Dec 03, 2009 News
…Graduates among New Special Forces Troops
As the army continues activities to mark its 44th anniversary it has recorded another first for women in its ranks. On Tuesday, 20884 Woman Private (W/PTE) Melika Scotland made history when she graduated as the Guyana Defence Force’s first ever-female paratrooper.
During a simple but significant ceremony W/PTE Scotland received her paratrooper’s wings at the Headquarters of the 31 Special Forces Squadron at Base Camp Stephenson, Timehri.
Loudly celebrated with a standing ovation for her bravery, Scotland was one of 36, including three Officers, who graduated from the first paratrooper’s course to be conducted by the Special Forces since 2002.
In addition to the 36 paratroopers who graduated, sixteen 31SF ranks also graduated from their Grade III SF Course, the first of its kind to be conducted entirely by the Unit.
20924 Pte Celvar Narine won awards for being the Best Graduating Student and the Best Shot. The Runner-up Best graduating student was 21437 PTE Narvin Mahadeo while the nod for Best Fitness went to 20845 PTE Oral Younge.
Addressing the graduates, Chief-of-Staff, Commodore Gary Best, offered high praises to W/PTE Scotland and dubbed her graduation “a signal achievement for her to become the first female paratrooper in the Force”.
Congratulating the other graduates for completing the rigorous and demanding training, the COS said, “Special Forces Officers and Ranks were a special bunch of men and women” who “we depend on to perform the most dangerous tasks; tasks that only you can perform.” He advised them that they will always be among the first response teams, should Guyana’s national security be threatened.
The army chief also explained that despite the training the ranks received they should continually seek to understand what is unfolding in the wider society.
The SF graduates were reminded that although they are part of a specialist unit, that they are not separate from the rest of the Force. They were further reminded to work within the chain of command, with the highest degree of professionalism and maintaining high levels of discipline.
Special Forces training is designed to equip SF soldiers with skills and acumen at a higher level that the average soldier. This course, which was conducted over the course of 10 weeks, has resulted in 70% of the SF Unit now being specialist-trained.
The Course was conducted in three phases: the specialist phase, the jungle phase and the paratrooping phase.
The graduates of the Course were challenged to apply their learning in a manner, which will serve to strengthen the Unit and the Force.
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