Police Cadet Officer John Barker copped the Best Graduating Student prize from a field of 32 Ensigns at the conclusion of the Standard Officers’ Course Number 42.
Barker edged out Woman Second Lieutenant Texine Daw who became the first female officer to be adjudged the First Runner-up on the course.
Fifteen ranks from the Guyana Police Force, eight from the Guyana Defence Force, four each from the Guyana Fire and Prison Services and one Belizean were yesterday decorated with their badge of rank by Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, President Bharrat Jagdeo, after completing the grueling one-year course.
The Head of State in his address to the new officers said he has high expectations that their success in the course represents the start of a career in which they will build on their earlier accomplishments.
He said that the government has over time shown sustained confidence in the Officer Corps of the GDF, and the law enforcement agencies.
“We continue to invest in this important aspect of military life,” the Head of State said.
The Standard Officers’ Course was developed to provide training not only for new army officers but also for new officers of the other services. It is designed to provide a solid foundation for the subsequent professional development of all cadets entering the Guyana Defence Force.
It is only an introduction to the officer training and development systems of all military and para-military services in Guyana and the Caribbean.
The syllabus of the course includes an intensive programme of military skills and tactics, rigorous physical fitness, team activities designed to promote stamina and group spirit, leadership and command methods, management techniques, military law and national policy.
President Jagdeo noted that in their future career in the military, the officers will benefit from many additional opportunities to acquire other lifelong skills which are needed for a comfortable existence.
The President said that he hopes that these opportunities be constructively utilized for the benefit of the officers’ families and Guyana.
He did not forget to remind them that the current times are challenging and urged the new officers to be cognizant of these challenges since they would influence their own role in the military.
“The military in the face of these challenges is expected to be adaptable while playing its part in contributing to the welfare of all Guyanese,” the Commander in Chief pointed out.
The course’s Best Graduating Student, Cadet Officer Barker noted that it was physically and mentally challenging, but beneficial.
“What I have learnt will live with me forever. It was a million-dollar experience that I would not trade for anything,” he said.
Police Commissioner Henry Greene who was part of the distinguished gathering which also included senior military officials from neighbouring Brazil and Venezuela, as well as relatives of the newly commissioned officers, expressed his congratulation to the young police officer and his colleagues.
“It was very commendable, I’m very happy with it. Very, very good performance,” Greene told Kaieteur News. He disclosed that the police force has shortlisted 30 more ranks to be part of the next Standard Officers’ Course.
Apart from the Sword of Honour, Barker was also awarded the Brazillian and Venezuelan Armed Forces prizes. Cadet Officer Ronjay Prince, also of the Guyana Police Force was awarded the Best Drill trophy, while another policeman Himnauth Sawh copped the Military Knowledge trophy.
The best shot prize went to second lieutenant Madainey Humphrey of the Guyana Defence Force.
Woman second lieutenant Texine Daw noted that despite the fact that the course was physically and mentally demanding, it taught her the skills that could be applied in everyday life.
“The morals and values that I have learnt will stay with me forever. SOC #42 was an experience with lifetime memories,” the female officer said. Twenty-year-old Belizean Army Officer, Danny Shal said, “Officers don’t steal, cheat or lie”. “The rules were simple. Everything fell into place and made me the successful and confident officer I am and will ever be.”
Today the new officers will receive their state commission as Gazetted Officers.
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