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Jan 29, 2016

B.D.F. Passes Out 80 New Soldiers

The various arms that provide national security to the country keep growing in numbers and in strength. This afternoon, eighty new soldiers joined the ranks of the Belize Defense Force after months of arduous training. A ceremony to induct them into the military took place at Price Barracks in Ladyville where some of the soldiers were singled out for individual accomplishments. News Five’s Isani Cayetano was at the B.D.F. headquarters and has this report.

 

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

On the eve of its thirty-eighth anniversary, the Belize Defense Force has added another eighty young men and women to its present numbers.  The B.D.F., one third of the country’s law enforcement and national security apparatus, has not been growing exponentially, like the police department.  In fact, in two rookie entries last year, the military was only able to muster a hundred and sixty new soldiers.

 

John Saldivar

John Saldivar, Minister of National Security

“In 2015 alone there were two recruit intakes that saw the force increase by a hundred and sixty soldiers.  With the eighty soldiers passing out here today, this brings our numbers to almost four hundred and twenty-seven new soldiers that have joined the ranks of the B.D.F. since I assumed office as the Minister of National Security on 2012.  This is in addition to seven hundred and fifteen police officers and two hundred or so coast guard officers, amounting to a total of over one thousand, three hundred and forty law enforcement personnel who have been employed since 2012.”

 

Taking on new recruits, admittedly, is not as easy as it may seem.  Of the one hundred and twenty prospects who signed up four months ago, only eighty made it to the parade square today.

 

John Saldivar

“Recruit Intake Sixty-One started off with a total of a hundred and twenty recruits but by the second week of training that figure had gone down by thirty.  In the subsequent weeks, several more recruits who could not cope with the training dropped out and hence today there are only eighty recruits passing out.  Give them a round of applause for their survival.  Recruit training by design and intention is tough, both mentally and physically, and only the strongest will survive.”

 

That recognized force equally acknowledges the individual achievements of those who have chosen to serve and protect Belize and its people.

 

John Saldivar

“I would like to, at this point, congratulate today’s awardees: the Champion Physical Fitness, Recruit Rodriguez, F.  The Champion Shot, Recruit Lopez A.  The Champion Field Craft, Recruit Coc, I.  The Best Female, Recruit Gonguez, S. and the Champion Recruit, Recruit Lanza, G.  Give them all another round of applause please.”

 

The journey from recruit to soldier, in the course of four months, is an intensive undertaking for prospects and trainers alike.  Basic survival tactics, as well as navigation and communication are elements that need to be mastered before successfully completing the rigorous program.

 

John Saldivar

“To convert a civilian into a soldier in sixteen weeks is no easy task, considering the number of subjects that need to be taught in a very short time.  I am made to understand that one of the first subjects covered during recruit training is the foot drill which allows recruits to move in a uniform and soldier-like manner but more importantly instills discipline in each and every one of them.  Other subjects includes the skills at arms which essentially teaches the safe and proficient handling of the various weapons used by the force.  First Aid, map reading, navigation, signs communications, law of armed conflict, tactics, both conventional and non-conventional, including jungle training, as well as internal security; these new soldiers will bring much needed reinforcements to the B.D.F. and will now allow the force to attain its established strength.”

 

Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

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1 Response for “B.D.F. Passes Out 80 New Soldiers”

  1. Rod says:

    You can have millions of soldiers but will they drop their rifles and run like the iracq army did I say this belizean army will do the same.

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