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Feb 3, 2012

Passing out ceremony for new B.D.F. soldiers

The B.D.F. is now thirty-four years old and today they celebrated in grand style at Price Barracks. The Governor General, Sir Colville Young, Minister of Defence & Immigration, Carlos Perdomo and Chief Justice, Kenneth Benjamin, were all in attendance. But the crowd was mostly made up of family and friends who were there to see the new recruits become soldiers. Intake number fifty-five gave the B.D.F. a boost with fifty-four new soldiers. News Five’s Andrea Polanco reports.

Andrea Polanco, Reporting

The Belize Defence Force was formed on January 1st 1978, and this year the thirty-fourth anniversary is being celebrated. The official ceremony to commemorate the event was held at the Sir Colville Young Parade Square. Minister of Defence, Carlos Perdomo says his tenure serving the B.D.F. has been fulfilling:

Carlos Perdomo, Minister of Defence & Immigration

Carlos Perdomo

“I’ve been with the B.D.F. before as a chief executive officer in those days permanent secretary. I was permanent secretary when Minister Barrow was the Minister of Defence.  So I am quite familiar with the B.D.F. it is always exciting to work with them and I still have thirty days to go as minister but everything I do I try to enjoy and working with the B.D.F. has been one of those great enjoyments in public Service.”

And as the B.D.F. celebrates a milestone, new recruits were officially called to serve as B.D.F. soldiers at a passing out exercise.

Dario Tapia

Commandant of the B.D.F., Dario Tapia says rigorous training has prepared these new soldiers:

Dario Tapia, Commandant, B.D.F.

“What is occurring today is that we are celebrating two things. firstly our thirty fourth anniversary since the formation of the B.D.F. and secondly the passing out parade of recruit intake number fifty-five which comprises of fifty-one males and three females. It has been sixteen weeks of arduous training for them. As the minister mentioned in his speech early, over eighty started and only fifty-four remain standing. So it tells you a lot about the demands of doing recruit training with the Belize Defence Force. They will be distributed to units countrywide. Some units will get more than other units. We strive to maintain our number or as we say it, our authorized strength and so the recruits that are passing out s often to keep our numbers at our authorized strength. Because of our high operational tempo it requires that we maintain our authorized strength otherwise we will not be able to do tasks that is assigned to us from time to time by the government and Ministry.”

And tackling those tasks including patrols at our borders and narco-traffickers, which Minister Perdomo says, continues to be an everyday challenge for the B.D.F.:

Carlos Perdomo

“Whenever we get a new Minister of Defence of course I’ll be happy to sit with him and share some of the challenges. One of the big things that the new minister will look forward to is the national Strategic Defence review. That is going to be something very important because it will target and direct the B.D.F. for the next ten-fifteen years particularly in new threats. One of the biggest new threats is of course the influence and the monies of the drug cartels. They have been using an M.O. in all the countries around us where they try to recruit ex soldiers perhaps with contacts within the military. The next new threat is of course the trafficking of persons and of course anything else along the border. You know that has become a little contentious lately. Over the last few years, we’ve had more and more Guatemalan farmers come into Belize to farm and to do illegal activities and that’s always a high tension job. I believe the solution to that is in the Guatemalan government’s hand where they need to find land for their people. So hopefully something in that area will be a new challenge for the new Minister of Defence.”

The new B.D.F. soldiers closed off the ceremony with a presentation of their skills in Battle and Physical Training Displays. Reporting for News Five, I’m Andrea Polanco.

The B.D.F. Open Day that was set for Saturday has been postponed to February eleventh due to inclement weather.

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2 Responses for “Passing out ceremony for new B.D.F. soldiers”

  1. islander says:

    Have you seen generals from other countries? ANY OTHER COUNTRY…You see the generals and there is something about them that is different than our General…

    Yup we have the pilsburry doughboy as the commandant of the BDF.

  2. soulsista says:

    @islander I fully agree with you as a general he should have been looking like he got some physical training that man is about 300lbs this is just a shame and disgrace we gaan to di dawgs

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