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Privates Tracey-Ann Nedd, Kennesha Boyce, Annastacia Ward, Elizabeth Cummings and Kishonna Martin are the five females who have created history in the Guyana Defence Force (GDF). They are the first to have trained alongside their male counterparts and successfully completed the Standard Infantryman Course (SIC) 2022-01.
SIC is designed to equip the Infantry soldiers with the knowledge and skills necessary to be proficient riflemen in limited war or peacetime. The 6-week duration course, which commenced on Monday, July 4, 2022, was traditionally completed by males mostly from the Infantry Units of the Force.
The five who were among the batch of 198 soldiers of the 1 Infantry Battalion graduated at a ceremony held on Friday, August 12, 2022, at the Junior Ranks Mess, Base Camp Stephenson, Timehri.
The 3 Infantry Battalion dominated the outstanding performances, copping the prizes for Best Graduating Student, Runner-up Student and Best Shot which were won by Privates Fitzroy Hackette, Malachi Clarke and Kelroy Knights , respectively. Private Kelton Francis of 1 Infantry Battalion received the prize for Best Fitness.
Acting Commanding Officer 2 Infantry Battalion, Lieutenant Colonel Ron Caulder, congratulated the students on successfully completing their course and urged them to live by the Force’s Values and Standards. He further encouraged the soldiers to never forget the good lessons that they have learnt during the training and for them to continue to make themselves available for continued development.
Major Derrick Lawrence, President Forbes Burnham’s longest serving ADC (Aide-De-Camp), in conversation with Village Voice to mark Burnham’s 37th death anniversary advised “What Burnham did with the military is give it a People-Consciousness focus that men and women in uniform knew they were not only there for defence but also for national development, and by utilising this approach Burnham gave meaning to the term “A People’s Army.”
According to the Major, Burnham provided the army with the educational requirement to pursue development. “He introduced an education unit in the military and soldiers had education and training opportunities brought to them in their barracks.”
The GDF was established on November 1, 1965 under the Burnham government.
The 198 Graduates
The outstanding graduates