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Brothers and Sisters in Arms, on Saturday the 1st of November we observed the 49th anniversary of the Guyana Defence Force.

Today at this our Thanksgiving Service Iextend to you all, Greetings.

We have completed 49 years with a mission statement which reads, and I quote, “To defend the territorial integrity of Guyana, to assist the civil power in the maintenance of law and order, and to contribute to the economic development of this country.”

Our theme for this year, “Towards Greater Operational Readiness for National Defence and Security”, remains appropriate as we usher in our 50th year of Service to the people of Guyana.

My message today is therefore one of Service to our Nation. And notwithstanding what is happening around us, the Guyana Defence Force must function to earn the respect of the citizens of Guyana.

 We must lead in the Defence and security sector, we must contribute to the Development of Guyana, we must collaborate on diplomatic initiatives since Diplomacy remains our first line of Defence, and we must commit ourselves to safeguarding Democracy in Guyana.

As we serve, we must uphold and live the Values and Standards of the Guyana Defence Force, since discipline is the mark of intelligent living.Our Performance, our Professionalism, and Compliance with our Standing Operating Procedures will enhance our Service.

Similarly, we must be Responsible and Accountable as we perform our role, and accomplish our missions and tasks, during our 50th year of service to our Nation.

As a Force, we must continue to improve our operational readiness; Defence Headquarters will continue to facilitate improvements to our health services and facilities, and the well-being, welfare and quality of life issues on all bases and locations.

Special attention will be placed on the training and professional development of all ranks, including our civilians.  And for our 50th year of service, we must renew our focus on the empowerment of our female soldiers and civilians.

To our Veterans, we recognize your service, and will continue to embrace you during our 50th year as we commemorate the past, celebrate the present, and mold the future.

Congratulations to all Officers, Ranks, Civilians, and Veterans of the GDF, as we observe our 49th Anniversary of Service to the Co-opertative Republic of Guyana.

Happy 49th Anniversary!