Officers currently participating in the Guyana Defence Force’s (GDF) Standard Officers’ Course #48 were today, encouraged to uphold the maxims of loyalty, honesty, trust, honour, courage and discipline, and remain steadfast to the core values of the Force as they continue to serve the nation.
The call came from the Commander-in- Chief of the Armed Forces, Brigadier (R’td) David Granger as he declared the course open at the Colonel Ulric Pilgrim Officer Cadet School, Base Camp Stephenson, Timehri.
The officers were told that the experience to be had from this course will be one that should last them a lifetime since the school was opened out of a need to produce officers of the highest calibre.
The school, which was opened 34 years ago, President Granger said, was done at a time when Guyana was under threat and remains under threat even today.
Reflecting on an incident which is still fresh in his mind, the Head of State reminded the officers of the attack on an exploration vessel in Guyana’s waters in 2013.
To this end, the President said, “the need to have well trained officers has never been diminished.”
However, he sought to point out that while there is need for trained officers and the importance of training, he underscored the need for officers to uphold the maxims, all of which, he said, would be expounded on during the training.
Reference was also made of the 2009 incident where several Army ranks were charged with the murder of a gold miner, an incident, which the President said, will always remain difficult for him.
Speaking specifically to the incident, the President said, “This is not the GDF I joined and commanded, and not the GDF that Guyana wanted.”
It was after that incident, the Head of State said he penned a book, which encapsulates the core values of the Army, the five core values, and the five core standards by which all ranks should live and serve.
He noted that while it is imperative for the army to be equipped with the necessary military equipment, it is equally important to be equipped morally.
“You are here to use these arms and weapons to protect the territorial integrity of this country. While the material factor is needed, what is more important are the moral forces.”
The President reminded the Officers that defence is conducted by human beings, and it is the attitudes, beliefs, conduct, determination and the education of all ranks that will determine the outcome of any military operation in addition to the material forces.
“In my view the moral forces, the non-material forces are more important, so I want you to remember that, it’s not what’s on your shoulder, but it’s what is in your head that will determine the outcome of any military operation.”
The Officers were reminded that their mission would not be accomplished individually, but collectively as a platoon or a force.
However, the President pointed out that these forces will always need leaders, and it is for this reason training is vital.
“That is why we have institutions like CUPOC, the Officers’ Cadet School, this is where we train our future commanders, our future leaders, the task of command is given to officers, is given to people who hold office and official position.”
The need for leaders to be highly qualified and have expertise knowledge while carrying out their function, was also stressed.
In congratulating the officers on their participation in the course, they were all urged to remember their motto at all times.
Forty-five officer cadets, including two each from Belize and St. Kitts commenced training on April 1.
Areas to be covered include, open country warfare, to be conducted at Tacama Battle School, and over land patrol to the top of Kaieteur. (GINA)