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    Army assembles all Tri-service WOs/SNCOs under one roof Featured

    December 02, 2018

    A monumentally unique assembly of more than 2,000 Tri-service Warrant Officers (WOs) and Senior Non-Commissioned Officers (SNCOs) under one roof on a conceptual notion of the Army Commander was held for the first time in the history of Sri Lanka’s military, at Attidiya Eagle’s Lakeside Convention Hall last week.

     All of them, as the driving force behind the making of the ‘soldier’ in armed forces in a spirit of comradeship, participated in a full-day seminar to receive updates on logistics and improved performance of their tasks, responsibilities, inter-relations, capacity, leadership skills, professional conduct and accountability issues.President Maithripala Sirisena, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces as the chief guest inaugurated the event, themed on ‘Professional Role of Tri-service Warrant Officers (WOs) & Senior Non-Commissioned Officers (SNCOs), amid Challenges’.

     The seminar was also designed to mould the attendees to be exemplary role models for their junior rankers, who would often interact at first with WOs and SNCOs for resolution of their concerns while on duty.The ceremonial event was also graced by Secretary of Defence, Hemasiri Fernando, Chief of Defence Staff, Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne, Commander of the Army, Lieutenant General, Mahesh Senanayake, Commander of the Navy, Vice Admiral Sirimevan Ranasinghe and Commander of the Air Force, Air Marshal Kapila Jayampathy as distinguished invitees, who also joined the auspicious oil-lamp lighting ritual, headed by President Sirisena after a brief video documentary on the event. The recital of the National Anthem, Army song and the two-minute silence to honour the memory of fallen war heroes set the stage ready for the day’s proceedings.

     Lt. Gen. Mahesh Senanayake, extending a warm welcome to the President and the participants, spelt out why an educative seminar targeting this category of tri-service personnel was launched for the first-ever time under one roof."SNCOs are the backbone of the armed forces and it is you who steer clear the direction for those serving with you and you are the one who is the ‘ombudsman’ for other ranks sharing their duties with you. Mutual understanding among tri- services is essential and portends fellow-relationships. You are the guiding light that provide guidance and relieve them of their grievances and burdens at first before they reach higher command", he said.

     "This attempt is therefore meant to expand your capacity, which would help to simultaneously elevate the capacity of the soldier with whom you are working. Cooperation with overseas regional partners too will broaden your horizons", the Commander remarked.In his brief address, President Maithripala Sirisena lauded the services rendered by the NCOs for conduct of logistics in three service wings, which in the post-conflict period threw their full weight behind realization of the government’s development and reconciliation goals.

     "I would like to bow my head to all of you for your services before the war, during the war and in the post-war era. These were the major three sectors in the recent military history. Your services are much more required, but your retirement age does not permit you to continue. You are part of an Army recognized by the UN. Not every Army in the world is recognized in this way", the President noted.The speaker at the first session of the seminar, Brigadier S. N. Halangoda (retd), one of the most respected veterans in the Army elaborated on ‘ How Disciplined Leadership Skills of Tri- service WOs and SNCOs Impact the Progress of Establishments’. Major General Aruna Jayasekera, Commander, Security Forces-East, Rear Admiral W. E. M Sudarshana and Air Vice Marshal K. S. R Fernando, in their separate presentations to the second session dwelt on ‘Dedication to Nation-Building Thru Military Experience’ while Kuma Iddamallena, a reputed personality development and leadership trainer, delivered a comprehensive lecture on ‘Promotion of Professional Efficiency thru Positive Thoughts’.

     In the final session, Major General Ruwan Kulathunge, Commandant, Defence Services Command and Staff College (DSCS) added a new dimension to the seminar, touching on the subject, ‘Lead of a Dignified Life upon Retirement as a Senior Citizen and Planning of Retired Life’, in which he spelt out how the Army is geared to train potential Army retirees as well as those still serving the tri-services.The day’s mega event drew to a close with the award of certificates of participation to all tri-service participants.

     Moving drastically away from the stereotype rapt attention the Army has often been used to attach to the higher echelons of the service, Sri Lanka Army, after Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake assumed the mantle of command in the latter part of the year 2017, took steps to implement a variety of ‘capacity’ based projects to elevate professional standards of Army WOs, SNCOs and Regimental Sergeant Majors (RSMs), who, the Commander regarded, as the heavy-weight in the making of a soldier. 

    Overseas interactive exchange programs, introduction of pre-retirement vocational training slots, dispatch of them for overseas sports events, public appreciation of their achievements, award of special monetary grants, etc are among the most prominent, to cite a few of the projects.


    Last modified on Sunday, 02 December 2018 10:57

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