14 new recruits join SPDF | 05 October 2019
Fourteen new recruits who have successfully completed their four-month training at the Barbarons military training centre have joined the ranks of the Seychelles People’s Defence Forces (SPDF).
This was during a passing out ceremony held at the Seychelles Defence Academy, Ile du Port, yesterday in the presence of guest of honour Commander of the Seychelles Coast Guard, Colonel Simon Dine, high officials of the SPDF and family members of the new recruits.
Now ranked as privates, the recruits commenced their training in February this year and were trained in areas such as weaponry, map reading and tactical skills among others.
The batch initially started out with 17 prospective soldiers but only 14 successfully graduated, of whom 2 are female and 14 male.
Among the 14 privates, Vasantrya Walpitage – one of the two female recruits – clinched the awards for best overall recruit and best outdoor performer.
The 18-year-old explained that joining the SPDF had been a dream of hers since she was in secondary school but noted that she had not expected to come out as best overall since she struggled a bit at first.
“I am encouraging other girls to join the force. It was easy to work with a group of boys because I had gotten to know them well in the first weeks and we all got along,” Private Walpitage stated.
Private Walpitage is hoping to take on a career as an engineer at the Seychelles Air Force (SAF).
Meanwhile the third award of the ceremony, best academic performer, went to Dominic Balette.
Before the official ceremony, SPDF chaplain Deacon Louis Agathine blessed the new recruits.
New recruit Christophe Nolin spoke a few words on behalf of all the recruits whereby he thanked all of their instructors and family members who had helped them throughout the journey.
“The training was not easy but we were able to overcome the difficulties to stand proud and strong before you today. We started with 17 in our group but only finished with 14. But it is quality and not quantity that counts and I assure the Coast Guard Commander that he can count on us to deliver at the highest professional standard in our respective units,” Private Nolin remarked.
The recruits then took the oath of allegiance and were presented with the national flag patch by Colonel Dine, after which they read out the credo for Seychellois soldiers.
While addressing the recruits, Colonel Dine – who was standing in for Chief of Defence Forces Colonel Clifford Roseline – said that their choice of career shows dedication and love for their country.
“This group that has sworn in today is the second group to have embarked on a new training programme which is aimed at achieving our new vision for a more modern, professional and efficient force,” Colonel Dine read out.
“A career in the military is filled with opportunities but you must have a positive attitude towards your work and studies that are endless in SPDF. I invite all youths who are interested and who love their country to join the SPDF.”
Colonel Dine noted that the recruits have a lot more to learn and asked the more experienced soldiers to guide the young privates as they begin their career in the SPDF.
He also asked the new recruits to remain vigilant to various social ills that could impede their work such as substance abuse.
“Do everything in your power to fight against these social ills that continue to negatively impact on our country. It is important to remain loyal to your oath to defend the Seychelles Constitution.”
The ceremony concluded with an informal reception for the recruits and guests.