Chief- of- Staff of the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) , Brigadier Patrick West Wednesday promoted a batch of Officer Cadets undergoing training on the Standard Officer Course Number 52,to the rank of Ensign.
This signaled their half-way completion of the course which was extended to 24 months, allowing for students to benefit from an improved and restructured programme which extends the range of knowledge and skills training for potential Officers.
The Ensigncy parade was held at the Colonel Ulric Pilgrim Officer Cadet School (CUPOCS) Drill Square at Base Camp Stephenson Timehri.
Major Jose Ferriera is the Officer Commanding of the course. Due to COVID-19 precautions, yesterday’s parade was unique and was conducted minus the traditional pomp and ceremony which allows for the close relatives of the students to be in attendance.
However, relatives were able to view the parade, as it occurred Live on the GDF’s Facebook page.
Nineteen Officer Cadets were adorned with their new badges of rank by Chief of Staff West, assisted by Commanding Officer of the Training Corps, Lieutenant Colonel Ken-Lloyd Roberts.
Four of the cadets were two each from the Belize Defence Force and Belize Coast Guard respectively, two from the Antigua and Barbuda Defence Force, one from the St Kitts and Nevis Defence Force, one from the Guyana Fire Service, one from the Guyana Prison Service, while the remaining 10 will serve the Guyana Defence Force.
In his address to the newly promoted Ensigns, Chief of Staff, West noted that he has been observing their training at different phases and stages and seeing them achieve core competencies.
He told the Ensigns that their determination and persistence are commendable and urged that it was the same tenacity that will get them through year two and ultimately, to commissioning.
“In your quiet moments, when you reflect on your training, you will realise that it targeted your weaknesses and made you overcome failures to become better versions of yourselves. You are tougher, stronger, physically and mentally fitter and better prepared for officership,” Brigadier West urged.
He reminded the Ensigns that their second year of training would push them more academically, so that they can achieve an Associate Degree in General Studies from the University of Guyana.
“I challenge SOC 52 to ensure that at graduation in 2021, none of you should graduate with a pass… I expect credits and distinctions only…I believe in you .. I just need you to believe in yourself and work hard to support that belief!” he urged the Ensigns.
The Chief Of Staff also urged the newly promoted Ensigns to begin to envision how they could make their contributions to the transformation of GDF and, in this regard, suggested that they get involved in Science , Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.
Brigadier West further reminded the Ensigns that they must commit to finishing the course strong and remain steadfast in their determination to complete the final leg of their journey.
As part of yesterday’s proceedings, the Ensigns also performed a Silent Drill Display. This first year of the programme focused on military studies while the remainder will focus more on academics.