Basseterre, St. Kitts, February 06, 2014 (SKNIS): The St. Kitts-Nevis Defence Force (SKNDF) is a professional national security organization that offers numerous opportunities to the men and women who volunteer to serve their country, to advance professionally and personally.
That was the message of Lt. Colonel Patrick E. Wallace as he addressed persons who gathered at Camp Springfield on Tuesday (January 04) for the official opening of a renovated and expanded male barrack.
“Every year the St. Kitts-Nevis Defence Force sends four of its members to attend full time courses at the CFB (Clarence Fitzroy Bryant College) and this year we have five,” he revealed. “We presently have one member overseas studying medicine and there is another officer at the World Maritime University in Sweden. We have a member who obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics during his service here and he’s still serving, and last year one member gained an MBA from the Anglia Ruskin University in the U.K. (United Kingdom) [while] another successfully completed three years of Engineering Watchkeeping Certificate Programme at the Caribbean Maritime Institute in Jamaica. I can go on and on.”.
Additionally, soldiers are encouraged to attend evening classes and are granted time off from their duties to facilitate this.
“What I have outlined is clearly a strong commitment by the St. Kitts-Nevis Defence Force and the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis to the personal development of the young men and women who serve in the Force,” Lt. Col. Wallace emphasized. “What I have just articulated should make everyone proud and should serve to encourage young people to enlist for service in this noble organization.”
“Not only are we ensuring that our soldiers live in comfortable modern and adequately furnished accommodations but we are prepared to assist them in their quest for academic advancement.”
Prime Minister the Right Honourable Dr. Denzil Douglas echoed the sentiments of Commanding Officer Wallace. He recalled a recent visit to the Latin American Medical University in Havana, Cuba where he met Duriel Pemberton, an Officer Cadet of the SKNDF. Pemberton joined the Cadet Corps approximately five years ago under the command of Captain Kayode Sutton and later completed the training to join the ranks of the SKNDF. Now a medical student in Cuba, he was chosen to lead the delegation of medical students that accompanied the visiting officials.
“Very, very proud of him,” stated Prime Minister Douglas. “And at the end of the tour, the Dean of that University … indicated ‘Mr. Prime Minister, you have a young man who is going to become one of your best medical officers on return to St. Kitts and Nevis.’”
The Prime Minister, who also holds the ministerial portfolio for the defence force and police, emphasized “that is the kind of commendation that your men are receiving around the world where ever they are. That is why I support your Commander and stress that you must make use of the opportunities for personal development that are being provided here at this institution.”