Sunday, February 17, 2008

AIT Class 08-02 Graduation

The third Advanced Individual Training (AIT) for Infantry class of the new Armed Forces of Liberia graduated on February 8th, 2008 at Camp Ware, near Careysburg, Liberia. This particular class had the highest attrition of any of the class cohorts to date; with a total of 37 recruits not completing the training and consequently getting discharged from the service. However, the 484 AIT graduates are among the finest to go through the program thus far. Their attitude, behavior and test scores exceeded the last class across the board. The graduation is also significant because with the transfer of 464 of these troops to EBK Military Barracks, the Security Sector Reform for National Defense program has now passed the mid-point with 1,124 of 2,000 soldiers having completed their initial entry training.

A surprising and violent rain storm early in the morning threatened to put a damper on the ceremony. But the rain quickly passed and the ceremony went off without a hitch. With just two more classes of 500 to go, this graduation puts us on the downward slope. The guest speaker for the graduation was Lieutenant Colonel Wyatt who focused the history and roles of the infantry during his remarks.

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