Sunday, July 3, 2022

BDF receives accolades for professionalism

The Governor General of Canada has expressed a sense of satisfaction and special privilege in having been allowed to visit the Botswana Defence Force (BDF) Staff College, stating that the gesture was symbolic of the relationship between his home state and Botswana, particularly so given that defence relations constituted the cornerstone of ties between the two countries.

Speaking at the Glenn Valley Military Camp on Friday, David Lloyd Johnston, who is also the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of Canada, pointed out that the partnership between Botswana and Canada is especially close in the realm of military training and education.

In the same vein, he intimated that many members of the BDF have undergone training and education in his country.

“Today, the Botswana Defence Force is delivering Canadian-designed peacekeeping training programs throughout this region, a fact which fills me and indeed all Canadians with great pride,” related Johnston.

He took the opportunity to commend the BDF on what he described as their commitment to human rights, international security and democratic development in the southern African region and elsewhere in Africa.

“As the on-going need for peacekeeping training tells us, peace is never a once-and-for-all achievement. Instead, human security and stability are achieved and renewed, or eroded and lost, on a daily basis. I am aware of the recent opening of your own Peace Support Training Centre and can only encourage you to continue developing that facility.”

He acknowledged that the BDF has backed up its desire for peace with action, and for that mention was made of the admiration and respect that all Canadians had for the Botswana army.

Johnston indicated he was delighted that the curriculum for the BDF staff college was developed in close co-operation with members of the Canadian Forces.

He remarked that in Canada, where he often has the privilege of speaking with and celebrating the achievements of their men and women in uniform, he was continually impressed by their dedication and excellence, noting BDF cadres may have also noted the qualities he referred to in the members of the Canadian Forces with whom they have worked.

The Commander in Chief of Canada commented that by the same token, Canadian soldiers who have had the opportunity to work with members of the BDF have been most impressed with their sense of duty and professionalism.

He commended the new staff college for bringing together two great things that formed his passions, namely learning and service to country.

Aspiring officers at the Glen Valley Command Staff College are expected to receive broad education that is so essential to success in a modern military. The close association of the college with the University of Botswana in particular is set to broaden intellectual capacity and enhance decision making abilities of the military trainees.

For that reason, Johnston posited that on account of his background as a former university administrator, he could not find anything more plausible.

Thus, Johnston assured trainees that more than any piece of equipment, time spent at the College will equip those who served, for the rest of their careers.

“Quite simply, it will inform everything they do,” he concluded.

Emphasis was made in Johnston’s motivations of the importance of broad training for servicemen and women, in both military matters and more general subjects, as broad education allows them to better understand what they are training to defend, as well as how to do so.

He maintained throughout his speech that the main aim of all military training and in particular, the gist of the trainees’ object of being at the Glenn Valley College was to defend nothing less than democracy, human rights and the rule of law.

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