Military Young Leaders programme-Fifteen graduate from first cohort


President Michel commissioning best academic cadet Dania Woodcock

The officers received their certificates during a commissioning ceremony at the Seychelles Defence Academy, Pointe Larue, earlier this week when Steve Asba and Dania Woodcock were presented with the best outdoor and academic cadet awards respectively by Chief of Defence Forces Brigadier Leopold Payet.

Best overall cadet Michel Souris, who is India following a specialised course, will receive the sword of honour upon his return. His mother, Jenita Souris, received his certificates on his behalf.

Besides guest of honour President Michel, others present at the ceremony were National Assembly speaker Dr Patrick Herminie, Chief Justice Fredrick Egonda-Ntende, Police Commissioner Ernest Quatre, Chief of Staff Colonel Clifford Roseline, ministers, UniSey’s vice-chancellor and president Dr Rolph Payet, Deacon Louis Agathine, high government officials, members of the diplomatic corps, senior officers and parents of the graduates.

A total of 20 cadet officers started the programme but 15 completed and have been commissioned as second lieutenants (Sec Lt) – the first rank attainable as a junior officer of the Seychelles People’s Defence Forces.

The graduates in a souvenir photograh. Absent is Michel Souris

On behalf of the recruits, Ashley Cedras delivered a vote of thanks before they all took their oath of allegiance and Achille Uzice collected the certificates on their behalf from Dr Payet.

During the course, the cadet officers followed various military training – physical and academic – and spent three months at the University of Seychelles where they studied the Seychelles constitution, Modern Seychelles history and the five-year transformation and democracy and institution.

Police constables who followed the training also received their certificates during the same ceremony.

Meanwhile, Hans Radegonde, who joined the defence forces on August 16, 2005, was promoted as lieutenant after qualifying as an Ensign Officer specialised in naval navigation after following a five-year course in Greece.

On congratulating the officers, President said that the Young Military Leaders programme was part of a vision of youth empowerment, dynamism and innovation of the country.
He said he is confident the officers would uphold the values of the nation and perform their sacred duties to protect and respect the constitutional authority of the republic of Seychelles.

“We have high expectations of you. You are embarking on a career in the military at a time which is characterised by a plethora of challenges – not least, piracy in our region.  Security challenges in the modern world are increasingly sophisticated and unpredictable. The manner in which we face them and their outcomes will, to a large extent, dictate how we forge ahead as a nation and have a role to play in facing those challenges,” said President Michel.

He wished the young leaders every success and told them that Seychelles is proud of them and that the nation counts on them to give their best to our country and to the Seychelles People’s Defence Forces.

The President asked them to continue learning from more experienced people in order to assume leadership in their career.

“This in itself does not make you a leader overnight. To reach the mountain top, you need to conquer yourself first.
You will be able to achieve this only if you are ready to listen and learn from those who have been there before. I am, however, confident that armed with the quality of training which you have been given, you will be able to cope with the demands and exigencies of the various services to which you will be commissioned,” said President Michel.

The Military Young Leaders Programme, launched by President Michel in March 2010, is designed to provide potential junior commanders with broad leadership guidelines, based upon which to develop the required leadership qualities of a military officer.

The programme involves an initial one year of study and training for a certificate qualification, which is then followed by further studies for diploma and degree-level qualifications.

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