURSE #48

Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of Guyana, His Excellency David Arthur Granger today paid his first official visit to the Guyana Defence Force at Base Camp Stephenson where he declared open the Standard Officers Course #48.

The objective of the course is to produce an Officer who can lead and administer soldiers, while upholding the values and standards of their respective militaries. There are currently thirty three students on the course which includes two students from the Belize Defence Force, and two from the St Kitts and Nevis Defence Force. Of the Forty –five students who began training, one Officer Cadet (OCDT) Brittany Van Lange of the GDF was selected to attend the West Point Military Academy in the United States, and the other 11 discontinued training due to medical and other reasons.

In a well focused and guided presentation to the Cadets, the Commander-in-Chief congratulated the cadets for choosing what he termed, “the best profession” in the world. He outlined the reason for their grooming and training for leadership stating that, “no corners can be cut.” He recollected that very early in the development of the GDF commanders saw the need to produce officers of the highest calibre given the threats that were facing Guyana at the time, thus the establishment of the Colonel Ulric Pilgrim Officer Cadet School.

He singled out the qualities of Loyalty, Honesty, Worth, Courage, Discipline and Steadfastness as those which Officers must possess. President Granger in 2009 compiled a booklet which captures, in an instructive manner, the Core Values and Standards of the Force. Today, he told the budding officers that the book is their catechism and they must read it so that their conduct can be properly guided. The booklet explains clearly and outlines what is expected of Officers and Soldiers in the Force. It also serves as guide to prevent them from being involved in activities which can bring the Force into disrepute.

He noted too that while defence is conducted by human beings, moral forces were more important. In this regard, he singled out attitude, belief, conduct, determination and education of all ranks, as the main factors that determined the outcome of military operations along with the material aspect. “It’s not what’s on your shoulders, but what is in your head that will determine the outcome of operations. An operation is not a one man show, it depends on a team that has to be commanded and that’s why we have CUPOCS. The task to command is given to officers. They have legal authority to exercise the function of command.... the CIC issues instruments individually to those who deserve it, “he said.

The CIC told the officers-in–training that expertise and training, social responsibility and corporate consciousness are the characters of professional Officers and as such are qualities they must understand and emulate.

President Granger also used the opportunity to announce his intention of restarting a National Cadet Corps. The President and several other retired outstanding members of the Force were part of the Queens College Cadet Corps which brought together youths between the ages of 12-18 and taught them leadership skills, team work, public service and exposed them to travel around their country. The Corps was later named the National Cadet Corps, then the Army Cadet Company and eventually disbanded. “ I believe that in the secondary school , youngsters should be exposed to teamwork to prepare them. Even if they don’t become members of the GDF, the skills they learn will stay with them throughout their respective careers. This is not militarisation. It was voluntary then and it will still be that way,” he said.

The motto of the Colonel Ulric Pilgrim Officer Cadet School is, “I serve Guyana”. The Commander in Chief commanded the motto to the Cadets and insisted, “Youwill not be disappointed. The military is the finest profession a young person in Guyana can choose.”

President Granger after his address toured the recently completed state of the art accommodation quarters for the Cadets and had lunch with them.

The Standard Officers Course #48 is scheduled to conclude in February next year with a Commissioning Parade.

GDF S ESSEQUIBO RETURNS TO INTERNATIONAL EXERCISES - DEPARTS FOR EXERCISE TRADEWINDS

The Guyana Defence Force Flagship, the GDFS Essequibo, has departed with a team for St. Kitts/ Nevis to participate in Exercise Trade winds.

Exercise Tradewinds is a United States Southern Command (USSOUTHCOM) sponsored training exercise held annually in the Caribbean and has two phases –Maritime and Land Operations. The Maritime Phase is scheduled to be held in St Kitts Nevis from May 30- June 9, 2015 and the Land Operations Phase is scheduled to be held in Belize from June 14-24.

The team comprises 4 Officers and 36 Other Ranks from the Coast Guard, and 3 Other Ranks as supporting staff drawn from across the Force. The team on board the vessel will participate exclusively in the Maritime phase.

Commanding Officer of the vessel, Lieutenant (Coast Guard) Adrian McLean explained that, ranks will be exposed to several aspects of training during the period. He also noted that additional ranks will join the exercise to conduct small boat operations training, and the maritime phase will culminate with a 2-day exercise.

The aim of Exercise Tradewinds is to help Caribbean nations to be better able to counter land and maritime security threats such as human smuggling and trafficking in illegal weapons and ammunition. 

THE GUYANA DEFENCE FORCE ATHLETICS CLUB COPPED 11 MEDALS FROM THE HAMPTON GAMES

A team from the Guyana Defence Force Athletics Club did their country proud, copping two gold, three silver and six bronze medals at the recently concluded Hampton Games in Trinidad and Tobago.

The members of the team were Petty Officer Leslain Baird, Lance Corporals Rupert Perry, Devin Fraser and Ashanti Scott, Ordinary Rating Laurex Stewart, Recruits Andrea Foster, Aniquah Prowley and Nutrina Hooper, Manager/Captain Jermaine Newton, Coach Robert Chishlom and Assistant Coach Rawle Griffith.

Baird broke his national javelin record with a throw of 67.60m to take gold, and bronze in the men’s triple jump while Andrea Foster delivered a sterling performance to cop gold, silver and bronze in the women’s 300m, 1500m and 800m respectively.

In addition, Aniquah Prowley also made her mark, when she copped silver in the women’s 100m. Darren Fraser, Rupert Perry and Natrena Hooper also added to the medal tally when they all won bronze in the men’s 100m, 200m and women’s triple jump respectively.

The men’s 4 x 100m and the women’s 4 x 400m also recorded strong finishes with the teams winning the bronze and silver medals respectively in the contested events.

The Head Coach, Robert Chishlom said he was pleased with the overall performance of his team, “Leslain broke his national record and this was the first exposure to these games for several of the athletes.” This was the first exposure at the games for Scott, Foster, Stewart and Prowley. He also attributed this year’s performance to the time athletes devoted to training.

In an interview with the two gold medallists who expressed their elation. Baird said “I felt good when I broke the record, I was a bit nervous competing with international athletes but I remembered what my coach said, don’t concentrate on competitors concentrate on distance so I went out there and did my best and I guess my hard work paid off.”

Foster said “I felt really really nice to have won the gold medal. I would like to thank the persons who believed in me like my coaches, Apostle and church members who has been praying for me. I felt great that I could have represented my country”

The Coach and other members of the team expressed gratitude to the Chief of Staff and the Guyana Defence Force for making their participation a reality.