President Peter Mutharika on Friday commissioned 14 officer cadets and 1462 army recruits with a call for them to discharge their duties with professionalism, discipline and hard work.
The event took place at the Malawi Armed Forces College (MAFCO) in Salima after the soldiers took their oath of allegiance.
Mutharika said military service is a noble career that requires courage, sacrifice and honor as soldiers are pillars of the state. He said the recruits have proven to be real patriots who are ready to defend this country.
“These soldiers will boost our defense capability. They will increase our capacity to uphold the sovereign and territorial integrity of our nation.
“As your Commander-in-Chief, I promise never to abandon you on the battle field. I commit
to continue recruiting more men and women into the military profession. I commit to ensure that our soldiers are well equipped,” he said.
This was a record breaking event as it was the first time for the Malawi Defense Force (MDF) to commission such a high number of recruits. Amongst the recruits, 220 were women.
On this, the president said the MDF has illustrated that it is a society that values women and that every woman and man can stand up for this country.
The Commander – In – Chief advised the recruits to continue working hard for the nation to have a complete character of being tough, resilient and determined.
The president also advised the recruits to observe discipline and follow the chain of command so that the good reputation that the MDF has locally and internationally should be upheld.
He, however, said he is aware of the various challenges facing the MDF and the three other levels of security namely; the Police, Immigration and Prisons service.
“Most of you remember that I once promised to build 10,000 houses for our defense and security officers. I am pleased to announce that the project will be launched this coming January,” Mutharika said.
The president further said he is aware of the many challenges soldiers face and said his government will source funds for rehabilitation of roads, learning and accommodation blocks at MAFCO for a conducive environment for soldiers.
Earlier on, President Mutharika led the nation in observing a one minute silent in honor and memory of the 22 soldiers, 19 of which were recruits who lost their lives in a road accident just after completing their final training. He also wished a quick recovery for those still battling their injuries.
MDF Commander General Griffin Supuni Phiri said the recruits and the cadets have started a long journey in the military service.
He said the MDF is not a place for those who want to exploit the system in order to oppress others and advised the recruits to observe discipline, loyalty and integrity.
“I would like to inform you that the MDF has a high reputation and as such; no indiscipline will be tolerated.
“Your duty is to obey command of elected leaders and authorities at all times. We are known for good discipline and you should conform to that,” Supuni Phiri said.
The recruits started their training on July 10 while the cadets started on March 11, 2017.