Soldiers do not sit, eat and guard

Letters, Normal

I REFER to the letter “What a waste of fund” (The National, April 16).
For the writer’s information, being a solder is the second oldest profession in the world.
This profession has not change much since the biblical times.
Every country has a defence force and as with all military establishments in the world, discipline is paramount.
In order to maintain that discipline, it is therefore, the obligation of the government to ensure military personnel are housed and fed in barracks.
This is also where they train everyday to maintain a high standard of discipline and fitness unlike civilians.
The meals that are provided to our soldiers are partly paid for with deductions from their rations and quarters allowance and the Government covers the rest.
Technically speaking, our soldiers are paying for their own meals.
So, the meals are not free as the writer might perceive it to be.
The writer stated that soldiers sit, eat and guard the barracks.
This comment shows the writer has no idea what our Defence Force does.
Our soldiers are not made up of fighting men but men who are jack of all trades and they contribute one way or the other towards nation-building.
We have engineers, lawyers, doctors, pilots, IT technicians, etc.
And in case the writer is not aware of what the PNGDF does at peace time, then let me enlighten him/her of the many contributions among which include :
* Help victims of natural disasters (eg the Aitape tsunami and the floods in Oro);
* Assist the Royal PNG Constabulary restore law and order when it becomes uncontrollable (eg State of Emergency in Southern Highlands);
* Contribute to nation-building (eg building of bridges and the maintenance of parts of the Highlands Highway by PNGDF engineers based at Kerowil); and 
* Patrol our border (eg the PNG-Indonesia border).
These are just some of the things the PNGDF personnel do as part of their job.
So let us not create a fuss over meals because it is a norm all over the world.


Gili Sob
Via email