A total of 373 Officer Cadets of Direct Short Service Course 25 of the Nigerian Army have been trained on counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency operations for onward deployment to the northeast and other troubled parts of the country.
At their passing out parade from the Nigerian Army School of Infantry, Jaji in Kaduna state, the Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin tasked the soldiers to contribute their quota in the fight against the Boko Haram terrorists in the north, as well as the ousting of bandits and other criminal elements that are threatening the peace and unity of the country.
The security challenges in the country call for effective training and retraining of young military officers and other ranks on counter-terrorism operations.
Since its inception, the Nigerian Army School of Infantry has been a major facilitator and force multiplier especially through effective training of security personnel, even from the Nigeria Police Force.
The direct short service course of the infantry school complements existing commission and is designed for the employment of professionals from various fields and specialities into the armed forces.
These officers who six months ago had little or no military experience, have been trained on counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency operations as part of efforts to boost the manpower needs of the Nigerian Armed Forces.
At the passing parade ceremony which marks the end of the training, the officers displayed a colourful march pass in both slow and quick time upon the arrival of the Chief of Defence Staff who doubles as the reviving officer for the parade.
In line with contemporary and emerging security challenges in the country, the officers were trained in special warfare and counter-terrorism courses which lasted for six months and were also exposed to academic and field exercises such as tactical combat shooting.
Others are unarmed combat and water exercises, stop and search techniques on roadblocks and checkpoints, rescue missions, and identification of improvised explosive devices among others.
While reminding the young officers that they are joining the army when the Nigerian armed forces are facing myriads of security challenges which requires absolute loyalty and dedication to tackle, the Chief of Defence staff told the officer cadets that most of them will be deployed to the North-East, North-West and other troubled parts of the country.
General Olonisakin charged the officers to be loyal to Nigeria and military authorities, adding that they must demonstrate discipline and shun misconduct in the discharge of their constitutional responsibilities.
“Every one of you has roles to play, based on your expertise and previous experiences in curtailing the country’s security challenges. As junior leaders, you will be confronted with various challenges.
“Complete and absolute loyalty to the president and commander-in-chief of the armed forces of Nigeria as provided in the constitution and the oath of allegiance which will be administered to you.
“Any act of disloyalty, disobedience to constituted authority, insubordination and other unprofessional conduct will attract appropriate sanctions.”
As these officers depart from here to the field, the authorities are hopeful that with the training they have received during the period and many more they will receive in the course of their military career, the country will prevail against those who threaten its peace.