The National, Thursday July 11th, 2013
IT WAS his determination to put his country on the world map that took him through difficult circumstances to finally become a top student who graduated in a foreign land.
Saturday, June 8, will be a date put down in history as when the first Papua New Guinea Defence Force officer cadet marched out with flying colours from the most prestigious military academy of India.
Joseph Wandau, from Murik Lake, East Sepik and Pam Island, Manus, was the proudest person among 705 Indian Military
Academy (IMA) officer cadets who marched out as army officers at Dehradun City in Uttrakhand State.
Of the 705 cadets, Wandau was one of the fortunate ones to be selected as an appointment officer and that entitled him to march out with a sword.
Wandau was enlisted into the Papua New Guinea Defence Force on Dec 7, 2011, and was selected as the first PNGDF officer cadet to undergo training at the Indian Military Academy.
On Jan 9, last year, he left for the IMA.
Wandau said life at the beginning of his training at IMA was very challenging.
There were times he nearly gave up. Blending into Indian culture was difficult, especially trying to cope with the Hindi language.
The intense military exercise left Wandau agitated for the first four months, in the new world of military training.
He maintained that appointment until his graduation day and IMA officers and instructors were proud of Wandau’s achievement.
Wandau’s success has proved to the Indian Military Academy that the Papua New Guinea Defence Force cadets can make good use of the opportunities offered to PNG through its military programmes.
Witnessed by hundreds of Indians at IMA parade ground, Wandau was commissioned as a second lieutenant by Brig-Gen Francis Agwi and PNG High Commissioner to India Tarcisius Eri. They also commissioned 10 other cadets.