Fully equipped campus for Defence Academy
by James Kon

His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, Minister of Defence and Supreme Commander of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF), yesterday consented for the country's Defence Academy to have its own campus to further fulfil military training needs.

In delivering a titah at the Sovereign's Parade Ceremony for the 5th Intake of Officer Cadets at the Parade Square of the RBAF Officer Cadet School in Sungai Akar Camp yesterday, His Majesty said, "Efforts to strengthen the Defence Academy should be stepped up under the 9th National Development Plan. Given the importance of the academy in the development of Royal Brunei Armed Forces, I have consented for the Defence Academy to have its own fully equipped campus that can fulfil the training needs.

"I hope that the construction will not be delayed and will be completed as scheduled."

His Majesty congratulated all the officer cadets who have completed their training and also perfectly performed the march past in front of the Supreme Commander.

His Majesty expressed his joy of being able to be present at the special moment together with the families and relatives of the officer cadets.

"Forty-two weeks of military training is a very challenging period as I myself have also experienced. There were many obstacles and challenges that needed to be overcome. The experience each of you has been through will remain carved in the memory of each officer cadet," said His Majesty.

His Majesty also believed that the experience gained during the training would be remembered as a defining moment in the life of each officer cadet.

"To become a military leader," His Majesty said, "is not an easy task because it will need commitment, dedication and responsibilities as well as sincerity and honesty. And at the same time, the experience and knowledge can become the foundation in confronting even bigger challenges."

As soon as leaving the school, all officer cadets will start a new chapter as officers of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces. His Majesty said, "I hope that they will not forget the motto of Officer Cadet School which is Loyal, Devoted and Courageous.

"Loyal means undying loyalty to the King, the people and the country. Devoted is to be afraid of Allah the Almighty and Courageous is brave and firm in giving orders. This is where lies the good values of leadership as they aspirate to become the pillar of defence for the country and its people," the Supreme Commander of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces said.

As Royal Brunei Armed Forces has reached 50 years of its existence, His Majesty said, "It has progressed and opened its doors to increase career prospects in various fields. This is an opportunity for all personnel to display their working ability by being more competitive and consistent."

His Majesty added, "We have always maintained career development structure that is based on meritocracy and military ethics. We want to have military personnel who truly display excellent military performance. We also want to see more youths and graduates choose careers as leaders who will guide our national defence institutions."

"The conclusion of the training," His Majesty reminded the officer cadets, "doesn't mean that the process of looking for knowledge will stop here. The fact is that learning is a continuous process for the rest of the life. This is where this school is important; to prepare and shape the officer cadets to be better equipped and competent in developing the Armed Forces with Brunei's identity.

"Officer Cadet School needs to be more firm and continue its effort to produce trained officers who are knowledgeable and creditable and have the ability to offer training to cadets from foreign countries. I hope that this will be realised in a short time like similar institutions have in other places. In addition, the external validation report released by Defence Academy camp will become the benchmark in implementing positive changes as well as raising the quality of cadet school to an even higher level," His Majesty said.

These sentiments - in relation to the continuance of quality defence human resource - were also extended to the efforts carried out within the Joint Command and Staff Course whereby, for the first time in Brunei's history, the Royal Brunei Armed Forces Staff College will soon produce graduates who have trained within and outside the country.

"The participation of foreign countries is appreciated as an added value or brainstorming of ideas thereby raising military cooperation with friendly nations," His Majesty added.

This year 24 Officer Cadets from the 5th Intake of Officer Cadet School have successfully completed the 42 weeks of military training. - Borneo Bulletin (29th July 2011)