The National – Friday, July 1, 2011
ON June 27 June, the Royal Military College (RMC) of Australia in Duntroon, Canberra, celebrated its 100th year of military officer training in the finest tradition with a spectacular graduation centenary parade which was witnessed by a large crowd.
The premier military training institute in Australia was established 100 years ago on June 27, 1911.
Since its establishment, 8,334 fulltime general service officers have graduated from RMC, including 89 from PNG since 1985.
Two PNG officers were part of the centenary graduating class of June 2011 which marked an important milestone in the college’s history.
Lt Natsen Sawasi and Lt Francis Mesa graduated with flying colours after an 18-month intensive military training.
Sawasi who hails from Balimo, Western, has been posted to the PNGDF Engineer Battalion at Igam Barracks in Lae while Mesa from Finschhafen, Morobe, has been posted to 2RPIR at Moem Barracks in Wewak.
The two PNGDF officers displayed a high standard throughout their training and have proven to be excellent ambassadors of the country during their stint in Australia for the past 18 months.
Their family members and friends were there to witness their graduation parade and had the privilege of pinning on their pins during their graduation ball later that evening on the stroke of midnight which officially signified their commissioning as officers into the PNGDF.
The presence of some family members and friends demonstrated the support and encouragement that had inspired these young men to complete their training and were deemed worthy graduates.
They will now embark on pursing their aspirations as military officers and I believe they will serve the PNGDF, the people and the country with pride, distinction and honour.
As the PNG liaison officer and instructor at the college, I have nothing but praise for them for their hard work and for maintaining a high benchmark of performance for PNG cadets at the college.
I congratulate them and I wish them all the best in their military careers and in their future endeavours as officers of the PNGDF.
I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the Australian Defence Force for its continued support under the Defence Cooperation Programme to train aspiring PNGDF officers.
And I would also like to encourage young Papua New Guineans to join the PNGDF as we face global challenges.
The country needs young, intelligent, vibrant and energetic men and women who are willing to serve God, queen and country with loyalty, courage and dedication.
Capt V. Kagena