Categorized | National News

GG Commissions 17 RBDF Officers

Governor-General Sir Arthur Foulkes recently commissioned 17 Royal Bahamas Defence Force Officers (RBDF), calling on them to exercise greater levels of leadership, integrity, discipline and professionalism in their duties.

“You are called on to exceed our expectations and provide superior service to your country, communities and organisation as indicated in your Officers Creed,” said Sir Arthur.

The officers received commissions (instruments of authority) and swords during a special ceremony in the ballroom of Government House.

Among those witnessing the event was National Security Minister, Dr. Bernard Nottage, Permanent Secretary Carl Smith, RBDF Commodore Rodrick Bowe, senior government officials, family and well-wishers.

Sir Arthur cited the Defence Force Officers Creed adopted from the Force’s 2011-2015 Strategic Plan, which he said highlights and identifies both the standards and expectations for officers who have been granted the privilege to command and exercise authority in the RBDF.

He noted Captain James Cook and British admiral David Beatty, two renowned figures in the history of the Royal Navy known for their contributions to the naval service.

“Their contributions have been written and their services immortalised,” said Sir Arthur.

“We have this same expectation for officers of the RBDF not only to defend the territorial sovereignty of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, but also to make a substantial difference within the service, in our communities and in our nation.”

He went on to list the responsibilities of the Force, the country’s only military arm and told the officers that they are being empowered to ensure that the nation’s security, peace and prosperity are protected and preserved.

”The recipients reflect a spirit of excellence and inspiration that is worthy of the Bahamian people,” said Sir Arthur.

Among the trailblazers and pacesetters receiving commissions were Lt. Commander Gaye Bykoski, the first senior female officer in the history of the RBDF, Lt. Commander Andrew Farrington, the first enlisted to be trained as a midshipman and to attend the Britannia Royal Naval College, the first male reservist officer and the originator of the Force’s Information Technology Section.

Lt. Marsha Chriswell is the first female military pilot in the region, the first female reservist officer and the first female to receive the prestigious Best Female Recruit award.

Sub. Lt. Elizabeth Simms is noted as the first female Officer to be trained at the United States Coast Guard Academy Officer Candidate School.

To date more than 150 Officers have received commissions. According to the Defence Force Act of 1979, officers receive their authority to command units within the Defence Force directly from the governor general in the form of a commission.

The governor general may grant the commission for either an indefinite period or for a specified time.

An officer in the RBDF refers to personnel at the rank of midshipman or above who have overall responsibility for leadership and management of the Force.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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