14th November 2018 22:21:11 Hours
“It is you who are quite close to the heart of the soldier at ground level and can be a model to the junior soldier who would be always imitating you. When you behave and work protecting the dignity of your position, the junior soldier would also admire you and aspire to be what you are one day,” so remarked the Commander of the Army Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake during a specially-organized ceremony to appreciate and award the services of retired and potential retiring Regimental Sergeant Majors (RSMs) and Senior Non Commissioned Officers (SNCOs) on Wednesday (14) evening.
The ceremony at the Defence Services College (DSC) auditorium, held for this category of SNCOs for the first time in the Army history also coincided with the release of the maiden Army Drill Manual to those attendees with necessary guidelines for Drills and Physical Training, largely executed by SNCOs as Drill Instructors (DIs) in the Army.
“You have done a great job to elevate knowledge, respect, conduct and moral values of the soldiers, but the importance attached to your roles failed to get its due attention. The Army wants to appreciate and laud your invaluable services for the organization as well as your regiment. Multiple projects, like conduct of farewell parades for SNCOs, initiation of foreign familiarization projects under the Army-to-Army cooperation, participation in International Drill Displays, etc were introduced as gestures of appreciation of your services,” the Commander quipped in his address to the occasion.
“Identifying the capacity-based soldier is a responsibility that lies with you and it is you who should lead them in the correct path as you would continue to be the pioneer of the ‘Rata Rakina Jathiya’, the Defenders of the Nation. Those still serving should protect them from falling prey to addiction of drugs since it would disrepute the organization as well as destroy their families. So, you should keep a close touch with them,” he concluded.
The ceremony began with the customary salute to the memory of fallen War Heroes in a two-minute silence after paying tribute to the national anthem and the Army song. Next, rose Major General Shavendra Silva, Adjutant General to his feet and presented the theme of the day’s arrangement to the audience.
Minutes after the day’s Chief Guest awarded service appreciation certificates to a representative group of former SNCOs and potential retirees, the Commander of the Army was invited to release the maiden Army Drill Manual (Sinhala Edition), produced by the Directorate of Personnel Administration (Dte of PA) as the first instructional booklet of this nature on drill training.
Chief of Staff, Major General Dampath Fernando, Deputy Chief of Staff, Major General Ajith Kariyakarawana, Commandant of the Sri Lanka Army Volunteer Force, Major General Rukmal Dias, Principal Staff Officers, Senior Officers, Colonel of the Regiments/Colonel Commandants, Centre Commandants, Officers, Other Rankers and invitees attended the appreciative ceremony.