SPEECH BY HON. MAJ GEN (RTD) CHARLES DNP NAMOLOH, MP, MINISTER OF DEFENCE OF THE REPUBLIC OF NAMIBIA, AT THE GRADUATION PARADE OF THE 10TH RECRUITS INTAKE HELD AT MILITARY SCHOOL OKAHANDJA ON 03 FEBRUARY 2012
I am delighted and honoured to preside over the Graduation Parade of the 10th Recruits Training Intake of the Namibian Defence Force (NDF).
Today we are marking another important milestone in the history of the Ministry of Defence and the NDF by witnessing the graduation of the 10th Recruits Training Intake of the NDF.
I am happy and proud as Minister of Defence to refer to you today as graduates because you have successfully completed your Recruits Training that was aimed at “injecting new blood” into the NDF and transforming you from civilian to military life. I am sure today you feel good about yourselves and proud that you have indeed managed to become soldiers of Namibia.
I am also happy that the aims and objectives of the training were successfully achieved, not only because of your determination but also because of the commitment of your instructors and the Military School to whom we assigned this important task.
I remember when I addressed you at the beginning of this training in September 2011 that I explained to you that what you were going to go through was not an easy undertaking. You were about 750 at the beginning of the training, but only 732 of you are graduating today. This proves the toughness of the military training. I sincerely congratulate you. Well Done!
I understand that 18 others could not make it for different reasons and you must have learnt much from their plight as some of them dropped out from the training because of indiscipline. I think you know now that the NDF requires the highest standard of discipline from all of you and you will continue to be disciplined soldiers from now on. Do not go AWOL as others have done during the training and cost them the opportunity to become proud members of the NDF.
You would have noticed that to become a soldier is not an easy way as some of those who could not walk the tough course had resigned from the training.
The way ahead will not be easy either because as soldiers you will be assigned real life missions to fulfil. You must be ready to fight a war if the need arises, especially to defend Namibia, its people and national interests wherever these become under any threats.
I am proudly handing you over today to the Chief of the Namibian Defence Force (CDF) for deployment and command. You must be ready to serve the Government of the Republic of Namibia whenever your services are needed.
Apart from the need to continue upgrading your military skills and knowledge as soldiers in peacetime, you may be required to assist civil authorities to overcome emergencies and disasters such as floods and wildfires. You may also be called upon to assist the Namibian Police to maintain law and order in the country whenever the need arises.
Another important assignment that has been featuring prominently in the work of the NDF is the participation in Peace Support Operations (PSO) with the United Nations and the African Union. Therefore, you may find yourselves deployed outside Namibia in order to restore and maintain peace in other parts of the world, in either Africa or elsewhere. You must be prepared for this nature of assignments.
I am encouraging you to continue studying both academically and militarily as the opportunities present themselves to you and whenever the conditions of your assignments allow. We do not need soldiers who can operate armaments and military equipment only, but we need soldiers who are also well trained academically so that you are capable of inventing new technologies and approaches for the NDF and the country.
I would like to take this opportunity to call upon female graduates and NDF female members in general to plan their families carefully. I am informed that about 5 female members were disqualified from training due to pregnancies. If you do not plan your families carefully, it might cost you opportunities again in the future. This is not a good thing because female members are already a minority in the Force and the Ministry of Defence and the Government of the Republic of Namibia are working to promote gender balance in the NDF particularly and in our society generally.
I am also informed that one member was removed from training because of a criminal record. I want to caution those of you who are graduating today that you should desist from any criminal behaviour because if you commit crime you will be subjected to court martial as soldiers. Military law is usually harsher than civilian law; hence, the need for you to uphold the name of the NDF high and respect yourselves and your fellow soldiers by following and obeying lawful orders of your commanders at all levels.
Ladies and Gentlemen.
Allow me to express my profound gratitude to the Commandant Military School and his staff as well as the instructors who have made this training a success that we are all celebrating today. The Ministry of Defence is proud of your work!
We are now building a military academy to improve military training and education of our staff. We must continue to set high standards of training and education for the men and women in the uniform of the NDF. The military academy will further provide us the opportunity to learn from other militaries all over the world in order to keep abreast with the management of the military and technological advancements that are relevant to our services.
With these few words, it is now my honour to hand over the graduates to the CDF for deployment and command and I wish all of you success in all your future missions.
I THANK YOU