by Charles Gladden
BELIZE CITY, Fri. Jan. 26, 2024
The Belize Defence Force (BDF) held its customary anniversary ceremony at Price Barracks in Ladyville, Belize District on Friday, January 26, to mark 46 years of serving the country by securing its borders and providing a sense of security for Belizeans.
The BDF celebrated the occasion under the theme, “Defending Our Nation: 46 years of commitment and courage”.
“Your commitment sets the highest standards of military excellence, discipline, and patriotism. These sacrifices have not gone unnoticed. They have left an indelible mark, a legacy that Belizeans can all be proud of,” said Minister of Public Service, Hon. Henry Charles Usher during his keynote address. “As we celebrate this 46th anniversary, let us also celebrate the victories achieved, large and small. Belize is lauded as a tranquil haven of democracy, but these freedoms that we hold dear could not have been achieved without sacrifice, without the selfless dedication of [every] one of you,” he further mentioned.
Further, into his speech, Minister Usher touched on several topics that have been hovering over the military heads and seemed like a never-ending issue. Firstly, he highlighted a state-of-the-art kitchen and the renovated barrack rooms for soldiers so they can be comfortable while away from their homes.
Also, the Sarstoon Forward Operating Base situated at the southernmost end of the country will live to see brighter days as its renovation is soon to be completed, along with works at Camps Belizario and Fairweather.
When he met with members of the media, Minister Usher said: “It’s an honor for me to be a part of this 46th anniversary of the Belize Defence Force. When Minister Marin asked me to give the keynote speech and to inspect the guards, I readily agreed. It’s something that I feel passionate about, and it’s an honor for me to be here today.”
During the ceremonial march at the Sir Colville Young Parade Square at the Price Barracks, Ladyville, the inspection of the guards was done, and awards were given to six soldiers and officers for long years of service and another six for outstanding service.
The military group was established on January 1, 1978, after the disbanding of the Belize Volunteer Guard and the Police Special Force the year before.