BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, September 30, 2022 (SKNIS) – The rank and file of the St. Kitts and Nevis Defence Force (SKNDF) were boosted on Thursday, September 29, 2022, after twenty recruits successfully completed the Basic Military Course No.21.
The twenty recruits participated in the Passing out Parade at Camp Springfield, which marked their official transition into the St. Kitts and Nevis Defence Force.
Thursday’s parade was attended by a number of dignitaries including the Governor-General’s Deputy, Her Excellency Marcella A. Liburd who inspected the recruits on display; Acting Prime Minister the Honourable Dr. Geoffrey Hanley; Cabinet Secretary Dr. Marcus Natta; Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of National Security, Mr. Osmond Petty; Commander of the SKNDF, Lieutenant J. Anthony Comrie, Commissioner Of Police, Mr. Hilroy Brandy and National Security Adviser, Retired Major General Stewart Saunders.
Addressing the ceremony, Acting Prime Minister Hanley commended the young men and women for accepting the call to serve their country.
“I am pleased to see so many young men and women take the bold step of service to your people. I can only imagine the sense of dignity, honour and joy that you feel today. I do not take this step you are making lightly. It takes bravery, integrity, commitment and a strong sense of devotion, love of country and self to take this bold step towards becoming a soldier. You should all hold your heads high with pride because you are the protectors of our beloved nation,” said Acting Prime Minister Hanley.
The Acting Prime Minister went further to impress upon the new SKNDF soldiers the importance of national security to the development of the twin island Federation.
He said, “It is critical for governments to make national security a priority because economic prosperity is undeniably dependent on national security. Safety and security are the bedrock of the prosperity of our nation. Citizens feel safe, feel protected and secure, feel free from danger and harm because of your ability to identify and prevent any form of disruption to our peace, safety and stability.”
On their way to becoming fully-fledged members of the St. Kitts and Nevis Defence Force, the 20 recruits had to complete 20 weeks of intense basic training. The training involved patrolling, map reading and land navigation, field craft and tactics, first aid administration, physical training, internal security, drills and use of firearms.