(LANKAPUVATH | COLOMBO) – Discipline is the highest virtue in the life of an army officer. Optimism, self-confidence and trust in the rest of the team are at the heart of a leader’s success President Gotabaya Rajapaksa says.
“During your training, you will have understood that discipline of the highest degree is one of the most important aspects in a military officer’s life,” President Rajapaksa said addressing the 96th Commissioning Parade of the Sri Lanka Military Academy.
The 96th Passing Out Parade of Sri Lanka Military Academy (SLMA) was held at the Army Science Faculty, Diyatalawa yesterday morning (19).
It is a characteristic of the army to cultivate a keen interest in even the simplest of tasks and to nurture the ability to work collectively, the President said.
“From the first day you entered this institution, making your bed as you wake up every morning, ensuring your clothes are ironed, your boots are polished, and that every aspect of your dress and appearance is immaculate was a key part of your training, alongside the physical training exercises and drills that became part of your routine.”
“There is a reason for this. The attention you pay to these simple tasks builds discipline, it fosters attention to detail, and it provides a sense of accomplishment, no matter how small, as you start your day.”
“These are all essential qualities that will help you later in life, no matter where your career takes you,” the President added.
The President said that there will be situations in life, no matter how talented or skilled an individual is, an individual cannot succeed without the support of others.
He said the teamwork is therefore an essential life skill that needs to be cultivated, and the military will provide ample opportunities to do so.
Advising the graduating cadets to seek to develop their leadership skills particularly as officers, the President said they will have to take responsibility for all their subordinates and as they rise through the ranks, their responsibilities will only increase.
“As you start on this journey, you must understand that the soldiers under your command are ordinary people, and not supermen. It is your responsibility to ensure that you get outstanding results from such normal people,” he said.
“Despite the setbacks, obstacles and difficulties that arise from time to time, we must focus on our mission to the people,” the President said pointing out that setbacks are part of the path and the leader must be able to face them successfully and make bold decisions.
President Rajapaksa, who arrived at the venue, paid floral tributes to the war heroes and observed the Passing Out Parade.
A total of 316 officer cadets from Intake 5 passed out today. The group includes 73 students who entered the Sri Lanka Military Academy (SLMA) to pursue Bachelor’s Degree in Military Studies, 150 graduates from General Sir John Kotelawala Defense University, 61 volunteer cadet officers, 15 volunteer female cadet officers, six trained cadet officers from Zambia, Maldives and Rwanda and five Sri Lankan cadets trained in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal.
President’s Award for the First in Order of Merit for Volunteer Lady Officer Cadet Intake 17 was awarded to H.A.T. Prabhashwari by President Rajapaksa while President’s Award for the First in Order of Merit for Volunteer Officer Cadet Intake 60 and the Sword of Honor for the Best All- Round Officer Cadet was awarded to A.M.D.T.N. Perera. Meanwhile, the President’s Award for the First in Order of Merit for Regular Officer Cadet Intake 89B was awarded to R.T.L.A. Silva, the Sword of Honor for the Best All-Round Officer Cadet of Regular Officer Cadet Intake 89B to H.E.A. Ranjula and the President’s Award for the First in Order of Merit for Regular Officer Cadet Intake 90 and the Sword of Honor for the Best All-Round Officer Cadet of Regular Officer to T.R.C.D. Pathinayake.
The President’s Award for the First in Order of Merit and the Sword of Honor for the Best All-Round Officer Cadet for the Regular Officer Cadet Intake 89 was awarded to D.M.M. Rukshan while the Staff of Honor for Best Foreign Cadet Officer was awarded to A. Adam of Maldives.
The President planted a sapling to mark his participation and appeared in several group photos.
Principal Advisor to the President Lalith Weeratunga, Defence Secretary General Kamal Gunaratne, Chief of Defence Staff and Commander of the Army General Shavendra Silva and other senior Army officers were also present.