The outgoing Deputy Commander of the Botswana Defense Force, Major General Gobuamang Thokwane, did his last official contact with massive troops of soldiers at the end of the week when he inspected the 62nd Pass Out Parade of 527 Private Basic Military Training recruits, at the Sir Seretse Khama Baracks Parade Square, in a tone that resonated with nostalgia.
In his maiden acknowledgement, Thokwane said, “This came at a time when I am bidding farewell to the profession I hold so dearly to my heart. I have been in this profession as a commissioned officer for over thirty years.”
The graduating recruits were cautioned that the profession they had chosen is one that places duty and country before self. “Yes, a profession in which you may pay the ultimate price namely death,” he said.
In addition, the outgoing army veteran pointed out that the rigorous training that the soldiers were exposed to in the past six months was intended to prepare them for the complex environment of military life.
The basic theoretical and practical lessons were purely meant to be an introduction to the profession of a real warrior.
Thokwane warned of the major security threat, which he said was manifest in the HIV and AIDS scourge, adding that it threatens national security and could jeopardize the economic and social wellbeing of the nation.
Particular emphasis was made of the high rate of the disease in Southern Africa with Botswana having the highest prevalence rates.
“Thus, we have been adequately prepared to exercise discipline both in your interaction with the society you serve and protect, and your own private lives.”
The outgoing Deputy Army Chief, who also served as the Commander of the Air Force, will be succeeded on his departure by Major General Otisitswe Tiroyamodimo, whilst the position of Air Arm Commander will be taken by Tumelo Paledi on ascension to the rank of Major General.