The Guyana Defence Force has been rocked by the news that Lieutenant Colonel Tony Ross, who collapsed yesterday, was pronounced dead upon arrival at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation.
Chief-of-Staff of the Guyana Defence Force, Commodore Gary Best, made public the news of Ross’s passing at the Soldiers Day observances at Camp Ayanganna yesterday, and the officers and soldiers observed a one-minute silence in Ross’s memory.
The Chief-of-Staff, along with other senior officers, also visited the family of the late Lieutenant Colonel, and extended condolences on behalf of the officers and ranks of the army.
According to a press release from Camp Ayanganna, Lieutenant Colonel Ross, 49, served the Guyana Defence Force and Guyana with distinction.
He enlisted as a Cadet Officer on September1, 1982 and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant on February 15, 1984. He obtained the rank of Lieutenant Colonel on February1last.
Ross completed several courses locally and overseas, and held several appointments within the army during his career.
He became an almost well known public figure when he was court martialled following the disappearance of 33 AK-47 assault rifles from the GDF Headquarters in 2006.
He was found guilty of negligence earlier this year, and was docked one year’s seniority.
Lt. Col. Ross, who it is believed suffered a heart attack, leaves to mourn his wife, Ruth, four children, his grandchildren, his parents, brothers and sisters, uncles, aunts and several other relatives.
And a few hours later, another senior army officer, Coast Guard Lieutenant Commander Lalta Narine, collapsed and died.
He had been an active participant at Soldiers’ Day yesterday.
The army said that Lt C’dr Narine left the event at Camp Ayanganna, which was presided over by President Bharrat Jagdeo, went home, then collapsed and died.
His death has further plunged the army into turmoil.
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