On Thursday, twenty-one new officers of the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) took their oath of office in front of President Dr. Irfaan Ali, who serves as the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, demonstrating their suitability to hold military leadership positions. The Head of State also gave two warrant officers their instruments of warrant.
President Ali reminded the officers in his speech during the presentation of their instruments of commission at State House that they now have a responsibility to serve the nation honorably, to lead with purpose, and to protect it. As a matter of fact, he outlined that within their first year of service, they are required to learn Spanish, know the country’s foreign policies and undergo further studies at the University of Guyana.
“In keeping with my previous pronouncements, this Standard Officer Course #54 will now proceed on one additional year of rotation within the State of Guyana. You will now proceed in understanding that within one year, you must learn Spanish; you must be competent in the language. “You must also understand within this year, you will be spending at least six weeks at the Foreign Service Institute so that you can have a full understanding of all aspects in relation to our foreign policies, our diplomacy, and its link and relation to defense,” President Ali mandated.
The officers are also required to spend a minimum of six weeks familiarizing themselves with an orientation course and the fundamentals of strategic studies at the University of Guyana. “Training lies at the core of military readiness, forming an essential pillar of effective military leadership. This leadership, in turn, demands a thorough understanding of strategy, tactics and decision-making,” the President said.
Noting that military studies have become more complex and technical in the orientation, President Ali told the officers that the commission is a legal instrument that authorizes them to make critical decisions and lead within the military hierarchy.
“Combat readiness demands attitude and expertise in a wide range of skills including leadership and decision-making, technological proficiency, cyber security, critical thinking and problem-solving, diplomacy, and peace studies. “The military leader is now expected to know about military logistics and administration without neglecting the more regular and routine elements of training,” the President said.
Further, he reminded the officers that they are now obligated to defend and preserve the constitution of the country. “As officers, you are duty bound to be loyal to the state of Guyana….It is not an option…Loyalty in this context signifies a steadfast devotion to the principles, values and interests that define the sovereignty and wellbeing of Guyana,” President Ali said.