NAMIBIA: Women Making Inroads in NDF

Monday, December 13, 2010
Namibia Sun
Southern Africa
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Good gender representation in the Namibian Defence Force (NDF) offers opportunity to women to empower themselves through a career in the military, said Defence Minister Charles Namoloh at Ondangwa on Thursday.

Speaking at the passing-out parade of the NDF's second Special Project Training (SPT) at Oluno, Ondangwa, retired General Namoloh said the SPT was specifically designed to integrate the children of the liberation struggle, orphans and vulnerable children of Namibian society into the NDF by transforming them from civilian status to military life.

“I am happy to be informed that, in general, the aims and objectives of the training were achieved,” he said. Of the 1057 recruits who started training on June 28, 1005 graduated after 52 recruits were either disqualified because of pregnancy, weak health, indiscipline or voluntary resignation. “I am particularly worried about the eight recruits who were disqualified on disciplinary grounds. It is painful when young people miss opportunities like this because of indiscipline. You were warned at the beginning of your training that the NDF requires highly disciplined soldiers, and as you have seen, indiscipline has no place in the NDF,” he said.

He was glad that the majority did not follow the example of those who misbehaved during training. He reminded graduates that the requirement for good behavior does not stop with the training. “You will be expected to maintain a higher standard of discipline as career NDF soldiers. Those who fail to be disciplined are likely to face the same fate as those eight who were dismissed from training”.

Namoloh also revealed that one recruit resigned voluntarily. “I hope the resignation was motivated by better opportunities outside the NDF, because we want our young people to maximize all the opportunities that are offered to them.” He expressed the hope that those disqualified on medical grounds were advised and assisted to get appropriate care and support. “People disqualified from NDF training and services on medical grounds,” he said, “should not be thrown into society without direction.

They must be directed to get the necessary medical or other services to protect them and promote public health in our country.” Namoloh told the 402 female and 603 male graduates that he appreciated the good gender representation. Amongst the new members of the NDF are some of the children of the liberation struggle.