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Florida National Guard Leads timely SHARP Interaction

Twenty- nine ranks of the Guyana Defence Force have recently benefitted from vigorous and informative discussions in a Subject Matter Expert Exchage (SMEE) which dealt with the issue of Sexual Harassment Assault , Response Prevention SHARP) facilitated by ranks of the Florida National Guard.

The SHARP session allowed for a frank and open exchange of dialogue on sexual and gender based issues

Captain Deon Heyligar , Officer Commanding of the Force Welfare Department   stated that the exchange was excellent in terms of the information communicated . She noted that the issue crossed all societal boundaries but pointed out that the issue of culture has a role to play. “For instance we discussed the matter of date rape drugs . Even though this is present in our culture , we would find that it is not as prevalent as the use of alcohol and marijuana,” she noted.

However, she said the topic was very pertinent as it related to the general well being of soldiers. “ When we come to the social and psycho-social issues , this creates the balance . The issues which plague society we have to deal with it here in the GDF as well , since it is from this very society we get out personnel. But here in the GDF we are grounded in discipline and so a session like this as well as other consequent follow-ups will results in behaviour change. We impose discipline in this organisation and foster good behaviour change,” she further explained.

In this regard, Captain Heyligar also alluded to the fact that the Force is made up of a primarily youthful population and so it was necessary for there to be clarifications as it related to misconceptions about sex.

The three day discussion was facilitated by FNG ranks Captain Melissa Schuster , Sergeant 1stClass Heather and Master Sergeant Mike Callahan.

The SHARP team agreed that the participants shared much with them and so the discussions were fruitful and beneficial to both sides. “ We were able to discuss ideas, experiences  and the GDF personnel helped  us to tailor the session to match their needs  and I think that this has set the stage for this kind of SMEE at the senior level,” Captain Schuster 

GDF dominates Annual Inter-Services Road Relay

The Guyana Defence Force (GDF) male team pulverise the attacks of the Guyana Police Force (GPF) and City Constabulary to emerge victorious at the recently concluded Annual Inter-Services Road Relay on Sunday, February 15.


The relay commenced at the Police Training School, Eve Leary, before it proceeded to the University of Guyana (UG) main road with the return leg finishing at the Guyana Police Service’s Sports Ground.

The GDF won the male category in a time of 35 minutes 22 seconds, with the GPF trailing and the City Constabulary bringing up the rear. In the female category the GPF emerged winners in a time of 43 minutes 17 seconds with the GDF trailing and City constabulary bringing up the rear.

In his closing remarks Deputy Chief of Staff, Col Kemraj Persaud, alluded to the importance of events like the road relay which is meant to keep the services in unity as the motto of the Joint Services is “Unity”.

The next Inter Services event will be the Joint Services Samuel Nelson, Mix Domino Competition on Thursday 19th and Friday 20th February, 2015.

Women’s Army Corps celebrates 48th Anniversary

The women of the Guyana Defence Force, represented by serving and retired female Officers and Ranks, gathered in the Auditorium at Base Camp Ayanganna on Wednesday, February 4th, for a celebratory thanksgiving church service, to mark the observance of the 48th anniversary of the Women’s Army Corps (WAC). As befitting tradition, their male counterparts joined them in commemorating the milestone.

While congratulating the WAC on its 48th anniversary, Chief of Staff, Brigadier Mark Phillips, also congratulated all the women of the GDF who were recently promoted.  “The Corps has come a long way and has served the Force and the nation well over those years,” he said. “in a universal military sub-culture characterised by male dominance, the leadership of the GDF has shifted from an organisational policy that limited our women soldiers to support-type duties such as catering, clerical, and medical, to one where our women Officers and soldiers are trained like their male counterparts on all courses offered by the GDF. We are therefore, preparing you to serve in any command and staff appointment throughout the GDF,” he added. Brigadier Phillips highlighted the breaking of the “glass ceiling” with the elevation of female officers to the rank of Colonel in the GDF. He noted too, that females in the GDF gained the same benefits regarding educational development, something, he said, the Force remains committed to deliver. “You are assured that none of us will doubt your value and significance to our country. I remain confident that, as a Corps, you will embrace the changes that are necessary for the development of the GDF. As such, you are expected to always conduct yourselves in such a manner as to continue earning the respect and support of the wider Guyanese society.”


Command changes at Base Camp Ayanganna as Lieutenant Colonel Baird Bids Farewell!

Command of Base Camp Ayanganna today changed hands when Lieutenant Colonel (Lt Col) Clement Baird formally handed over to Lieutenant Colonel Mark Thomas at a simple yet significant ceremony at the Drill Square at the base.


Lt. Col Baird, who proceeds on retirement this year, says that in handing over command to Lt Col Thomas, he knows that the base’s administration is in competent hands. Acknowledging the challenging nature of the appointment, Baird says that his tenure as Base Commander was a good one. “There have been ups and downs, but by and large, it has been rewarding,” he said, “I ask that you all support Lt Col Thomas as you have supported me during my command.”

Reflecting on his 32 years of service to the GDF and Guyana, Baird said that it is a phase of his life for which he will always have fond memories. “If I had to ask God to live my life all over again, I will ask to be allowed to serve with the GDF. There is nothing better than military service!” he said. Almost overcome with emotion, he went on to thank all the troops with whom he had the opportunity to serve. As a parting shot, he challenged the serving soldiers to embrace education. “This is the best time to be serving in the GDF. There has never before been such an effort to educate our ranks like there is today. Seize the opportunities. The education products of the Force are to go online soon. Make use of your time to access the material and learn,” he entreated.

Lt Colonel Baird also thanked the GDF for allowing him the opportunity to serve and said that he is confident that the leadership of the Force will ensure its progress and prosperity.


Colonel Wilbert Lee heads GDF’s Promotion’s List!

In accordance with the Defence Act Chapter 15:01 of 1977, Guyana Defence Force Chief-of-Staff Brigadier Mark Phillips, has announced that His Excellency, the President and Commander-in-Chief, has approved the promotions of 83 Officers and 436 Other Ranks effective from January 1, 2015.


The Force has made history this year with the largest recorded number of Officers being promoted to the rank of Colonel at the same time. Leading that list is Lieutenant Colonel Wilbert Lee, Base Commander of Base Camp Stephenson, who was promoted to the rank of Substantive Colonel. It is also the first time in the Force’s history that four female officers were promoted collectively in the senior officers’ bracket.

Lieutenant Colonels Jawahar Persaud, Cargill Kyte, Patrick West, Nazrul Hussain, Ann McLennan and Lieutenant Colonel Paul Arthur were promoted to the rank of Acting Colonel. Commander Gary Beaton, who heads the Force’s Coast Guard will now wear the rank of Acting Captain Coast Guard, the equivalent to Acting Colonel.

Acting Lieutenant Colonels Dwain Jervis, Trevor Bowman and Kenlloyd Roberts were confirmed in their rank while Majors Collin Henry, Mark Thomas, Courtney Byrne, Natasha Stanford and Lorraine Foster have been promoted to the rank of Acting Lieutenant Colonel.

Ten Majors, have been confirmed in their rank, while Substantive Captains Tyrone Smith, Marvin Chichester, Lancelot Lynch, Christine Bradford-Porter, Lloyd Glen, Clifton Sam and Nigel Langhorne have been promoted to Acting Major. Nine Acting Captains, including one female, are now confirmed in their rank, while 14 Substantive Lieutenants have been promoted to the rank of Acting Captain with effect from January 1, 2015.

Eight Acting Lieutenants have been promoted to Substantive Lieutenant, while six  Second Lieutenants have been promoted to Acting Lieutenants.

In the Coast Guard, Acting Commander (CG) Orin Porter, Acting Lieutenant Commander (CG) Roger Nurse as well as Acting Lieutenant Paul Castello, have been confirmed in their rank while Substantive Sub Lieutenants Shennel Europe, Raul Williams, Quincy Agard and Andre Kwang been promoted to Acting Lieutenants (CG).

Five Acting Sub Lieutenants have been confirmed in their rank and Midshipman Eweart Andrews is now an Acting Sub Lieutenant.

Meanwhile four hundred and thirty-sixty Other Ranks have been promoted. Of this number, 96 have been confirmed in their rank while 272 have been elevated in rank. Heading this group are Warrant Officers Class Two Marlon Daniels and Raul Rodney who have been promoted to Acting Warrant Officers Class One.

Warrant Officers Class Two; Marvin Pilgrim, Sekou Mitchell, Christopher Harmon, Bryan Ferdinand, Ray Herman, Andre Worrell, Wilfred Semple and Selwyn Douglas were confirmed in their appointment. The remaining 253 Other Ranks were promoted through ranks ranging from Acting Warrant Officer Class Two, to Acting Lance Corporal.

Other promotions in the Coast Guard saw Acting Senior Petty Officer Wayne Nurse  being elevated in rank to Substantive Senior Petty Officer . Meanwhile, three Acting Petty Officers were confirmed in their rank while seven Substantive Leading Ratings are now Acting Petty Officers. Four Acting Leading Ratings are now confirmed in their rank. Additionally, six Substantive Able Ratings have been promoted to Acting leading Ratings while eleven Acting Able ratings have been confirmed in their rank. Ordinary Ratings Vinton Blair , Denwin Adams and Quincy Burton have been promoted to Substantive Able Ratings and ten other Ordinary Ratings have been elevated to the rank of Acting Able Rating.

At a simple yet significant Badging Ceremony held this afternoon, the newly promoted Senior Officers were decorated with their new badges of rank by the Chief-Of-Staff, who was assisted by Colonel Administration and Quartering , Captain Coast Guard, John Flores. The Officers were congratulated by the other Senior Officers present and the recently promoted Majors were welcomed to the Corps of Senior Officers. In brief remarks Brigadier Phillips pointed out that promotion recognises all Officers and Other Ranks for their performance, professionalism and service within and outside of the GDF. To this end, he referred to Colonels Jawahar Persaud and Ann Mc Lennan who hold other positions outside of the GDF but in continued service to the Country. Persaud is the current Accountant General while McLennan is a sitting Magistrate.

He alluded to the efforts being made by the Officers towards the development of the Guyana Defence Force and called for continued professional service to the country.

The Commander-in-Chief and Chief-of-Staff have extended congratulations to all the newly promoted Officers and Other Ranks.