#Bahamas, April 25, 2018 – Nassau – At the Royal Bahamas Defence Force (RBDF) Officers Commissioning, Long Service and Good Conduct Ceremony, April 20, 2018, Minister of National Security the Hon. Marvin Dames told RBDF members present that their role in the fight against transnational organized crime, such as narcotics and human smuggling, small arms trafficking, and poaching had over the last several months reaped significant results.
“As an Agency, you continue to set the standards in a diverse range of areas such as search and rescue and disaster preparedness, locally as well as regionally,” Minister Dames said, during the Ceremony held on the Lower Grounds of Government House. “For this, you ought to be commended.”
“Additionally, Officers and Marines continue to instill positive values to young Bahamians through programmes like the nationally recognized Defence Force Rangers programme which just last year won the National Youth Organization of the Year Award sponsored by the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture,” he added.
Minister Dames said all were “truly appreciative” of Governor General Her Excellency Dame Marguerite Pindling for taking time to formally recognize the service and outstanding accomplishments of the men and women of the Royal Bahamas Defence Force. It was equally pleasing to see so many family members, friends, and loved ones present on that “wonderful occasion.”
“I am honoured to share in this very special occasion where 13 junior officers will receive their instruments of commission,” he said. “Having served admirably as Marines, these young officers elected to transition into the Officer Corps and were successful in completing their initial Naval Officer Training Courses and their tasks as junior managers which brings us here today. Congratulations.”
However, Minister Dames admonished them to not take their commissioning lightly.
“Your Instrument of Authority will signify that the Governor General as statutory head of state has, reposed her trust in you to safeguard the Commonwealth of The Bahamas,” he pointed out. “Commissioned Military Officers should therefore conduct themselves with the highest levels of leadership, integrity and professionalism.
“I am equally honoured to witness the awarding of some 101 officers for their long service and good conduct within the organization. Medals will be awarded to 23 members who have served for 18 years while Rosettes will be presented to 15 members who have served for 25 years and another 63 members who have served for 30 years or more. Congratulations to all of you.”
Minister Dames quoted former Congresswoman and U.S. Senator, Margaret Chase Smith, who once said “Public service must be more than doing a job efficiently and honestly. It must be a complete dedication to the people and to the nation.” He noted that the RBDF members had continuously demonstrated what it meant to serve with honor, dignity and pride.
He added that he noted with interest, the organization’s theme for the year: “Security through Partnership.”
“Undoubtedly, The Bahamas, like many nations, are experiencing crime and security challenges,” he stated. “Our government believes, that only through engaged collaboration with each other and our local communities, can we effectively tackle our security challenges and preserve the peace and prosperity of our nation.”
Most recently, he said, The Bahamas had witnessed what can be achieved through genuine partnership, as the Defence Force – in collaboration with the Police, Customs, Immigration and the Correctional Services – had already executed that year a number of successful law-enforcement operations.
“These partnership initiatives will become the norm as we work to build a more secure nation for all who live and visit,” he said.
“In a few short months you will be provided with the opportunity to showcase to the region and the world your leadership as you host the Annual Regional Military Tradewinds Exercise,” Minister Dames added. “I congratulate you.”
Minister Dames used the opportunity that day to commend the RBDF members for “your service to country in guarding and protecting our borders.”
“On behalf of the Government and the people of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, I wish to extend congratulations to all of you who have been recognized here today,” he said. “I wish the very best to you and your families and the entire complement of Officers and staff of the Royal Bahamas Defence Force who continue to protect our sovereignty.”
By Eric Rose
Photo Caption: At RBDF Officers Commissioning, Long Service and Good Conduct Ceremony at Government House, April 20, 2018, Sub-Lieutenant Earnestine Cleare receives her sword and Letter of Commission from Governor General Her Excellency Dame Marguerite Pindling. Minister Marvin Dames looks on, centre, and Commander Royal Bahamas Defence Force, Commodore Tellis Bethel, is at left.
(RBDF Photo/Marine Seaman Kyle Smith)