Historic: New GDF recruits commissioned with UG degrees


The commissioning parade of the Guyana Defence Force’s Standard Officers Course 50 and Reserve Course 16 was held on Wednesday afternoon.

This ceremonial parade is historical as the ranks also graduated with an associates degree in general studies from the University of Guyana.

President David Granger decorated the Ensigns with their badges of rank.

President David Granger inspects troops at Durban Park (Ministry of the Presidency photo)

D’Urban Park came alive as ranks of the GDF marched and stepped in time to the beat of a military marching band, in a display of spectacular drills during the Commissioning Parade for the Standard and Reserve Officers.

The Head of State inspected the Guard of Honour before decorating the Ensigns with their badges of Rank.

In his address, the Head of State extended congratulations to the ranks.

Members of the Women Corps of the Guyana Defence Force (Ministry of the Presidency photo)

“Your commissions, are not merely certificates to mark the successful completion of a training course… they constitute the lawful license for you to exercise authority as officers of the Guyana Defence Force.”

He reminded the ranks that Officership in the Defence Force entails the obligation to obey the Constitution, to comply with the provisions of the Defence Act of the Laws of Guyana and the obligation to practice the values and standards of the GDF. President Granger further challenged them to uphold the motto of the Colonel Ulric Pilgrim Officer Cadet School—”I serve Guyana”.

Members of the Guyana Coast Guard during the parade (Ministry of the Presidency photo)

In 1969, the GDF began training its own officers and after 12 years, the Officer Cadet Division of Training Corps evolved into the first Officer Cadet School in the English-speaking Caribbean.

The school, which was established on 22nd September 1981, became known as the Colonel Ulric Pilgrim Officer Cadet School (CUPOCS), in honour of Colonel Ulric Pilgrim – the first Commander of the Force.

The Sword of Honour was awarded to Second Lieutenant Jehu West in the Standard Officer Course 50 with Second Lieutenant Robert Skeete receiving the same award for the Reserve Officer Course 16.

Officers of the Reserve Officer Course 16 during the parade (Ministry of the Presidency photo)

Among those who received their Instruments of Commission were four officers from the Belize Defence Force (BDF).

Second Lieutenant Edwin Varela, Second Lieutenant Freddy Grijalva, Second Lieutenant Otto Garcia and Second Lieutenant Mark Choc all of whom praised Guyana for the training they received.

Also attending the event were ministers, government officials, Members of Parliament and special invitees. (Extracted and modified from DPI)

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