The training of dedicated, competent young people and preparing the ground for their presence in various positions of responsibility, in the combat, combat support or in combat service support units is a major priority for the Botswana Defence Force and for the nation of Botswana. The Honorable Attorney General, Dr Athaliah Molokomme, said this when she officiated at the Commissioning Parade of Officer Cadets, Class 29 of 2006, held at Sir Seretse Khama Barracks last week Friday.
Addressing the graduates, Molokomme said what they have learned so far is only the first step in what they will need to know to be effective in their profession. She highlighted that the level of knowledge and commitment of officials of various ranks is also rising.
“You will be working in different units of the army, and each one of you will be entrusted with a momentous responsibility. This means that, in this era of rapid evolution, you must expect the unexpected, and be prepared to embrace change,” she said.
According to Molokomme, leadership is both an art and a science because it needs constant attention and refinement to achieve the highest standards. She added that it was not by chance that the motto chosen for the Force Training Establishment is “Strive for Excellence”. She said the major factors that will contribute to the graduates’ success in the performance of their responsibilities include innovation, integrity, creativity, motivation, piety, virtue and the observance of military discipline, reliance on and seeking assistance from superiors, as well as confidence in their inner strength.
“I have no doubt that among you, are many who will play a significant role in the strategic leadership of the army, and that you will leave a mark on these organizations.”
Molokomme said the graduates’ role as leaders also entails mentoring and counseling, therefore, junior colleagues will expect them to be loyal, selfless and honest. They will then be expected to solve problems, some entirely novel and seemingly insurmountable.
She encouraged the graduates to take advantage of every opportunity and push the frontiers of knowledge further and further. She urged them to play their part in taking the BDF to greater heights and increase the defensive capability of this great and honourable nation.
“The future beckons and it is in your hands. Go forth and embrace it. Expect challenges, but also exciting opportunities.”