Adhering to their motto of Discipline, Dedication, Determination, the Royal Bahamas Defence Force’s (RBDF) Rangers Installation Ceremony for the Abaco District took place at the Government Complex on June 4.
That day, there were 36 Ranger cadets to graduate from the Rangers Program, which has long been distinguished as a model of excellence among youth organizations in the nation.
As moderator of the auspicious occasion, Ranger Officer Tavashane Whyley acknowledged all special guests in the audience, and welcomed all in attendance.
Next, the Rangers marched on to the courtyard in gleaming white and green attire with polished black shoes as their parade was reported to Rangers Director Lieutenant Delvonne Duncombe, who was then called on to report to Acting Commander of the Defence Force – Captain Tellis Bethel.
Following the playing of the National Anthem by the gifted members of the RBDF Band, Marilyn Innocent, the treasurer for the Parents In Action Group (PIAG), led in the prayer. The Inspection commenced with Permanent Secretary Carl Smith of the Ministry of National Security, who brought remarks on behalf of the Minister of National Security – The Hon. Dr. Bernard Nottage.
“Gathered together on this auspicious occasion are young men and women who are of one mind, one purpose and one determination” Smith observed. “This graduating entry of Rangers has taken up the challenge to set the standard of excellence, discipline, dedication and determination.
“They have not only internalized the core values of the Ranger Program, and have purposed within themselves to become productive citizens of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, and are determined to positively influence the lives of their peers and fellow youths. They are to be commended for their efforts, perseverance and positive pursuits.”
Once the Rangers March Off was completed, Ranger Officer Lakeisha Toussaint approached fellow Ranger Officer Adrian Newbold for permission to call forth the Rangers Drill Team.
Making an about-turn to face her colleagues, Toussaint called out: “Special drill team! Quick – march!”
The Rangers Drill Team executed a magnificent display of synchronized drills to the astonishment and approval of all who were there. Rangers fulfilled another March On to collect various awards during the Special Awards Presentation.
Receiving the Minister of National Security Award, was Vesi Ernest of S.C. Bootle High School. The Commander Defence Force Award was bestowed upon Savannah Valsaint of Smith’s Memorial who obtained a 3.68 grade point average (GPA). Dikembe Wilkinson of Abaco Central High School received the Rangers Director Award, and the Most Improved Award was given to Travano Green of Abaco Central High School.
Also receiving awards for high academic perfomances were: Asiah Newbold and Dionne Alleyne of St. Francis de Sales School as well as Kryshawn Lord. Academic Achievement Awards for GPAs of 3.00-3.49, were attained by Anthon McIntosh and Yajah Wallace of Smith’s Memorial; Khalin Wallace and Lorenz Carter of Forest Heights Academy; and Claveus Indiano.
Members of the Parents In Action Group were also awarded, and Cerizia Thelus and Arsharie McDonald-Demeritte both received awards in recognition of their outstanding service to the Rangers program.
Lt. Duncombe extended a vote of thanks to everyone who had contributed to the Rangers program as well as the young people involved in the program. He gave special recognition to Able Seaman Marco King, who served as the Abaco Ranger Instructor.
Before concluding the ceremony, the Rangers’ unified voices recited their pledge and motto which speak to the Discipline, Dedication and Determination that govern their behavior, their endeavours, their principles and their interactions with people in the community.