By PATRICK TALU
THE first six direct entry officers (DEO) of the Papua New Guinea Defence Force (PNGDF) were commissioned last Friday by the PNGDF commander Commodore Peter Ilau.
The DEO were recruited directly from their previous profession from both the private and public sectors.
They were commissioned as captain and lieutenants depending on the year of experience in their previous professional fields.
While welcoming the six officers into the PNGDF, Commodore Ilau told them that their professional skills and expertise would contribute significantly to the respective division in working towards achieving the PNGDF 2030 vision.
“I encourage you to do your best and take PNGDF to another level,” he said.
According to Captain Tau Ila, the DEOs with more than five years of professional work experience were commissioned as captain while DEOs with less than five years of professional work experience were commissioned as lieutenants and will be enlisted on short services commission for a period of three years.
Among the six DEOs was Grace Kitoneka, a secondary school teacher by profession who had been teaching for seven years till she was recruited.
A proud captain Kitoneka told The National that she was more than happy to be part of a growing force that was dominated by men.
“Though it has been seen as a man’s job, I am delighted to be given the opportunity to serve in the force,” she said.
They will resume basis defence force training on marching drills, salutes, parade and other necessary skill training for the next two months.
After completion of training, they will be designated to training, logistics and supply, and engineering according to their professional background.