A total of 25 cadets successfully completed the Standard Officers Course (SOC 51) and were conferred by the Guyana Defence Force on Wednesday via video conference at the Colonel Ulric Pilgrim Officer School Lecture Hall at Base Camp Stephenson, Timehri.
SOC 51 commenced in June 2018 with 54 students, but 25 of them have withstood the rigorousness training and will officially become Officers following the completion of all the Commissioning activities which will end on Friday, June 26. Among the officers are two from the Antigua and Barbuda Defence Force, one from the Belize Coast Guard and another from the Jamaica Defence Force.
His Excellency President David A. Granger delivered a charge that encouraged the graduates to display professional values as the GDF plays an important role in protecting the nation’s patrimony, independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity.
“I charge you to ensure continued adherence to your professional values and standard and enhancement of the force’s capability and in your service to our citizens, to our country and the Caribbean,” the Head of State said.
President Granger told the graduates that as Officers they must embrace the five values of duty, discipline, identity, integrity, and loyalty.
“Duty, obliging them to display dedication in the performance of their function. Discipline for maintaining organisation cohesiveness, identity determining how officers relate to their comrades of the corps and the country. Integrity prescribing honesty in officers’ relation with their superiors and subordinates and loyalty binding officers to the service of their country,” he stated.
President Granger spoke of the critical role the Officers will play in protecting Guyana’s borders taking into consideration the ongoing controversy with neighbouring Venezuela. That case is slated to be heard in the International Court of Justice on June 30, 2020.
Guyana is seeking to obtain a final and binding judgment from the Court that the 1899 Arbitral Award, which established the location of the land boundary between then-British Guiana and Venezuela, remains valid and binding, and that the Essequibo region belongs to Guyana, and not Venezuela. President Granger noted that Guyana “expects a favourable outcome that will assure future generations of territorial security of their homeland.”