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Nov 3, 2006

B.D.F. recruits honoured at passing out ceremony

Story PictureThe Belize Defence Force has sixty-two new soldiers. News Five was at their passing out ceremony this morning at Price Barracks and here are some sights and sounds.

Cordel Hyde, Minister of Defence
?Today marks a special occasion, sixty-two young men and women have endured the rigors of training and have become men and women of the Belize Defence Force. Today they pledge to defend their country with all they?ve got. They are prepared to take up arms and sacrifice their lives if necessary to ensure the security and stability of their fellow Belizeans. I just have to say congratulations and thank you. Thank for agreeing to serve at a time when many people are taken up with serving themselves, thank you for agreeing to put your lives on the line when many people are taken up extending their lives, and thank you for doing what you are doing. I consider it my honour and duty to let the world and country know that the army we have is one filled with highly trained, highly skilled, competent and committed men and women. This is no ordinary army. Our army fights drug trafficking in the air, on the ground and on the high seas. They provide safety and security twenty-four hours a day working shoulder to should with the Police Department and the community.?

Capt. Anthony Velasquez, Officer Commanding, Training Wing
?It is a very proud day for me and the soldiers as well because they worked hard for the past four months. They deserve the honour of being called a soldier of the B.D.F.?

Kendra Griffith, Reporting
?What was the most difficult part??

Sara Perez, Champion Female Recruit
?When we gone for navigation to climb that hill was rough, very rough. I felt like I wanted to drop back, but I still went forward. I said to myself what am I doing up here, I could be at home watching the TV, but I decided to be here and I would do it again.?

During the passing out five soldiers were singled out for awards. For dominating all fields, Onesimo Coh was awarded champion recruit, while Sara Perez took that honour for the women. Excelling in physical training was Michael Godoy, Best in field craft went to Leonardo Cal, while Marciano Ical was voted Champion Shot.

The soldiers who participated in the six-week Jungle Warfare Instructor Course also received their certificates this morning. Twenty-one men, including two members of the police anti-drug unit, one Salvadoran, two Taiwanese, and a Jamaican passed the six-day assessment and are now qualified as instructors. Receiving recognition for coming in first place was Lieutenant Roberto Beltran of the Belize Defence Force. We must of course mention that Sgt. Ramon Aguilar, who went missing for nine days during the course’s navigational training, was able to make up for his absence and also graduate today.

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