Posts tagged RFMF

Fijian Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama Hands Over Command of the RFMF

PRIME MINISTER’S ADDRESS AS HE HANDS OVER COMMAND OF THE RFMF

Today marks the end of an era – as I leave the RFMF after having had the immense honour and privilege of being your Commander for the past fifteen years.

It also marks the beginning of an era, as the baton of leadership passes to your new Commander – an officer of the highest professional calibre and integrity, Colonel Mosese Tikoitoga.

Colonel Tikoitoga is well known to you all as your Land Force Commander and has given more than 32 years of distinguished service to the RFMF.
I am confident that you will give him the same loyalty and support that you have given me over the past 15 years.

Today, I leave behind my 39-year career in the RFMF to become a civilian and lead a political movement to contest the 2014 general election – a political movement that we all started together.

I have to admit to a feeling of regret because I am leaving a job that I dearly love. I will miss you all and the camaraderie of military life.

I am intensely conscious of the solemn duty that rests with me to continue the revolution that we began together seven years ago – to create a new Fiji, a better Fiji for ourselves and for future generations.

As you all know, the 2013 Constitution requires me to relinquish my military career if I want to contest the forthcoming election. It is the supreme law of the land and the blueprint for the new Fiji we are building.

Like all Fijians, I am obliged to obey the terms of that Constitution and I do so willingly. I solemnly pledge before you all today that I will do everything in my power to uphold the 2013 Fijian Constitution. And I ask you all to do the same.

The RFMF is the guardian of the nation and the protector of every Fijian. And this duty is now guided by our nation’s Constitution, which it is your solemn duty to defend and protect.

I take with me as I leave some wonderful memories of comradeship and shared experiences, of the many challenges of a career at sea and on land, moments of high drama, tragedy and crisis. And, of course, the many laughs and good times we’ve shared over the years.

But above all, I take with me a feeling of intense pride – pride in the RFMF, pride in our servicemen and women, pride in our service to every Fijian, pride in our beloved nation.

I especially think at this moment of our men and women overseas. 508 personnel serving in the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force in the Golan Heights, Syria; 328 in the Multi-National Force and Observers in Sinai; 195 in the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq; 23 in the United Nations Mission in Liberia; 20 in the United Nations mission in Darfur, Sudan; 15 in the United Nations Mission in South Sudan. And two in RAMSI, Solomon Islands.

We are not only assisting our fellow Fijians when they need us most. We are assisting vulnerable ordinary people in other parts of the world. We punch above our weight in global affairs. We are respected by other military forces – because we serve.

That record of service is something that every Fijian can take pride in.

As a Force, we are committed to the highest standards of morality and conduct. We must always do what is right and just, not what is expedient. And it is our duty to lead – to set an example in our public lives and in our personal lives – of service to others, of dedication to moving our nation forward, of integrity, of honour, of patriotism. Of always putting Fiji first.

I urge you all to examine your own lives and set them against those high standards. Ask yourself. Am I living a moral life? Am I living a life of integrity, honour and service? Am I honest and do I speak the truth? Am I a role model for every Fijian child? Because the essence of leadership is to lead by example. It’s embodied in a great saying that we must always remember – “Don’t do as I say. Do as I do”.

If every man and woman in the RFMF leads by personal example, then together as a force, we lead by example. We show every Fijian that we are worthy of their respect. We lead the nation on the march to greatness. That is our vision. That is our dream. And it begins here, with every one of us.

Sadly, this is the moment when “us” becomes “you” – you, the men and women of the RFMF, me, from today, a civilian Prime Minister. The time has come for me to say goodbye. The time has come to welcome the new Commander.

My 39 years in the service of the RFMF have been truly wonderful.

And thank you again for your loyalty and support. I extend every good wish to your new Commander and bid you all farewell.

God Bless the Republic of Fiji Military Forces.

God Bless our beloved Fiji.

Prime Minister Bainimarama was the chief guest at the RFMF 4th Quarter Parade.

“BE JUST, BE FIRM AND STEADFAST” – PM BAINIMARAMA AT RFMF FORCE TRAINING COMMENCEMENT

RFMF training commencement11/7/2013

The determination of young army recruits to complete their training was commended today by the Prime Minister and Commander of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces, Voreqe Bainimarama.

More than 200 young Fijians passed out today at the RFMF Force Training Group grounds after a three-month training program.

“In trying times, the RFMF plays a vital role in maintaining law and order in internal security situation,” PM Bainimarama told the young recruits.

“There are many obstacles in our path, and your enlistment into the RFMF today is of great assistance to our cause.”

The head of government added that the RFMF had intensified its role and contribution to the nation since 2006 citing basic developments such as infrastructure, roads, bridges and schools as examples.

“The RFMF has provided the vision and the will to move reforms, eradicate corruption, rebuild and reshape our nation,” PM Bainimarama said.

“Let me, therefore, remind you that greatness in the RFMF is not measured in your years of service or the rank you attain, but you will be measured by the sacrifice one is willingly to make for the good of our nation.

“As members of the RFMF, it is your duty to keep the oath of allegiance which you have affirmed to uphold at all time.”

PM Bainimarama also urged the new recruits not to allow themselves to be easily manipulated by external forces.

PM Appointed President of Fiji Hapkido Association

The Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama was today appointed the President of the Fiji Hapkido Association and the Chairman of the Fiji Hosinsul Federation.

The Prime Minister’s appointment follows a visit by the President of the Hapkido Federation and director of the Korea Hosinsul Federation, Won Sang Cho and Professor Seung Lo Rhee of Hansei University to the PM’s Office.

Following the appointment, the Prime Minister stated that Hapkido training has existed in the Republic of Fiji Military Forces (RFMF) for a number of years.

“Hapkido training has now extended throughout the security forces with the police and corrections officers participating in the training,” PM Bainimarama said.

“We would also like to look into Taekwondo and take this sport seriously so that our security officers can participate in regional sports and not just martial arts training alone.”

Professor Seung Lo Rhee of the Hansei University said that PM Bainimarama’s appointment was crucial in enabling Fiji to take a lead role in the field of Hapkido and Taekwondo.

“We are here to upgrade new skills in these two fields so Fiji can be a leading country in the region in Hapkido and Taekwondo.”

Mr Won Sang Cho and Professor Rhee also presented gifts to the Prime Minister.

FIJI OFFERS MORE PERSONNEL AND ASSISTANCE TO SOLOMON ISLANDS

The Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama, has offered to send more Fijian personnel and assistance to Solomon Islands in a speech to mark the 35th anniversary of the country’s Independence.

The Prime Minister headed a Fijian contingent of around 200 people to the anniversary celebrations in Honiara today, including RFMF troops and members of the Fiji Police Force. Many of them had previously served in the Solomons as peacekeepers for RAMSI – the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands.

In a luncheon speech afterwards, the Prime Minister referred to the strong historical ties between Fiji and Solomon Islands, which saw 50 Fijian troops killed in the Solomons campaign against the advancing Japanese during World War Two.

He also spoke about the “Melanesian brotherhood” that now binds Fiji and the Solomons through the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) with Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu and the Kanak people of New Caledonia.

The Prime Minister said the Melanesian countries shared a dream – a bold vision to create a common market between the MSG countries for the free flow of goods, service and labour.

“We also want to secure trade agreements with the rest of the world as a bloc, not as individual countries. And we want the Melanesian viewpoint to be taken much more seriously at the United Nations and in other global forums”, he said.

The Prime Minister pointed out that aside from Fiji’s historical links, Fijian troops had served as peacekeepers in RAMSI after the civil war in the Solomons and Fijian civilians were currently present at many levels in the country to assist with nation building.

“Be assured that Fiji stands willing and ready to take that assistance to another level with more personnel and resources, if that is the wish of the Government and people of Solomon Islands”, the Prime Minister added.

After the anniversary celebrations and official lunch, the Prime Minister was due to unveil a plaque commemorating the occasion and he and his Solomon’s counterpart, Gordon Darcy Lilo, were to be present as Fijian troops conduct the twilight ceremony of “Beating Retreat”.