President Paul Kagame yesterday commissioned 308 cadet officers at the Rwanda Military Academy in Gako. Out of the newly commissioned officers from Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi, Kenya and Tanzania who trained for one year alongside their Rwandan counterparts in the spirit of regional integration and cooperation, 24 were women.
The President reminded the cadet officers that leadership comes with responsibility and that Rwandans would be looking up to them for protection, leadership and inspiration.
"Today marks an important milestone in your life; you are now officers and leaders who will lead troops at Rwanda Defence Force level or at multilateral level, in peace or war. At all levels you will need to demonstrate a high level of integrity and professional behavior. The people of Rwanda expect you to combine values of courage, honor and discipline. This is the first of your challenges as Rwanda Defence Forces officers."
President Kagame also pointed out that the presence of officers from sister nations was testimony to the weight that East African nations give to regional integration and urged the officer cadets to work towards building their country and continent, beginning with the East African Community.
The head of state advised the cadets that the knowledge gained during the one year course should not be taken as an end in itself, but a base that would enable them gain more knowledge that would position them better to serve their countries.
"There is no doubt that you have what it takes to fulfill your duty and serve your country in a patriotic manner. You have just take oath as new members of the RDF officer corps. That oath should not be taken lightly. Men and women in uniform, together with Rwandans have played a crucial role in laying a foundation of the progress that we have made," he stressed.
The Cadet pass out ceremony was also attended by representatives of armed forces from the East African Community, diplomatic corps and high ranking army and civilian Rwandan officials.