One of Fiji’s true heroes who made the ultimate sACrIfiCE For the cause of our freedom
Lest we forget, today we commemorate Infantry Day, and remember the sacrifice of Victoria Cross winner, the late Corporal Sefanaia Sukanaivalu.
Seventy-six years ago he made the ultimate sacrifice.
He gave his life on a Bougainville battlefield to protect his men and help assure us freedom we enjoy today.
He exemplified the mission of our armed forces in the quest for world peace. Our troops have been in the forefront of peacekeeping missions in volatile areas.
From Bougainville in the Solomon Islands to Zimbabwe, to the Golan Heights, the Sinai, Timor-Leste, Southern Lebanon and Iraq, Fiji has served with distinction in political hot spots around the world.
According to military records the Fiji Infantry Regiment’s first operations were much closer to home, serving in the Pacific theatre of World War II. Originally focussed on defence of the Colony under New Zealand command, the Fiji Military Forces shifted to support the island-hopping American forces as the war progressed.
Fijians served in Guadalcanal, Florida Island
[Nggela], New Georgia, and Vella.
In Bougainville, Fijian soldiers displayed how good they were in jungle warfare. They provided valuable intelligence on enemy locations.
Those heroes had left behind a proud legacy that continues to inspire the Republic of Fiji Military Forces today.
Those who wear the uniform now represent an institution that has earned its excellent reputation internationally.
They have an important responsibility to maintain that reputation.
Apart from the late Corporal Sukanaivalu, others have died in the line of duty in Defence of world peace. So on this Infantry Day, let us spare a thought for them and think twice before we criticise the RFMF.