Attorney General Dale Marshall has urged 41 new soldiers not to allow themselves to be lured into actions that will erode their integrity, decency and trustworthiness.
Mr. Marshall gave this advice as he delivered the feature address at the Barbados Defence Force’s (BDF) Recruit Intake 1/21 Passing Out Parade last Saturday evening, at St. Ann’s Fort, The Garrison.
The Attorney General warned the soldiers that being in the BDF would not put any of them above the law. He continued: “Respect yourselves and demand respect from your counterparts; [and] be ever conscious of the security implications of what you do and what you say…especially. You must never discuss matters of a security nature outside of the confines of your military responsibility.
“Social media can be your friend, but it can also be your enemy. Let dignity, honour, pride and industry be reflected in the discharge of your duties as you go about them daily, as you serve through the ranks of the [Barbados] Defence Force.”
Mr. Marshall said Barbados was not immune to existing security threats. Therefore, he stated, it was important that the BDF and all other security agencies here be ready to respond in the aftermath of events, and also be involved in proactive and decisive action to counter, and if necessary, eliminate any threats to the country’s peace, stability and security.
He told his audience: “The [Barbados] Defence Force, as one of the primary elements of this island’s security architecture, must, of necessity, always be ready to respond on a 24-hour basis daily, and at very short notice. Indeed, the nature and scope of the multi-dimensional and trans-national threats to our national security and to the safety of our people demand that the land and maritime forces of our small island be fully prepared to confront and, if necessary, eliminate threats with swift dispatch.”
In praising the BDF, the Attorney General said its readiness to respond to various requests for assistance, whether at home or within the region, was noteworthy.
He added that notwithstanding the manpower and resource challenges, the Defence Force had demonstrated its capacity to accomplish tasks which, at many times, might seem nearly impossible.
Curriculum Development Officer at the BDF’s Training and Development Institute, Captain Dr. Dreana Marshall, said the 16-week recruit training commenced last October 15, with 57 recruits. She added that the training syllabus was designed to produce a physically fit, disciplined and motivated soldier.
Dr. Marshall told the families present that as the soldiers progressed throughout their careers, they would require their steadfast support. She asked the families to continue encouraging them along their journey.
The Best Recruit was awarded to Justin Edwards, while the Runner-Up Best Recruit was Keshon Waterman, who also received an award for Best at Drill.
The other awardees were: Shyeam Jones-Coombs for Best Shot; Jade Yearwood for Best at Physical Fitness; Kristian Doughty for Best at Academics, and Raheem Sargeant for Best Among Peers. Recruit Intake 1/22 is expected to commence in July.