Guyana Defence Force Website Banner

Chief of Staff formally opens Basic Recruit Course

It was a resounding no-show of hands when Guyana Defence Force Chief of Staff, Brigadier Mark Phillips, asked assembled recruits of the GDF’s Basic Recruit Course (BRC) the question, “who wants to go home?” Brigadier Phillips was, at the time, addressing the recruits prior to formally declaring the course, the first for 2014, officially open.

“You chose to be here,” he said, “we advertised, and you made that choice (to come) for a particular purpose,” he observed. Addressing their acknowledgement that, their choice to become soldiers, was driven by the need to develop themselves professionally, the COS said, “We will continue to provide you with opportunities providing you stay the course. This is the first step.” Alluding to the quotation that says “...a journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step...” the COS explained that, their first step was to successfully complete the (BRC). Recounting his own experience while on training in Brazil some 30 years ago, the COS explained that it was about “sweating, and hard training since, he and his colleagues had no intention of being seen as failures, upon their return to Guyana.

Noting that the GDF is committed to making them into worthy soldiers and better men from when they first made their decision, he emphasised that they had to grow up overnight. “I congratulate you on taking this decision to join the GDF and to serve your country. But, you will have to grow up overnight! Your focus has to be on embracing fitness, obedience, loyalty, discipline and developing skills. Academic training is included in your basic training to enhance your overall capabilities. We will train you hard!” he said. “You will surely miss your loved ones and the familiar comfort of surroundings that you are accustomed to. You have to put those into the back of your mind, for the 10 weeks that you will be in training. Your loved ones are looking forward to you passing this course and realising your dreams. Resist the temptation to run and focus on becoming the best soldier you can!” he added.

The cadre of recruits currently totals 291, One hundred and ninety eight recruits are being trained at the Colonel John Clarke Military School (CJCMS) at Tacama, while 93 others are at the GDF Base Camp Seweyo on the Linden-Soesdyke Highway. Those being trained at Seweyo, have been earmarked for posting to the technical units of the Force following their anticipated success.

Following the formal opening of the Course at both locations, Brigadier Phillips toured the training bases. During his tour of Base Camp Seweyo, a member of the mess staff, Private Marissa Gilkes gained on-the-spot promotion, to the rank of Acting Lance Corporal.

This first BRC is scheduled to be completed after ten weeks of training.